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How to Prevent Discoloring and Scorching Heat Sensitive Textiles

If you’ve been keeping up with the Siser Blog you now Siser HTV can be applied to all kinds of materials and textiles. Including acrylic, triblends, fleece, and even cardstock! While we enjoy testing the limits of Siser products, we also encourage you to experiment with innovative uses for Siser HTV. Many of you have been trying out application on all kinds of substrates which we think is awesome! A common question we receive is how to apply on items that include “Do Not Iron” or “Cool Iron Only” on the tag. (These tips will also work for applying on heat sensitive fabrics like rayon, 100% polyester, silk, or any other material you’re unsure about.)

Cool iron tag on heat sensitive polyester scarf

My first piece of advice is:

1. Don’t Apply Unless You Have An Extra to Spare

If the tag specifically calls for no iron or a cool iron it’s most likely because the material will discolor under high heat. Sometimes the discoloration is temporary. Other times it’s permanent. If you have a project you really want to do and you’re willing to run the risk of irreversibly ruining the item, it’s best to have at least one duplicate item as a back up. However, if you’re in a pinch, you can test press an inconspicuous area of the garment like inside on the back.

Heat Sensitive polyester with carrier marks

Note the darker box shapes left behind from the carrier after pressing with high heat.

2. Use a Heat Press

Did you know most iron settings are actually a range of temperatures? When you hear the little tick from the iron you know you’ve reached the highest temperature in your setting and it will cycle back down to the lowest temperature in the setting. For most projects the variance in temperatures is not a problem, but when working with heat sensitive fabrics the regulated, accurate temperature on a heat press is your best bet. Additionally, achieving proper pressure with your home iron is not as accurate as a heat press. Proper pressure is important for every project, but especially when we’ll be reducing another part of the application process. Which brings me to tip #3!

Do not use a home iron on heat sensitive materials

3. Lower Your Temperature

The great thing about Siser materials is that most of them can be applied at the low temperature of 280°F! Many competitor materials require higher temperatures that restrict your application options. Our heat application settings, listed on the Siser website and App, are what we suggest for best application, but they can be adjusted to fit your project. There’s still a chance the material won’t react well to the heat, but that’s why having an extra to spare is tip #1!

Heat pressing StripFlock to heat sensitive polyester at 280°F

4. Increase Your Dwell Time

Since we’ve lowered the temperature we need to increase the amount of time the material receives heat. This will help fully set the heat transfer vinylStripFlock® typically takes 15-20 seconds so I pressed for 25-30 seconds. StripFlock requires you to wait until the carrier sheet is cool before peeling it. You’ll feel some resistance as you peel. That’s normal due to the fuzzy texture releasing from the pressure sensitive carrier.

Peel Stripflock's carrier mask when it's cool to the touch

5. Use A Heat Transfer Cover Sheet

We always recommend a heat transfer cover sheet for all your presses. However this heat barrier is especially important when pressing heat sensitive materials. Heat transfer cover sheets offer delicate textiles a layer of protection from the hot upper platen. If you don’t have a cover sheet you can use parchment paper or the shiny side of multipurpose paper.

 

With these few tips in mind you can create awesome projects with Siser HTV like this cute birds in flight scarf!

DIY bird scarf with StripFlock heat transfer vinyl

A heat sensitive fabric project with StripFlock HTV

If you have any questions about this post please leave them in the comments!

By | 2017-05-16T11:27:40+00:00 February 1st, 2017|Heat Transfer Vinyl|27 Comments

About the Author:

Lily is Siser's go-to crafter. Her ideas and abilities to incorporate HTV into her projects is inspiring. While relatively new to Heat Transfer Vinyl, Lily has embraced the methods and materials and delivers creative content week after week!

27 Comments

  1. Denise May 16, 2017 at 2:27 am - Reply

    Can you put Siser Easy Weed Transfer material on a Burlap Banner? I am using an iron to do this and do I need to use a Siser Heat Press Multipurpose Cover Sheet?

    • Lily May 16, 2017 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Hi Denise, yes EasyWeed heat transfer vinyl can be applied to burlap! Set your iron to “Cotton” and press for 20-30 seconds. If any HTV lifts as you peel the carrier, lay it back down and press for another 10 seconds. If you don’t have a heat transfer cover sheet or multipurpose paper you can use parchment paper or a clean pressing cloth like some scrap cotton.

  2. Patsy Robinson June 29, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Can you put Siser Easy Weed on a rayon banner? I have a heat press.

    • Lily June 30, 2017 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Absolutely! You can follow the standard suggested time and temp, however, keep in mind rayon may discolor from the high heat.

  3. Eddie July 13, 2017 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    can you put siser easy weed on a 92% nylon 2% spandex swimsuit?

    • Lily July 18, 2017 at 11:29 am - Reply

      Hi Eddie! For a swimswuit that’s 92% nylon 2% spandex, you’ll need EasyWeed Extra to be able to adhere to the nylon.

