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Printing on Tanks and Flowy Material

1122 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  DAGuide
Hi all,

We have recently started printing on Bella/Canvas flowy tank tops. These are not bad for the cropped versions because I can just drag the two straps down until there is enough room to grab the bottom of the tank to carefully remove it from the platen and load it upside down on the heat press.

However, with the longer versions, this is almost impossible to do without having some of the flowy/silky fabric bump against itself, causing the ink to rub and ruining the shirt.

The only ideas I could think of were:

1. Adding weight to the straps with a hanger or cardboard cutout so it lays flatter when I pull from the bottom.

2. Using some sort of heat gun / dryer to cure enough of the ink when the shirt is still on the platen so it will not rub when the fabric hits itself.

3. Only print these when another person is present so we can grab either end like a blanket, holding the entire garment flat as we walk it to the heat press.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for offloading these kinds of shirts from platen to heat press? Also, is option 2 even feasible or a complete waste of equipment and time?

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Stay away from #2. Trying to heat something on the platen is a bad idea for any printer because you are heating up the area near the print heads and cause more clogging. So I would not go that route.

Option #3 has the least amount of investment and is probably a good short term solution. However, the labor cost will drive up your costs. So if you plan on constantly doing a ton of these, it might not be the best long term choice.

If you are going to be doing a lot of these, you could look at getting a piece of cardboard or similar material die cut. But that could cost a good bit of money upfront to get the die made. Hand cutting could result in just about the same amount of labor.

Really don't want to put any type of metal, plastic or wood under a heat press. It will start to warp due to the heat and moisture from the inks. Even see this happen to composite material.

Good luck,

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