The Process - Details
STEP 1: Print on the Film
Recommended ink settings: Ink settings may vary based on the design. Leave color multi-pass turned on for both CMYK and CMYK+W.
CMYK only set the ink volume to 5 or 6, double print set to 0 and color multi-pass turned ON.
CMYK+White, set the ink volume to 3 or 4 and turn on Eco Mode. Set the highlight anywhere from 3 to 5 and a mask of 1 to 2. Add a minimum whiteness of 1 to 3.
Put film on the platen: The film will have a shiny side and a matte side. Always print on the matte side. With matte side face up, tape down the film to the platen to keep it from lifting or shifting during the printing process.
GP TIP: Several images can be placed on one sheet and then cut out to be applied to different style garments or objects.
IMPORTANT: Avoid setting the ink volume to 6 or higher because colors, including reds and oranges, will puddle when the white ink is applied.
NOTE ON TRANSPARENT FADES: Where the CMYK+White film print doesn’t do as well is in the transparent fade areas. One other drawback is the white ink takes on a slight grey tint and not an ultra-bright white. When printing an image that fades from solid to transparent, the area will appear slightly choppy.
STEP 2: Evenly Coat the Film with Powder
Before working with the adhesive powder, please make sure to wear gloves, an N95 mask and protective eyewear.
Place film within a large plastic container to contain excess powder.
Use either a salt/pepper shaker, powder sugar shaker or a glitter shaker for convenience.
Apply an even coat of powder to the printed film.
IMPORTANT: Any residual powder left on the film will transfer to the garment/fabric and does not wash out.
STEP 3: Dry the Film + Powder
There are two methods that can be followed for this step: the use of heat from the heat press and the use of a conveyor dryer to dry the film and powder.
Heat Press Method: When using a heat press, place the printed film and powder so that there is a 1/4 inch gap between the heating plate and the film. The ideal gap can be acheived by using pressing pillows or other objects that are heat resistant to evenly raise the height of the film up to the heating plate. Set the temperature between 284°-302°F and dry for 3-5 minutes. Remove any non-stick cover from the upper heating element to prevent it from making contact with the film.
Conveyor Dryer Method: When using a conveyor dryer, dry the printed film and powder between 212° - 248°F for 2 to 3 minutes. When using a Firefly conveyor dryer, make sure convection top and convection bottom are set to 100% and exhaust and cooler are set to 0%. For other forced air dryers, ensure the fans are set to the lowest possible setting to minimize the movement of the paper.
GP TIP: If you have excess powder on the film in the non-printed areas after the film and powder has been cured, you can very carefully buff it off with a small scrap of a t-shirt or an artists paintbrush. Be careful not to accidently rub off the printed areas as they are delicate.
STEP 4: Heatpress Film to Garment and Remove Film
Prepress garment or object for 2-5 seconds to flatten wrinkles.
Flip film to ensure the printed (matte) side is touching the garment or object to be transferred on. Using a heat press, apply film to the garment or object. Set the temperature between 320° - 356°F for 10 to 20 seconds and use medium pressure (40-50 PSI). 356°F for 15 seconds at 45 PSI is a good starting point.
Wait for film to cool before removing it from the garment after pressing for best results.
IMPORTANT: If the heat is below 320°F when pressing the film to the material, then the ink will not fully transfer to the object. You can repress the film and object at the correct temperature and the ink will separate from the film cleanly.
SPECIAL MATERIAL: For printing on a hoodie, you cannot place the print transfer over a zipper unless you take the time to cut the zipper area free.
STEP 5: Heat Press Film to Object and Remove Film
To remove visible powder residue on the shirt, ensure non-stick covers are installed on your heat press and repress the garment after peeling off the transfer. With the film transfer sheet removed, repress the garment at 320°-356°F for 10-20 seconds at medium pressure (40-50 PSI). Also, on materials with medium to deep ridges (i.e. Blue jean, canvas bags, mouse pads, pocket seams) a better bond is created and contours to the fabric ridges if the print is pressed a second time without the film transfer paper covering it.