So I was notified today that a client was having difficulty with their vinyl not adhering to the shirt after some of the decals did adhere just fine. This is not the first time that I have heard this. I have had folks ask whether the vinyl could be defective. I can respect that. Before I developed by baseline knowledge and assisted so many clients, I would have asked the same question. Could it be defective? Sure it can. Is it likely? Let's rule out some options first.
o Are you using an iron or a press? If so, remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions and the following:
-If using an iron, do you have it on the cotton setting, and what temperature does your iron get to? For example, the Thermoflex Plus requires 320-330 F for 15 seconds, warm peel, and repress for 2 seconds. Is your iron getting that warm on the cotton setting and maintaining a consistent temperature?
-On that same thought, how about your press? The presses we get on Amazon like Power Press and Fancierstudio are great presses for folks like us with our side hustles, but let's face it folks, they are not industrial grade! This means that we can use them intermittently. If you leave it on and plugged in for more
about 45 minutes to an hour, it becomes less able to maintain a constant temperature and starts to overheat as well as having hotspots.
o Do you have it at the proper pressure? The manufacturer has specific instructions for each vinyl that they sell.
o Are you getting full platten or iron surface on the decal and textile? When you are pressing a shirt, hat, shoe, etc., you must make sure that you are getting full contact with the heat source and the garment. Seams can prevent full contact. Especially onesies, v-neck shirts, and scoop necks.
So here is what the take-a-way should be. If you had success and all of a sudden, while using the same vinyl from the same roll of vinyl, perhaps the adhesion is not working, try to test the true temperature of the heat source, consult the pressure, and make sure you have full contact.
***Important Note*** If you go to peel and the heat source IS TOO HOT, the vinyl will lift with the carrier tape because it is still too hot for taking off the carrier tape. Rather than heat it more which lessens the likelihood of it cooling and adhering and you are further compromising the integrity of the vinyl adhesive. Put the carrier tape back down on the surface and let it cool for about another 30 seconds to a minute without repressing. then peel from another angle. If it is cool enough, it will peel as normal. Your second press should ensure full adhesion of the entire decal.
I will forever recommend spraying any textile with the 70% alcohol 30% water mixture and pressing dry before attempting to adhere any vinyl.
Trust me, this comes from lessons learned personally and with other clients. Happy Crafting!!!
I have attached some of my latest and greatest vinyl in t-shirt form...