Yes, the unmistakable popularity of performance fabrics has been confirmed at every trade show we attend, both here and in Europe. According to Thomas Karr, CEO of GroupeSTAHL Europe, “The increase in the number of performance wear options from garment manufacturers has caused a rise in demand for heat graphics that apply at lower temperatures and that can withstand stretching. It’s actually more than a trend, as we don’t see this demand fading away anytime soon.”
Back in November, Transfer Express posted a very informative blog called Garment Technology. It’s all about understanding performance wear fabrics and it reviews some of the terminology you might run into when heat printing, such as denier, rip-stop, moisture-wicking, porthole and micro-mesh. In order to heat print on these new fabrics, you will need to find graphics that can be permanently applied at temperatures at or below 320°F . And since it is our mission to provide you with solutions to your heat printing needs, we have a wide selection of options for low-temperature printing, including ElastiPrints from Transfer Express.
Eliminate Heat Press Marks
When printing on polyester or performance wear, you also need the right accessories to prevent another unwanted side-effect–the dreaded square outline of the heat press on your shirt! If you haven’t seen or heard about our Flexible
Application Pad and you print on performance
wear, make sure you watch this video. We had great success heat printing on SanMar’s new Sport-Tek 100% polyester shirts at the Long Beach ISS Show. With a heat press set up in their booth, we were able to show visitors how fast and easy it is to print on polyester and other performance fabrics.
Even More Options Coming Soon
You will soon be hearing more and more about Stahls’ TEK™, which we introduced and demonstrated at the Long Beach ISS Show. These lightweight heat transfer films offer incredible 4-way stretch and rebound, as well as a super soft hand. In short, everything you’re looking for in a heat transfer film. The key technology with the new line is the patented STiX2™ adhesive. Short for ‘sticks to anything’, STiX2™ has the ability to adhere film to a wide range of materials at a low temperature without compromising heat sensitive fabrics as well as minimize dye migration. Plus you can layer them with other materials to create stunning mixed-media designs. We are all very excited about the possibilities that these revolutionary new heat transfer materials will bring your customers. We’ll keep you updated on the availability of samples for your own testing purposes.