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Real Talk: Hotmark Revolution

Those that know me well are very aware that I don’t get excited easily. My emotions can resemble telling a plant “You won the lottery!” The plant sits there as it should…it’s a plant. This is me. Today is a new day! I am excited about a heat press material. Yes, that is a little weird but I am into this sort of thing, okay? The reason I am so excited is half due to the impressive Hotmark Revolution and half due to what it means for decorators who have bought into our low temperature inks.

Yes, I mentioned low temperature ink while talking about heat press material. Why? Hotmark Revolution is a low temperature heat press material. No longer do you need to leave a glossy square on polyester fabrics to apply material. We can avoid this forever! Neon/fluorescent cotton and poly/cotton is now safe from fabric discoloration. You can apply multi-color designs without shrinking the fabric between colors, ruining the registration. These things matter to our customers so it matters to me. Hotmark Revolution will end these problems.

We have a few options for heat press application:

  1. Most common – 285ºF for 5 seconds.
  2. For the delicate – 230ºF for 25 seconds.
  3. For the creative – Test anywhere in between 1 and 2. Perhaps 245ºF for 20 seconds. Test a bit and wash.
  4. For 100% nylon 285ºF for 20 seconds.

I know what you are thinking. “Robb heard the words low temperature and got excited. No surprise.” As all of the most annoying infomercial guys would say…but wait, there’s more! Hotmark Revolution can apply to virtually any fabric. This is just like our universal inks. You don’t need to stock so many products. If you are a Siser user, you would need Easyweed, Easyweed Extra, and Easyweed Stretch to replace this one material. Who would want to have three different materials? Three rolls of red, three rolls of white, three rolls of gold…you are getting the point here.  Hotmark Revotion can do the job of all three materials.

But wait, there’s more! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. This material is softer, stretchier, and thinner than all of those competing products. It just feels better on the fabric. Our people here love the feel. You will too! It feels less like a strange paper and more like a real screen print. Hotmark Revolution has a matte finish and a slightly tacky feel…like an ink. Not just any ink though. Yes, my baby ELT-S. You know you want some. Call me.

How about weeding? It has to be difficult at weeding, right? Okay, below is a video of a small design being weeded. Notice my amazing speed and efficiency here? Confession: I do not have amazing speed and efficiency. It is just that easy with Hotmark Revolution. You can do this. My dog Bill can probably do this if I hold the clear carrier down for him. He is a pretty smart kid. Look, all I’m saying is that this is as easy as it looks. The sticky backing is not that sticky. It’s sticky enough for fine detail to weed properly. It’s not so sticky that it takes a miracle for quick weeding to happen.

 

How about multi-color designs? No problem! You can press the first color for a second or two, peel off the carrier, and then press the second color for the full press time and temperature. This is fast. It’s easy. There is no catch. Hotmark Revolution layers so you can create art with an underbase. This often makes registering multiple colors easier. You know what else makes registering multiple colors easier? The low heat press temperature and time. This prevents shrinking. Shrinking causes problems lining up the second (or third) color. This happens more than you realize.

So what is the catch, Robb? Where is the problem? Surely this is cost prohibitive, right? I am going to be straight with you…it’s inexpensive. It is less expensive than Easyweed, Easyweed Extra, and Easyweed Stretch yet it can replace all three materials. I am going to just leave you with that. Not only can you afford it, it will save you time, protect your fabric, and generally put a smile on your face. Even better, we will match any of our ink series to the colors of Hotmark Revolution. This allows screen printers to cut names and numbers but print a logo with no color variance. ELT-S…match with the ELT-S. I’m telling you it just feels right.

Story time! I first met the people at Chemica at SGIA in 2016. I was instantly impressed and this was before Hotmark Revolution was even available. This is a good company with amazing products. I think it is a perfect partnership as they operate in much the same way we do. They create innovative products taking in consideration their customer’s needs. Their products make your job easier. This is what matters. I am sure there is much more on the way.

Fin.

Heat Pressing Polyester


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Heat press damaging polyester shirts.

You must be very careful when heat pressing 100% polyester tees and uniforms. If the press is too hot or the pressure too high, you are likely to leave glossy areas on the fabric. You may also experience indented lines on the shirt where the edges of the transfer paper or heat press material meet the fabric. The best option to avoid all of this is to use kraft paper as a cover sheet and limit the time and temperature as much as possible. Heat press material such as Siser Easyweed is applied at a lower temperature than most. Also, new cold peel ink transfers can often press at much lower temperatures.

Siser Easyweed


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Heat pressing multi-color designs.

When you decide on a specific heat press material that you want to work with, it is important to keep in mind that many materials will not work when they are layered in two or more color designs.  Also, if the material is a cold peel, you will be forced to wait for long periods before heat pressing the second (and sometimes third) color.  This is why I recommend the Siser Easyweed for two and more color designs.  The Easyweed is pressed at a low temperature (305F) and peeled hot.  Even more important, you can heat press the first color for only 2 seconds before peeling and pressing a second color.  This speeds up the entire heat press process.  Other benefits in heat pressing material this way include less shrinking of the fabric and protecting the fabric from color changing and other damage.

Heat Press Material


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Difficulty weeding heat press material.

When cut properly, heat press material should not be difficult to weed.  Numerous factors are involved including blade depth, force, speed, blade sharpness, and many more.  If you follow each of these steps, weeding will be much easier and faster every time.  First, make sure the blade depth is correct.  The blade should only stick out of the blade holder far enough to cut the film and scratch the surface of the clear carrier.  Test this by taking the blade holder out of the machine and cutting a circle in the heat press material using your hand.  If the blade cuts through the material and the carrier, it is out too far.  From here, put the blade holder back in the machine and adjust the force.  This is where the test button on the cutter will help you.  Test every 20 grams of force and see which force weeds the test cut the best.  Once the blade depth and force are properly set, check the speed setting.  You can cut fast with films such as Siser Easyweed.  When it comes to glitters, metallic, and reflective, a slower speed is recommended.  I have some other general troubleshooting to offer in regards to cutting.  If the heat press material is cut but the cut lines look more like tear lines, check the cutter protection strip.  If this is damaged, replace it and your cutting lines will be much cleaner.  If it looks ok, check the blade.  Perhaps it is dull and needs replacing.  Finally, if all else fails, put a drop of oil in the blade holder.  The blade may not be spinning freely.  When it is not facing the correct direction, the cuts are typically very jagged.

Heat Press Pillows


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Heat press with even pressure.

A common problem when heat pressing uniforms is applying even pressure to the print.  For instance, when a player’s name is a few inches below the neck, the neck can cause the pressure to read much higher than what it is.  Additionally, this can cause discoloration on the neck itself due to the higher heat and pressure.  Try utilizing a heat press pillow inside the t-shirt or uniform.  This will allow for the neck to sink down into the pillow and give more pressure to the print itself.  Now your print will wash better and the shirt will have no heat press marks.