How to Fix Damaged Vinyl Heat Transfers

Your vinyl heat-transfer artwork or lettering isn’t sticking onto the garment, or it’s ruined or pulling and peeled off after the first wash. Now what?

Your vinyl heat transfer won’t stay put. And it happens for a variety of reasons. One thing to remember: going from working with cutting standard vinyl for signs to T-shirt graphics can be tricky at first. Often you’ll have problems with adhesion, color migration, or cutting and weeding.

Solve this Dilemma:
Regardless of your time in the business, from seasoned pro to newcomer, finding a way to ensure vinyl heat transfers stay true is as much art and care as science. Here’s a rundown of common problem causes and how to avoid them.

1. Is the material correct for the fabric?
Some materials are specifically suited to cotton or polyester, while others are best applied to nylon and spandex. Make sure the vinyl heat transfer you want to use is appropriate for the material to which it’ll be applied for the best outcome.

2. Is the fabric coated or uncoated?
Waterproof or moisture-wicking fabrics can be a problem with vinyl heat-transfer adhesion, so check for any special considerations for the fabric you’re going to decorate. Contact the garment manufacturer to determine any special instructions before setting up vinyl heat-transfer applications.

3. Follow the “recipe.”
Time, temperature and pressure are critical for success of any vinyl heat-transfer application.

4. Consider a heat-printing pillow
or print perfect pad, which will elevate the surface area during heat-transfer application.

5. Preheat the area before transfer application.
Remove wrinkles and any moisture before application by preheating the area of application. While it’s easy to skip this step, a smooth, moisture-free surface will pave the way for more successful transfers, and ultimately a better product for the end-user.

Product Pick

The GCC i-Craft vinyl cutter, available from Imprintables Warehouse, is a versatile, user-friendly unit. Suitable for use with cardstock, fabric, heat-transfer vinyl and paper, this compact unit provides efficient, precise cutting for applications ranging from garment decoration to indoor and outdoor graphics, while requiring limited space. The i-Craft comes with Sure Cuts A Lot IV software, which is easy to understand and includes ready-to-cut designs. It accepts .ai, .eps, .pdf and .svg formats and allows the user to import and trace .jpeg and .png files. It has a 12” maximum cutting width and comes with a 12” cutting mat, a standard cutting blade, tweezers, a power cable and a USB cable.