I have been seeing this pop up a lot lately so I wanted to pass along a little tip. Have you checked the temperature of your heat press lately? Ever?!
Vinyl is pretty forgiving so having the temperature off a bit might not be noticeable. You press for a bit longer or turn the pressure up, and never have any issues. But with sublimation, the temperature is a big deal. Too hot can scorch materials or “overcook” your transfer turning it brown or blurry. Too cool and it may not get hot enough to activate the ink and the design is faded.
If you don’t have an infrared thermometer yet, I highly recommend getting one just to be sure. My 16x24” press right out of the box was wrong. Not just a little wrong, but 25-30° too hot! I’ve had people contact me for help troubleshooting and found their presses to be significantly off as well. For $15 it’s worth having just to be sure.
To use, make sure the top platen on your press is bare, and simply aim and press the trigger. If there is a Teflon sheet on your press it will not read properly. This is the exact thermometer I have: Etekcity Lasergrip Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun. I have tested it on random things around the house and have found it to be spot on (oven, Fish Tank, etc). And it even comes with batteries. Can’t really beat that! I’d love to hear what everyone’s presses read at vs what the actual temp is. I’d bet more of them are off than we realize!
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