It really does not matter which brand, there are times when HTV just does not seem to stick. My personal experience is using a heat press with white HTV and pressing it 5 times at a temp 50 degrees more than recommended and still not feeling like the edges were tacked down. So what can we do?
Keys to HTV
- Consistent, correct temperature across the platen
- Good pressure
- Working over issues like seams, zippers and necklines
- Proper material
- Proper care
There are so many reasons that an iron can have inconsistent heat. The dial is too small and gives too much variance. Each time the iron cycles down, there could be as much as 50 degrees variance as to where it is and where it should be. For most irons and HTV, the setting just below the cotton setting is best.
We have found out the hard way, just because the digital read out says one temperature, it does not mean that it is that temperature. Check your temperature and check it often.
- Use the Siser app to check for the right temperature.
- Check the heat of your device with an infra-red thermometer.
- Do not rely on digital read outs.
- Check the temperature every time. A blown fuse, short in the system or bad relay switch can cause too low or too high of heat in both the device or the read out.
- No water and no steam when using an iron.
- Iron both inside and outside the garment.
Most irons will never have consistent heat. The holes for the steam will just not allow it. This can best be seen when adhering HTV adhesive.
Depending on how the heat press is manufactured, there could be temperature variations throughout the platen.
- Again, use an infra-red thermometer to check for high and low spots on your device.
- Press the garment a couple times, inside and out to try and compensate for any issues.
Pressure is usually rated as low, medium and high. Too low of pressure will cause edges to be loose. Too high of pressure can damage the adhesive.
- When using an iron, use a solid work surface. There it too much play in an ironing board and too much spring with an ironing board cover.
- Use the dollar bill test on the heat press each time. The economy heat presses require checking pressure almost every time.
- It is possible to damage the adhesive with too much pressure causing it to not stick.
- Iron your garment first. This will take out some of the wrinkles.
- Pre-washing the garment could alleviate some of the initial shrinking that may occur. Pre-washing could also remove some of the initial preservatives sprayed on garments depending on the origin of the material.
- Surface area is important, do not use perforated material or items with a high pile or nap.
- Test the HTV on your material before doing a large run and know which products you are offering if selling. HTV may not stick to some shiny or coated materials. You can also try cleaning the material with alcohol and cotton but check for color damage first.
- Watch for seams and zippers, use a heat press pillow or an iron to get into those seams. (Baby bodysuits are the worst for this.)
- Use the right HTV for the garment paying special attention to which material you are using and which HTV to create a successful marriage.
- Wait 24 hours before washing.
- Use mild detergent, not softeners or other chemicals.
- No dry cleaning.
- Machine wash cold/ warm. Dry on low or hang.
Know the HTV
- Download the Siser app and follow the instructions depending on the vinyl you are using.
- Do not layer on top of glitter.
- Knock out edges on your design. Layering most Easyweed is fine when the entire piece fits on top of the preceding layer. However, if there is an overlap, the edge creates a potential risk for damage.
- Holographic works better with a smaller design.
Adhering HTV is an easy process but there are a number of variables that can make it trying. There are only three elements: the material or garment, the heat element and the HTV. But diagnosing the issues could mean taking a fine look at all of the products from start to end.