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Discussion Starter #1
I have been on this forum almost everyday for the last month and a half since I first discovered it. Again I say this site is great. All of the questions I have had has been answered through searching previous posts. But all the information I have come across on stoping the cracking of heat press transfers after the first wash has not helped me.

I am using
Epson 1280 (set on photo enhance)
Heat Master Press
Magic Mix inks
Transfer Jet 2 paper

I have heated up the press to 375. Pressed the bottom pad to warm it up Press the shirt to remove moisture. I even used a lint roller to remove any loose fibers that may prevent the image from pressing properly. Covered it with the teflon sheet and pressed for various amounts of times. (I am now pressing for 18 seconds)

The image looks great when it is pressed but after the first wash, the image looks old. The cracking is not dramatically noticeable, but I notice it.

Am I being to uptight about this? Should I expect some cracking? When it is washed or stretched.

I really want to make the best product I possibly can.

By the way I don't know if this matters, but I am using cheap irregular shirts for my test. They are 100 percent cotton, but they are probably not the greatest stitched shirts in the world. I have pressed on them new and washed them and then pressed. The results are the same.

Thanks in advanced for any response
 

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One of the things you do not need to do is photo enhance. Sometimes less is more. You may be putting too much ink on paper. The ink is a dye ink. I use epson cx7800 pigment ink. I set it at text photo. My hot peel paper (lights) is iron all. I pre press cotton tees 6 seconds. My press is set about 375. I press for about 15 second. I peel imediatly and have not had a problem. Now on the opaque transfers I prepress 6 seconds and place parchment over design and press for 6 seconds. No problems. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks badalou. Although I have read about using too much ink in the past and have tried using a regular photo text print with the same results. The quality is much better as a photo enhance print. Since I posted this thread I have run some other tests. I am now thinking I am not being delicate enough in the washing process. I am now washing cold water with the shirt inside out. But how delicate should I expect my customers to be with a t-shirt?
 

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That is the question that really needs to be answered. I am lucky as I am sure many of you are that I have mede mistakes and now I have sleep tees.. And they have been through many washes.. So I guess I am testing them and happy to report that what I use is best for my tees. My wife washes the tees in cold water and does not turn them inside out.
 

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Tshirtwonderland said:
Thanks badalou. Although I have read about using too much ink in the past and have tried using a regular photo text print with the same results. The quality is much better as a photo enhance print. Since I posted this thread I have run some other tests. I am now thinking I am not being delicate enough in the washing process. I am now washing cold water with the shirt inside out. But how delicate should I expect my customers to be with a t-shirt?
Honestly I don't think the customers will be delicate with the shirt at all. I think most people will wear the shirt, take it off, throw it in the hamper, and then throw it in the washer with warm or hot water and wash and dry it with out ever giving it a thought. That's how I will test mine, because that's how I wash mine.
 

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The first wash is the killer, after that they same not to fade much at all, i actually still wear the first tee i printed, (about 9 months ago) quite a bit, it seems to fill a lot better after several washes. I see no hand at all on it, and the craking is no longer visable.
 

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When i was starting out doing heat transfers I saw a suggestion to after pressing your transfer to "stretch the shirt" by holding the shirt on both side of the design from left to right <-- --> and then pull. This they said creates a soft feel and reduces the cracking.

I do it all the time and it seems to help. I think because you stretch the design you pull apart the design as the fibers stretch however when you release it the shirt goes back together. So there's no cracking later on. It's hard to explain but it seems to work for me.

One thing I have find is to do it "after the shirt cools" a bit if you do it while it's hot the design may look stretch or out of shape. I don't mean pull it to death just stetch the design a bit.

Signed,

Printchic
 

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That's what I do. I strech the design and it comes out soft (Hot Peel) not so on the opaque. The company I buy my paper from has tols me they are coming out with an opaque that does strech, so I am looking forward to that. Lou
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for all your advice. I have asked other people about the cracking and showed them some of my shirts. Most people think I'm crazy, because most of what I am calling cracking is the design seperating along the fabric lines. I use quite a bit of black in many of my designs and on shirts using black ink in the design show the cracking or rather the seperation much more than lighter colors. Am I being crazy? Is there an indicator on how much wear will take place after the first wash. What is an acceptable level of wear do most customers expect after the first wash?
 

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I've been a screen printer by trade and haven't messed around with transfers to much. My question is, have you tested the pressing with different pressures? I know if the pressure is too low, you aren't getting a good transfer of heat and pressure combo.

But again, I haven't done much in the line of transfers.

Just a thought....
 

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Hi,

Actually it depends on the paper some crack more than others after washing. The coating on the transfer paper is what causes the design to adhere to the garment. If that coating breaks down (like when washed) the design starts to crack.

So to prevent it stretching the shirt where the design is you are actually pulling the design apart and when you release it the shirt goes back together. You will not be able to see that you have pulled apart the design however when you wash it since the coating is not not completely solid anymore due to the stretching the cracking doesn't occur.

I've been doing it for years and since i started cracking hasn't been an issues.

Signed,
Printchic
 

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Hello,one word about cracking, I wash in cold water inside out
and delicate heat sometimes i check the dryer and turn off the
heat then back on . I washed a new batch today , and no cracking
from any of them. yes to much ink can do it and I would not use
100% percent cotten because it seems to crack more then 50/50.

fred
 

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printchic said:
Hi,

Actually it depends on the paper some crack more than others after washing. The coating on the transfer paper is what causes the design to adhere to the garment. If that coating breaks down (like when washed) the design starts to crack.

So to prevent it stretching the shirt where the design is you are actually pulling the design apart and when you release it the shirt goes back together. You will not be able to see that you have pulled apart the design however when you wash it since the coating is not not completely solid anymore due to the stretching the cracking doesn't occur.

I've been doing it for years and since i started cracking hasn't been an issues.

Signed,
Printchic
wait a minute, are you saying that after you print the shirt and you stretch it from side to side it does not crack ?
 

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yeap, that's what I am say.

As a matter of fact badalou just did some very nice videos about heat transfers and on the last one I believe it is he shows the stretching process.

It has worked for me for years. As i said i find it's better to do the stretching when the shirt has cooled down some he does it after he presses so you will have to try both ways a see what's best for you.

You can see badalou wonderful videos at;

http://www.ljrobin.com/videos.htm
 

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printchic said:
yeap, that's what I am say.

As a matter of fact badalou just did some very nice videos about heat transfers and on the last one I believe it is he shows the stretching process.
Hi, would you mind taking a picture of your printed transfer on a rib knit fabric stretched and post it here for every one to see ?

Here are some I did with Plastisol transfers, they are not photo transfers.
...have a look below at the copyright sickonsin.com brand ZOMBIE sample transfer. NO CRACKS

Thanks in advance PrintChic.
Lucy

NOT STRETCHED



STRETCHED

 
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