Nine Reasons Why a Heat Transfer Won’t Adhere to a Garment

Heat Press Parts and Accessories - Insta Graphic Systems

There are a few reasons why a heat transfer might not adhere to a garment uniformly. Here is Chris Pluck with a practical checklist, recently published in Printwear:

In order to troubleshoot this type of issue, there are several factors to consider. This type of adhesion problem could be associated with one or more of the following issues:

  1. The transfer heat press is too small in proportion to the large size of the transfer. Invest in a larger format heat press or press the transfer in sections so that all the transfer has had time under the heat press.
  2. The transfer image is positioned too close to the heat press platen edge. The heat and pressure at the edge of the platen may be lower and less precise than in the middle of the platen, thus causing part of the transfer placed too close to the edge not to reach the recommended heat-press application pressure and temperature.
  3. Not enough heat generated by the heat press to melt the transfer ink. Check your temperature settings and view the actual temperature using a heat gun or temperature strip.
  4. The transfer is not under the heat press long enough. Extend the length of the time the transfer is under the heat press.
  5. High moisture content in garment and transfer paper affects ink release under the heat press. Pretreat the garment by pressing it for about five seconds at a temperature of around 360 degrees F under the heat press to help release excessive moisture.
  6. Transfer ink over-gelled/cured. Reduce your heat press temperature and time and then test for improvements in the transfer inks ability to adhere to the garment.
  7. Too little heat press pressure. Increase the pressure incrementally and test for adhesion improvements.
  8. Fabric type and fabric surface resist ink deposit. Research the garment fabric and the transfer type. Is the fabric and fabric surface acceptable for transfer application?
  9. Ink is not a heat transfer type. Be sure that the ink that is used to produce the transfer is one that has been recommended to be used for transfer application only.

Chris Pluck is also Business Development Director at Insta Graphic Systems, Cerritos, California. For more information, visit www.instagraph.com.

For more info on Insta’s products, visit us at www.instagraph.com or contact us at sales@instagraph.com.

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