Create multiple colors like neon and special effects with glitter, and custom-cut graphics with crisp edges and better registration by layering heat-transfer vinyl decoration. “A lot of gift and custom shops are using this process,” says Courtney Kubitza, educational content manager for Stahls’ TV in St. Clair Shores, MI.
1. Ideal projects would include T-shirts and sweatshirts, or accessories such as bags and towels.
2. Help your customers achieve one-of-a-kind looks, ideal for the shop specializing in short runs of less than 48 pieces.
3. The process is great for adding special effects like multiple vinyl layers, metallic effects, flocks and foils.
4. The process works by using a vinyl cutter to custom cut the graphics and then apply them layer after layer with a heat press.
Remember: Each layer, color and treatment requires materials cost, time and labor to create the finished product. Price product sales appropriately by the amount of layers and time involved to create them.
Computer software, such as Stahls’ CadworxLIVE, CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator, takes the guesswork out of creating art and ensures any special effects such as drop shadows or contours turn out right. Tack your base layers briefly with the heat press to avoid shrinking them and creating problems with additional layers. Use clear carrier overlays rather than frosted ones to avoid any issues with placement and color, or effect registration. Once you’ve tacked down all layers, complete the transfer with the final top layer placement. Lock in the design, and complete the process as you’re applying the top layer. At that time, make sure to use the total recommended heating time and pressure to finish the piece.