PSI dye sublimation products Product List Adhesives
Aprons
Boxer Shorts
Boxes for Tiles
Cactus Cooler
Cactus Mug Wraps
Christmas Stockings
Clock Parts
Coral Frames
Cork Backings
Cremation Urns
Dog Shirts & Bandanas
Dog Tags
Easels
Easel Backs
Frames
Hardboard Tiles
Heat Gun mt-4
Heat Strips
Heat Tape
Home Decor items
ID tags
Insulated Totes
Inserts for Clocks
Lab Coats
Laser Paper
Lubricants
Mini Products
Mini Tees
Movements for Clocks
Mugs
Mug Wraps
Neckties
Pet Tees and Tags
Pet Urns
Puzzles
Resin Tile Frames
Silicone Glue
Stainless Mugs
Super Lube
Temp Gauges
Thermal Pads
Tile Accessories
Tile Boxes
Tile Frames
Tiles-Ceramic
Tiles-Hardboard
Tiles-Specialty
Timers
Tote Bags
Unisub Tiles
Urns for Pets
Versaprint Paper
Wavy Hangers
Windshirts
Wood Boxes
Wood Products
Zig-Zag Hangers

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Pressing Guide

This guide will help assist you in getting the best possible results from imprinting our products. As there are many variables involved due to the various ink/paper/press combinations, your best results may differ slightly, but this should be used as a starting point and adjust as needed.

For more information on the care of products after printing, please see our Care Guide

Ceramics and Porcelain Ornaments

All of our ceramics and ornaments feature the Cactus Ink-Jet Coating or RN Coating and are among the harder coatings available. It tends to take a little more time than other coatings for the dyes to penetrate. Press at 400° Fahrenheit with a medium pressure. Depending on your ink/paper/press combination, times generally start at around 5 to 6 minutes, but may require a little more. The Porcelain Ornaments achieve best results when using a thermal pad to help spread the heat evenly and provide better contact with the surface as well as padding to protect against breakage. When using a green thermal pad or multiple pieces, add at least 30 seconds to the time.

We have templates available for our ID Tags and porcelain ornaments that are usually e-mailed with the initial orders. If you did not receive them with your order, you may request them by writing to

Clock Kits, Magic Marbles Puzzle, Jumpin' Tees, String Puzzles and Wavy Hangers

The hardboard tile for the clock kits as well as the FRP base for the Magic Marbles Puzzle and Wavy Hangers are Unisub® and should be pressed the same as any Unisub® products. The hardboard tiles though do have a protective film that must be removed first (FRP has no film). It is possible however to damage the tile by picking at the corner or edge with a fingernail or sharp object. The best way to remove the film is to use the tacky side of a piece of protective film that has been recently removed. Drag the tacky side of the film along the top surface of the tile starting at the corner and going toward the center of the tile. If you do not have a piece of film, you can use the pad of your finger or thumb in the same manner. Times are generally 45 to 90 seconds depending on the ink/press/paper combo.

Available for download are templates for the puzzles, Jumpin' Tees and Wavy Hangers. Care should be taken to keep the FRP flat while cooling to prevent warping. This can be done with any heavy flat object such as a book or non-sublimated tile. Should warping occur, you may re-heat the puzzle for a few seconds in the heat press and then place a flat weight on it while cooling.

Fabrics

All of our apparel and fabric substrates are made of 100% polyester. We recommend that all of them should be pre-pressed to remove wrinkles and moisture prior to printing. Be sure to use a lint roller to insure that the surface contains no lint, dust or other airborne contaminants. It also a good idea to check the inside or back for stray threads or lint as well to avoid problems.

All fabrics should be pressed at 400° Fahrenheit with light to medium pressure. Times, depending on ink, should be approximately 45 to 60 seconds. Some fabrics (or extremely large designs) may require a little longer dwell time of 90 to 120 seconds for optimal results.

Be sure to use a cover sheet to avoid blow through. If you experience press marks in the material from the transfer paper, you can either press it again with your press (being careful to not press over the image again) or use a hot iron. Most remaining marks should disappear after laundering.

