Interchangeable Platens to Make Printing Easier
For a lot of you, heat printing is a big part of your day. You stand in front of the heat press for hours, or what may seem like hours, trying to quickly but carefully print an order. You welcome the simple t-shirt, one-color, full front t-shirt that lays flat on the heat press. The easiest application that anyone can master. But then your customer are asked to decorate a pant leg, hoodie, a drawstring bag, or even a shoe. What?! What do you do? How do you think those items are going to lay nicely on a flat heat press?
The main goal is to make a flat, even, firm surface for the perfect print. Anything that is higher than your print area is BAD! We’re talking about thick seams, zippers, pockets, collars, buttons, or strings. Any of these things will cause uneven pressure and may affect the quality of your print.
When you’re in a pinch, a simple mouse pad will work to put underneath your print area to try to combat any seams or zippers that are raised up. The next step up is a Print Perfect Pad sold by Stahls’. Available in a few different sizes, these firm, silicon pads are a better solution to elevating the print area. They can be slipped underneath the fabric. Doing a larger run of items that need to have a pad slipped in and out of each item before and after it’s printed can take a lot more time than is necessary. Using a mousepad or Print Perfect Pad is great for shorter runs, but larger runs, you may want something to make the job go faster.
If you’re going to be standing at your heat press often, you’re going to want to look into getting interchangeable lower platens made for several Hotronix® brand heat presses. If you’re heat press is compatible, the lower platen can be removed, and a different sized platen can replace it to help with your difficult-to-print items.
Platens come in many shapes and sizes. From smaller flat platens to ones shaped for sleeves, can coolers and shoes. There really is a lower platen for every job. If you can’t splurge and buy all of the different sizes and shapes, take a look at the items that you plan to print. A 6″x10″ platen is perfect for most smaller items like youth size shirts, tote bags etc. Or maybe you do a lot of legs and sleeve designs and the Leg/Sleeve platen is best.