  4. Jose Torres July 19, 2017 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    I have a female blouse that is 95% Rayon and 5% Spandex. Would ColorPrint Extra work for this material? If so, what would be the recommended settings?

    • Lily July 20, 2017 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Jose, ColorPrint Extra will work, but it’s not necessary for rayon. You could use ColorPrint Easy with the standard application settings.

  5. Kelsie Meza August 14, 2017 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I have a shirt that I want to add a logo to that is 100% Rayon – what HTV would i need to use and at what temp?

    • Lily August 15, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

      Kelsie, you can use whichever HTV you like best with it’s standard application settings.

  6. Jennifer August 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Hi there, could I use holographic HTV on a 95% rayon 5% tank top.

    • Lily August 17, 2017 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Hi Jennifer! Yes, you can use Holographic and our suggested application settings. If your tank top is very stretchy, press cautiously since Holographic HTV is more rigid than others. To prevent puckering from the pulling/stretching of the rayon, make sure the tank top is relaxed (not stretched out) when applying Holographic.

  7. Maria August 21, 2017 at 9:08 am - Reply

    I have a Ponte Fabric Skirt (65% Ray 30% Nylon 5% Span) What HTV would work best as it has a four way stretch and is a tri blend? Thanks!

    • Lily August 22, 2017 at 11:01 am - Reply

      Hi Maria! EasyWeed Stretch would be your best option.

  8. JoAnn August 25, 2017 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Hi! My friend asked me to personalize her. Ridesmaid robes that are made of silk. Can I do that? What material would work best? How high should the temperature be and how long to press. Thank you!

    • Lily August 25, 2017 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Hi Joann! Check the tag of the robes. If it says “cool iron only” or “do not iron” it’s likely that they may be heat sensitive. You can use whichever HTV you please, but you may want to lower your temperature to 280°F and press for a longer amount like 15-20 seconds.

  9. Megan September 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Question:
    I have a friend who send me a shirt she wants glitter htv applied to. I’ve made lots of shirts, but she sent me a shirt that is 95% rayon and 5% spandex. I’ve never applied htv/glitter htv to a blend like this. I’m worried about scorching the shirt.

    Do I need to lower the temp of my heat press, and if so, what the lowest temp I can use for the glitter to adhere?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Lily September 11, 2017 at 8:49 am - Reply

      Hi Megan! To avoid scorching the shirt, lower your heat press temperature to 280°F (this is the lowest temperature we recommend) and increase your pressing time to 15-20 seconds.

  10. Ann September 19, 2017 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Hello! I was wanting to personalize robes for my bridesmaids for my wedding with glitter vinyl, I can pick either silk or rayon for the material? Would you recommend one over the other, and would I be able to use a home iron with possibly a cover sheet or a cotton barrier?

    I’m glad I stumbled across this page! 🙂
    Thanks in advance!

    • Lily September 20, 2017 at 11:01 am - Reply

      Hi Ann! Silk and rayon are both considered heat sensitive fabrics, so that choice is up to your personal preference. Either way, you’ll want to use a low setting on your iron and press until you can peel the clear carrier without lifting the HTV. A cover sheet or cotton cloth/towel/pillow case will be suitable as a heat barrier between the iron and HTV.

  11. Machelle September 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Is it possible to apply Siser glitter flake to a product that is 92% Micro Spandex and 8% Spandex? If so what Time and Temperature for a heat press? also Easy weed stretch same material.

    • Machelle September 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      I meant 92% polyester & 8% Spandex sorry

      • Lily September 25, 2017 at 9:43 am - Reply

        Machelle, while it’s possible to apply Glitter HTV and EasyWeed® Stretch to 92% poly 8% spandex keep in mind the Glitter will not stretch with the spandex. With a high percentage of polyester, it’s likely the material is heat sensitive. To avoid harming the fabric, lower the temperature to about 280°F and add 5-10 seconds extra pressing time to the Glitter and EasyWeed™Stretch.

  12. Hanaa October 2, 2017 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Can I tie dye a shirt AFTER applying your foil HTV?

    • Keith October 2, 2017 at 3:55 pm - Reply

      Although we’ve never tried do do a tie dye shirt after application… I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The dye shouldn’t affect the adhesive and shouldn’t change the color of the foil. I would recommend testing on an old shirt first. If it does work, please share your results with us on social media using the hashtag #SISERNA

  13. C Graumann October 3, 2017 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Making Koozies out of that Neoprene stuff (like every can Koozie) what temp with a heat press and how long???

    • Lily October 4, 2017 at 8:37 am - Reply

      For neoprene koozies, you can follow our time and temp recommendations for the the type of HTV you’re using, which can be found on our website or the Siser App. Additionally, you may want to check out my How to Heat Press Can Koozies blog post for a full tutorial.

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