For notable exceptions and special instructions by product see the following.

  • Aprons

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. Press marks may be lessened greatly by prepressing the entire apron or by using a household iron. Laundering should remove the rest. We suggest using a blank mouse pad or other clean item to raise the imprint area or in pockets so that seams are not crushed or scorched.

  • Beverage Totes

    Follow the above instructions for fabrics. In order to avoid problems with seams, handles and the bottom gusset, the image area should be kept at least an inch from the top and two inches from the bottom. Any print beyond the side stitches on the bottom would wind up beneath when a bottle is inserted. Care must be given to press with the nylon handles outside of the press to avoid melting. To insure even pressure, place clean blank mouse pads or something similar to raise the imprint area.

  • Boxers

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. A clean blank mouse pad or similar should be used to raise the imprint area above seams, waistband and/or the button. The back area can be pressed below the waistband by using thick cardboard or something similar to stretch out the waistband and smooth the wrinkles. Those adept at sewing may wish to remove the button prior to pressing, but with some care, it is not necessary. Leg prints can be done with the waistband and button outside of the press.

  • BratDawg Pet Shirts

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. A clean blank mouse pad or similar should be used to raise the imprint area above seams and ribbed collar and bottom.

  • Christmas Stockings

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. It is also a good idea to check the inside for loose threads and other particles that may not come out after pressing. For best results and even pressure, print with the red cuff outside of the press. When pressing both sides, place a piece of cardboard or similar heat insulating material to protect the first image from the heat.

  • Convention Totes and Mini Totes

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. When pressing both sides, place a piece of cardboard or similar heat insulating material to protect the first image from the heat. Care must be given with the nylon handles as they will melt from the heat. Place the tote so that the handles hang outside of the heat press. Mini totes do not have nylon handles, but a cotton/poly blend. They will not melt, but could experience some scorching during extended periods under high heat. (For the cotton canvas totes see Premium Totes)

  • Insulated Totes

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics, but use a heavy pressure to insure a full bleed print and be sure transfer extends beyond the edge slightly. After allowing the first side to cool, you may turn it over and print the other side as the neoprene will keep the heat from affecting your first side in a short amount of time. Be sure that the shoulder strap rings are laying flat outside of the tote when pressing to avoid problems. They will not intefere with the pressing due to the thickness of the material.

  • Jackets

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. It is also a good idea to check the inside for loose threads and other particles that may not come out after pressing. Be sure that the trim areas do not get misplaced under the white portion to avoid the colors migrating under the heat. When pressing the front chest area you should use several blank mouse pads or something similar (as high as possible) to raise the imprint area and help keep the upper heat platen away from the zipper. It is extremely important to protect the zipper from heat to avoid having it melt. It should be covered with several layers of clean scrap fabric or teflon sheets to help protect it. Be sure to allow the zipper to cool completely before touching or attempting to use.

  • Lab Coats

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. It is also a good idea to check the inside for loose threads and other particles that may not come out after pressing. When pressing the front, care must be taken to raise the imprint area to avoid problems with the buttons. Be sure to use a clean mouse pad or something similar. Printing on the back across the middle seam may require a little more pressure or time to insure an even print.

  • Mini Tees

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics, and make sure there are no loose threads or particles inside that may effect pressing. A small portion of a clean blank mouse pad or something similar can be inserted to avoid uneven pressure due to the seams or collar.

  • Neckties

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. We do have a template available that is usually e-mailed with the initial orders for ties. If you did not receive one, please write to . There is a text file included with basic instructions for using the template.

  • Nite Shirts

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. Chest prints should use a clean blank mouse pad or similar to raise the area above the collar. If not, when printing either side flat, a teflon sheet or paper should be inserted into the nite shirt to prevent the image from going through to the other side.

  • Premium Two Tone Totes

    Follow the instructions above for fabrics. The best way we have found to press the pocket on Premium Totes is to raise the imprint area above the level of the rest of the bag as much as possible. This can be accomplished by inserting one to two blank mouse pads in the pocket. The mouse pads in the pocket help to make up for variations in flatness in the press and to make even contact of the transfer.

