Polypropylene Bags – the do’s and don’ts for heat transfer application

Filed in Heat Press Information and Tips by on May 13, 2016

Polypropylene bags are made from the synthetic plastic polymer polypropylene, used in bags because it is strong, flexible, and reusable. They lend themselves to a wide variety of uses, both for consumers and businesses alike. They are most popularly used as an alternative to disposable bags for shopping, moving, and storage. Additionally, these bags are widely used as promotional products for giveaways at events, or as thank yous to your loyal customers.

We have a few tips and tricks for printing on these bags that are naturally heat sensitive due to their plastic-based fabric.

Here are do’s and don’ts for decorating polypropylene fabric:

Do decorate Polypropylene tote bags

Polypropylene bags are an inexpensive promotional item that can be decorated with traditional printing methods like screen printing. They are also able to be heat printed on your heat press.

Don’t heat print Polypropylene at high temperatures

Polypropylene tote bags should be pressed at a low temperature setting. Choose a type of heat transfer that has a low heat press application. These bags should not be pressed any higher 275 degrees without experiencing some melting of the fabric. Some transfers that heat at 300 degrees may be used, however some bags may experience minor melting at this temperature.

This polypropylene cinch sack is no longer recognizable when heat printed at 365 degrees. Too high of a temperature!

This polypropylene cinch sack is no longer recognizable when heat printed at 365 degrees. Too high of a temperature!

Do use Elasti Prints® or Stretch Litho™ screen printed transfers.

The recommended transfer type for these bags is Elasti Print® for spot color designs and Stretch Litho™ for full color graphics.

Elasti Prints® screen printed heat transfers decorate polypropylene tote bags from Transfer Express Apparel

Elasti Prints® screen printed heat transfers decorate polypropylene tote bags from Transfer Express Apparel

 

Stretch Litho full color/screen printed heat transfers applied to polypropylene tote bags

Stretch Litho full color/screen printed heat transfers applied to polypropylene tote bags

Do Raise the Print area

As with any other type of tote bag or cinch sack, be sure to create a flat and even surface for heat printing your design. Thick seams, zippers, buttons, strings and straps will need to be moved away from the printing area. If needed, use an interchangeable platen for your heat press or raise the print area with a mousepad or Print Perfect Pad for a flat, even, firm surface.

Print Perfect Pad being placed inside the Polypropylene tote bag to raise the print area above obstructions.

Print Perfect Pad being placed inside the Polypropylene tote bag to raise the print area above obstructions.

Don’t be afraid to decorate Polypropylene tote bags

Polypropylene bags can be intimidating and scary to decorate for the first time on your heat press. Just remember to keep the temperature low and you will avoid a messy, melted bag.

Do order your Polypropylene Bags and your Transfers at one time

Transfer Express is as one-stop shop for heat transfers and blank apparel from Transfer Express Apparel. Your polypropylene totes and Elasti Prints® or Stretch Litho™ transfers can be ordered at the same time saving you hassle of running around looking for other suppliers for the right type of transfers to use on these bags. There are many different styles and sizes of polypropylene from regular tote bags to cinch sacks.

 

Check out Transfer Express Apparel for the complete line of polypropylene bags!

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