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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I just got my first heat press, and supposedly heat press is meant to make this whole process easier, more consistent, etc.

I'm obviously doing something wrong as just about every shirt I do screws up, but then sometimes it works and I haven't changed a setting.

What seems to happen is that half of the ink gets left behind on the transfer, and what is transferred is "tacky", with little pieces on there (I am not sure if that makes sense - it's not "smooth", there's lumpy bits).

I've tried pressing longer, shorter, more pressure, less pressure. What is worrying me is that if you look at the temp guage on the heat press, it can fluctuate as much as 4 degrees C in the middle of a press as it maintains temp. Is that what's causing it? What is even more frustrating is it seems to be only on one particular type of garment.

I'm doing long sleeve women's T's fine, but when I try to press a s/s lap infant onesie is when I have problems. The onesies are a slightly thicker garment, and I'm wondering if all the fabric layers and folds are contributing to not getting even pressure, or something? Because when I then cut up a onesie and do tests on the fabric, I'm able to get better results? Which is also extremely frustrating because if you can only test reliably on a whole garment, you'll go through a whole lot before you find the right settings!

I've just wasted 5 of the things trying to fill an order and frankly I think I'm about to fill the order using a hand iron since I've just thrown $25AUD down the drain with the heat press, but long term, I do need to figure out what's wrong.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Cheers,
Kath
 

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Ok, calm down.. we are here to help you.. We who do heat pressing been there done that. First if you wish you can email me and I will try to help that way are we can keep going back and forth as I am with several others here.
here are common problems beginners make..

I used 2 different types of transfers so I May help as it is not much different then tee.
First, your paper.. what kind is it.. Second the biggest mistake people make is the pre heat and / the time pressing. Opaques are about 6 second pressing and hot peel are 20 seconds and sometimes longer. 4 degrees is no big deal I press sometimes at 375 and others at 400.. it has not hurt yet. So give me more info and let me know if you have done what I describe above.. we are here for you..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Lou,

Sorry if I sounded hostile - of course I'm not "mad" at anyone here, I'm just really frustrated. :eek: I'm very glad to have such a great resource to use.

The temp is anywhere between 172C and 177C (so 341F - 350F).

I'm pre-pressing the onesie for 3-4 sec (at that temp), then allowing to cool for 10-15 secs, then applying the transfer. The paper is the New Milford Light Transfer ("house" paper - NOT IronAll). I'm doing hot peel.

The ladies shirts that work I'm pressing for 11 seconds - I've tried that, and as low as five seconds and up to 25 seconds for the onesies and have had successes AND failures at all of those temperatures.

Do you think perhaps I need to increase the temp and the press time? I'm not sure what I can do about the "flatness" of the garment. I mean - the entire onesie fits onto the press area, collar and all, which is what's making it "bumpy". Would a greater pressure setting help that?

Thanks again,
Kath
 

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The temperature should probably be a bit higher; about 350-400 (I use 385). I have never used that brand of paper though, so I cant really advise. The time sounds short as well. Usual time is about 15 seconds. (I use 18 seconds for transjet II paper)

Pre-press the shirt for about 20 seconds, and make sure the shirt is completely dry before putting the tranfer on the shirt. Make sure to get all moisture out.

The transfer area must be completely flat for this to work properly. That is why badalou suggested using a mouse pad to raise up the transfer area. You could use carboard as well.

The other thing, is just peel the transfer really quickly before the waxy stuff starts to dry.
 

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Hi all . . .

what I do with onesies . . I take the lap over shoulders and fold them to the back of the shirt . . insert a mouse pad and stretch just a 'tad' and then press . . the mouse pad raises the pressing area just enough to where the lap over shoulder material is not in the way of the pressing area
-- press is set at 385º -- timer is set for 12 seconds -- but then I count another 5 beeps and then hot peel the transfer off . .
1st 4 or 5 lap over shoulder onsies ended up being poo poo,...
but I picked up a bunch of onsies at the goodwill store -- just for testing and tossing

hope that helps . .

Diane ;)
 

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Babalou is right on the money. He told me a few weeks back about the mouse pad trick. I do dog dhirts so I was having the same problem because of the way the arms are cut. I bought one of the large mouse pads from office depot and cut it up and use it between the shirt. Just make sure you adjust the pressure so it will close all the way.
Jason
 

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So Tonto, are work here is done.. Be sure you do a hot peel for at lest 20 seconds. not shorter like you did. and the 385 was right on themoney.. where di I hear that before. I also use milfords hot peel as well as Iron All.. depends what i am using it for..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You guys rock!!!

OK, I take back all frustration, anger and hostility directed at my heat press (except for at the shoddy timer, that broke :p).

