Blog Post by Courtney Kubitza
Does your business print tri-blend garments?
If you have browsed through any blank apparel catalogs this year, you may have noticed the evolution of the t-shirt into new soft and lightweight tri-blend styles. As the name implies, these garments are made of 3 different fabrics: cotton, polyester, and rayon.
Combining these fabrics together makes a super soft, comfortable fit for the wearer, but also makes it challenging to decorate with a heat press. The polyester and rayon in the garment are both heat sensitive fabrics, making the tri-blend t-shirt vulnerable to scorch marks from high heat.
Here are 3 tips for heat printing tri-blends:
1) Choose a heat transfer with a low temperature application
It’s time to cool down your heat press and look for a heat transfer that applies at a low temperature. This will eliminate scorch marks on the tri-blend garment. For vinyl cutter owners, CAD-CUT® Premium Plus™ applies as low as 280 degrees to prevent marking. For screen printed looks, try Elasti Prints® from Transfer Express. There are even full-color options with low temperature applications such as Stretch Litho™ heat transfers or Stahls’ TEK ™ digital heat transfer materials for solvent printers.
No matter what your logo style, there is a low temperature heat transfer perfect for your application.
2) Remove Seams and Collars from Heat Press Platen when Printing
When heat printing heat sensitive fabrics like tri-blends, it is important to get the item completely flat so that you aren’t over applying pressure in raised areas such as seams or collars. Too much pressure will lead to permanent scorch marks on those areas of the garment. This is particularly important in ladies garments that are more fitted and narrow. To eliminate the seams, try a smaller heat press platen on your machine or a heat printing pillow.
3) Choose a transfer that is soft & lightweight
Just like putting ketchup on a steak, the last thing you want to do with your high-end and soft garment is heat apply a thick, heavyweight heat transfer. Luckily, each of the low temperature options listed above will give you a lightweight feel on the garment. Keep artwork minimal with open areas for the best results.
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