Decorating a Fleece Zip Up with a Split Front Design
Give me an F! F! Give me an L! L! Give me an E! E! Give me another E! E! Give me a C! C! Give me an E! E! What’s that’s spell? FLEECE! …Ok, so we’ve established I can spell, but can I press Siser® materials on fleece? YES! *shakes pom poms victoriously* Customized fleece is a huge market as we head into cooler temperatures. Sports teams and businesses especially utilize fleece, but don’t rule out personalized monograms, medical field workers, and all the fans of the sports teams. Whatever your fleece project may be aimed at there are a few things that you must always keep in mind when pressing on fleece.
Look for a garment with low pile. Since heat transfer vinyl adheres to the garment fibers, if the pile is high or uneven the HTV is less likely to adhere closely and could be more susceptible to lifting.
Use a thicker HTV. While you can apply EasyWeed® or any of our other thinner materials to fleece, depending on the pile of your fleece, a pebbled texture may be visible through the vinyl. This is why I recommend using a thicker HTV like Glitter or StripFlock® Pro for the smoothest finishes.
Do a test press. Fleece has the possibility of melting or discoloring under high heat. This is why we recommend applying a small piece of HTV to an inconspicuous area before going for the full application.
I test pressed EasyWeed on to my 100% polyester fleece zip up, and because this fleece is a very low pile, the EasyWeed still looks great!
Now that you know what kind of garment to look for and your HTV options it’s time to create your split front design. Split front designs are created with a gap in the center to allow for a zipper or buttons. Of course you could always create the design normally and then cut it down the center with scissors before heat application. However, I like to build the split front right into my design, so I don’t have to rely on my inconsistent scissor cuts.
I cut Glitter colors: Sapphire, Silver, and Red on the Silhouette Cameo 2. Cut settings for Glitter can be found on our website or app. When the cutter is finished, weed out the negatives from your design.
Like I mentioned earlier, test press your HTV on an unseen part of the garment to make sure the heat isn’t too high for the fabric. I test pressed Glitter at it’s normal application temperature of 320°F and had no problems. However, if you do experience discoloring also known as press marks or scorch marks then you’ll need to use the lower temperature application method from the How to Heat Press Rayon post.
Once you have a safe temperature established you can start to heat apply. I prefer to apply my offsets first, so I don’t align things wrong and end up pressing on a seam. Place a heat trasnfer pillow (I’m using our 10″x10″) or stacked mouse pads underneath the areas you’ll be applying to. It’s best to raise the application area above the seams for proper pressure. We explain the importance of proper pressure in this post.
Zip the jacket up fully before heat applying. If the zipper of your fleece jacket is metal like mine be very careful not to touch the hot zipper after heat application. A heat transfer cover sheet is a must when applying zip front jackets. The cover sheet protects the upper platen from scraping on the zipper and protects the metal zipper from too much heat exposure. Sometimes fleece jackets have a plastic zipper though which is more likely to melt under heat. If that’s your case then unzipping the jacket and applying each side individually will help reduce the heat on the plastic zipper. Make sure to still use a heat transfer pillow or mouse pads to raise the application area above the zipper and seams.
I pressed my first Glitter layer with a cover sheet for 5 seconds at 320°F with firm pressure. I waited until the carrier cooled slightly before peeling.
Then I pressed my second layer with a cover sheet for 10 seconds and repeated the warm peel.
To add the final star in the corner of my design I used stacked mouse pads to raise the corner above the shoulder seams. I pressed each layer for 5 seconds.
Is there a better combination than sparkly and cozy? Not in my book. Rally up some fleece and Siser heat transfer vinyl to start pressing your own split front designs.