    Slide one side of the bag over the press (dress the press). Lay the handles flat so you don't crush them, and smooth out the rest of the bag. If you have a clamshell type press use three or four layers of scrap t-shirt material (you can use Soft'Link test squares) and lay these on the top portion of the bag to protect the cotton from the heat. Then adjust your press for medium to firm pressure.

    If you do accidentally get some scorching it can be easily removed by misting the scorched area with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water (50/50) and heating the area with your press or an iron for a few seconds. Do not reheat the imprinted area.

  • Purse Totes

    Follow the above instructions for fabrics. The body of the Purse Tote is a polyester canvas that is not heat friendly. Care must be exercised to keep the main body out of the press. The flap consists of a black cotton top with a 100% polyester area for imprinting. Due to the black trim around the edge, you must press with very heavy pressure when doing a full bleed image and allow an extra 15 seconds or so to allow the dyes to get up to the edge. If you're not doing a full bleed, you can use a clean mouse pad or something similar underneath the flap to avoid pressure problems with the outer trim.

  • Windshirts

    Follow the instructions for fabrics and press the same as jackets as it is the same microfiber material.

Glass Cutting Boards (for Resin Frames)

Apply transfer to back of glass (smooth white side). Do NOT reverse the image when printing. Place in press face up (smooth side down into pad or Nomex felt). Press at 400 for approximately 6 minutes. If you are using as a cutting board, do not attach rubber feet until the board has completely cooled. Do NOT wash for at least 72 hours after application to allow the adhesive to cure.

Flip-Top Lighters

Lighters should be pressed at 400° face up for approximately 2 minutes. If thermal pad is used, increase time by at least 30 seconds. Heat Tape should only be applied to the back of the lighter and not on the coated front. For best results on the Polished and Brushed Chrome, increase the color saturation in the image by 15 to 20% and use a printer setting for transparencies or back light film.

ID Tags and Dawg Tags

For pressing a two sided image with one pressing, print to transfer paper using two sided template for art layout. Fold transfer at fold line, open up and spray a very light mist of spray tack for sublimation (Wilflex Hot-Tak Spray or similar adhesive) . Line the piece up with one half of the transfer and adhere it. Fold the other half of the transfer over onto the other side of the tag. Press a total of 80 seconds at 360-375 degrees Fahrenheit with medium pressure. remove from press, let cool and remove transfer while slightly warm.

For pressing a one sided image, print to transfer paper using one sided transfer template for art layout. Lay product over transfer face up, and tape in place with transfer tape. Press product for 80 seconds with metal face down at 360-375° Fahrenheit with medium pressure, transfer face up. Let cool, remove transfer and tape while still slightly warm.

Magnet Shapes and Sheets

Magnets should be pressed at 400° face up for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes with a light to medium pressure. The magnet material will be hot and tends to soften so allow to cool thoroughly before handling to much to let magnet re-harden and the adhesive to re-set. Be sure to peel the transfer while still hot to avoid having the paper stick to the magnetic material underneath. Allow to cool completely before stacking. Full Sheets and Business cards should have a larger sheet of blowout paper beneath to enable removing from the press while hot. They should be placed on a flat surface with a flat heavy object on top and allowed to cool.

Metal Plates for Mini Box

Due to the self-adhesive tape on the back, it is recommended that the metal plates be pressed at a little lower temperature of around 375° Fahrenheit. With light to medium pressure, press the plate face up to avoid direct contact of the tape with the upper heat platen. Time should be approximately 60 seconds. If you do not have a soft lower platen, you may wish to press on top of a thermal pad or a layer of scrap material to insure even pressure on the plate. Allow the metal to cool before applying, and make sure it properly positioned before pressing down. Once it is set, it will be difficult to relocate.

Mug Wraps

There is a separate page with the use and care instructions for the Cactus Mug Wraps.

Stainless Steel Mugs with Wraps

For more information, please see our Stainless Instruction page

VersaPrint Paper for OEM Laser Toners

For more information, please see our VersaPrint Instructions



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