You all rock and Lou I could just kiss you for the suggestion about the mousepad! I've just successfuly pressed my very first paid order!!! Yay!!! And I couldn't have done it without you guys. Ended up that about 195C for 30 seconds (with the mousepad) was the charm and they look beautiful (have attached picture so you can all share in my glory with me). Will be going in the post first thing in the morning.

I'm still not sure I like the hand on the paper as an ongoing thing, but it's certainly "good enough" for now and a darn sight better than the store bought paper I was using on test garments to this point.

Thank-you, thank-you and thank-you again to everyone here. I'm sure this is only the first of many questions and if I can ever do anything for any of you, please let me know!

Yours Exhuberantly,
Kath
 

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Congratulations - it's nice to see the despondency replaced with exuberance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey Lou - thanks for the nice words about the shirt. Yes I actually read your EXCELLENT tote bag guide prior to my first exasperated post, but I guess I just didn't quite "get it" about the mousepad and why it was required (and how that would even work with a onesie). I am so glad that I now do.
 

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Hi Kath, I'm glad you got it worked out. The shirts look great!

Did you also heat press your label on the neckline? That looks nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Rodney - thanks for that :eek:. Yeah, I did the neck label as well. I think it looks funkier than leaving the original label there and tagless seems to "in" these days anyway!
 

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funtimesx said:
Yeah, I did the neck label as well. I think it looks funkier than leaving the original label there and tagless seems to "in" these days anyway!
Is the text I can see on the label care instructions, etc.?

Australia's labelling laws are not as stringent as the US, but we do still have them. If you've pretty much copied over the key points from one label to the other, as I'm guessing you have, that's great - if your tags aren't compliant you should look into it before the next run though.

(obviously you may have already researched this yourself, but I figured I'd post just in case)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi,

Thanks for being on the look-out for me! Yeah, I copied them pretty much word-for-word from what was on the original label. Minus, of course, the name of the company - is that illegal? Do I need to include the "manufacturer", as we don't have such a thing as RN #'s here? If I use US imported blanks, do I need to retain the RN#?
 

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funtimesx said:
Thanks for being on the look-out for me! Yeah, I copied them pretty much word-for-word from what was on the original label. Minus, of course, the name of the company - is that illegal? Do I need to include the "manufacturer", as we don't have such a thing as RN #'s here? If I use US imported blanks, do I need to retain the RN#?
As you said, we don't have RN's here so you don't need to include them, even on imported blanks.

I don't believe you need to include the manufacturer here. I read through the US laws and then stalled halfway through the Australian ones though, so I'm not 100% sure (I keep meaning to finish that research but since I currently use the original care instructions I haven't bothered yet).

I think what you're doing is fine. Also, if you want to change the wording or anything like that you can - the instructions have to be clear and easy to understand, but if you'd rather phrase them differently you can - there's no standard phrasing that has to be used (although things like "low heat" do have standard meanings, but those will all be copied from the original).

If you want to export to the US you'll need to meet their labelling requirements (I can't remember if that applies to one-off internet retail - it probably technically does, but I wouldn't worry about it - it's just an issue if you're selling wholesale to someone who's going to re-sell), but obviously that's not relevant for local sales.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Actually, I tell a lie...I did change one piece of the instructions. The original tag said "Do Not Tumble Dry". I pre-washed and tumble dried the garments and it did not destroy them or anything (standard practice in my house is to tumble dry EVERYTHING and I would like to give others the option of this convenience), so I changed it to "Tumble Dry Low" as I've done this on this garment before and as I said, it does not do anything bad.

Are you able to provide any links to the Australian rules I could peruse?
 

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funtimesx said:
Actually, I tell a lie...I did change one piece of the instructions. The original tag said "Do Not Tumble Dry". I pre-washed and tumble dried the garments and it did not destroy them or anything (standard practice in my house is to tumble dry EVERYTHING and I would like to give others the option of this convenience), so I changed it to "Tumble Dry Low" as I've done this on this garment before and as I said, it does not do anything bad.
Technically you're supposed to vigorously test the garments, and the care instructions 1) Shouldn't say you can do something that will actually harm the garment, 2) Shouldn't say you can't do something that actually won't harm the garment.

"Tumble Dry Low" is the standard disclaimer on most decorated apparel though, so that should be fine.

(I don't think the government would actually expect a small business to have the testing professionally done, just so long as the care instructions could be considered reasonable)

funtimesx said:
Are you able to provide any links to the Australian rules I could peruse?
The best thing about the Australian rules that we're legally subject to, is that they're not actually available to freely view. Isn't that democratic?

More seriously... there's a series of about five Australian Standards that are legally enforced. They cost money to buy (or download), although you may be able to view them for free from the State Library (I don't know, but it really seems like they should be available for free somewhere).

You can find summaries online, but I don't recall seeing any that were detailed enough for my satisfaction.

At some point (maybe today, maybe next week, maybe next year ;)) I'll read them all and write up a summary.
 
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