Comparing Heat Transfer Films with Screen Printed Graphics

A high quality polyurethane heat transfer film will outlast a screen printed garment hands down. In fact, if you properly process and care for a polyurethane heat transfer, the applique should last the life of the garment.  We all know what happens to a screen printed shirt after a dozen washes.  Plastisol inks crack. By comparison, I have a tee-shirt with digitally printed applique  that still looks great after 30 washes.  While the heat transfer material looks new, the base color of the fabric has faded.

 
After 30 washes, my Indian motorcycle applique still looks great!

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Accelerating the Curing Process

Printing and Cutting Heat Transfer Appliques Using Roland’s BN-20 Many T-shirt shops have purchased Roland’s VersaStudio 20″ BN-20 Desktop Inkjet Printer/Cutter so they can offer digitally printed heat transfer appliques to their customers. In addition to printing appliques, the BN-20 is also a nice entry-level machine for those shops expanding into the sign market. Read more »

How to Flash Press FlexCut™ Sticky LT

Heat Transfer Tip Saves Time & Money RTape has a new heat transfer solution that saves time and money. Here’s how. When decorating a heat sensitive fabric, RTape’s FlexCut™ Sticky LT (low temperature) is typically heat pressed at 235°F (115°C) for 17 seconds Read more »

The Differences Between Polyurethane and Vinyl Films

Many in our industry use the all-encompassing term “heat transfer vinyl” to refer to any heat transfer flex film.  The fact of the matter is that many of the heat transfer films on the market today are not vinyl at all. Much of what is sold today is polyurethane or a polyurethane blend. Read more »

Stretching Garments Prior to Heat Pressing

Some screen printers, who print directly onto t-shirts or who print plastisol heat transfers, will stretch the garment before printing or heat pressing. By doing this, the weave of the shirt opens up allowing the ink to better penetrate the fibers of the fabric. This practice is believed to prevent cracking of the ink. Read more »

Puff, the Magic Inflatable Heat Transfer Film

Textile screen printers have used plastisol puff inks for years. These inks contain a special additive that causes the ink to expand after it is exposed to heat.  RTape/SEF FlexCut Sweet Puff films work in much the same way. Read more »

Application Temperature Range

To avoid problems with vinyl or any other pressure-sensitive material, carefully read the vinyl manufacturer’s technical data sheet. Product bulletins will usually contain all of the information you need, including application temperature range. The application temperature range for most vinyl films is usually between 50⁰ and 90⁰F (10⁰ to 32⁰ C). For some films, the […] Read more »

Introducing Tatoo Printable Heat Transfer Films

RTape Corp. (South Plainfield, NJ) introduces its SEF Tatoo heat transfer film, which is a white, printable, multi-layer polyurethane construction on a polyester liner or carrier. Tatoo films are printable using a wide range of digital printers, including solvent, ecosolvent and latex systems. The brilliance of the facestock and its chemical formulation allow for vibrant […] Read more »

Correcting Plotter Cutting Problems When Cutting Heat Transfer Films

Troubleshooting Checklist If you are having problems cutting polyurethane heat transfer films, check the following possible causes: Read more »

Which Films Stick to Coated Fabrics?

Just before the beginning of WWII, American chemists developed synthetic polyamides.  Polyamides are complex molecules called polymers, which are comprised of smaller “amide” monomers. In nature, these polyamide molecules occur as proteins in fibers, such as silk and wool. In the modern world, the best known polyamides are nylons.   Because of their strength, elasticity and […] Read more »