Ever wondered where your favorite materials come from?
Ahhh… the age old question… “Where do Siser materials come from”? Only slightly less well known than “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”. You stumble to find an answer… “little heat press elves” or you freak out and say “it’s brought by a stork in a neat little bundle”. Fact is, you really have no idea. You pick up the phone or go online and place your order from a distributor and like magic, it arrives at your doorstep. The reality of it is that the true story of where Siser heat transfer vinyl comes from is interesting enough on its own!
This summer, several members of the Siser North America crew spent a week in Vicenza, Italy – home to the official “Siser”, learning about all the steps to take Siser materials from concept to completion. I’ll give you a brief synopsis of the process…
When a request comes in for new Siser materials or a new color for an existing line, the request gets sent to the lab where Alessandro (pictured above) and crew begin by mixing the formulation based on the criteria needed. Is it a polyurethane material? Is there a PMS number to match? They take the required chemicals and mix a small batch, taking precise notes along the way. This small batch of material is then tested for how well it cuts and how well it weeds. If it makes “the cut” (see what I did there?), it’s applied and wash tested and gets added to the material lineup.
Once the heat transfer vinyl (this also goes for print and cut materials) is approved for production, it’s sent to the coating line where large drums of the formula are mixed and applied to a backing sheet.
After the Siser materials have been coated, they’re rolled into giant master rolls. These 60″ wide master rolls are then sent to the laminators where the adhesive layer is added. This layer is what makes the design adhere to your garment when you apply it with a heat press.
From laminating, the rolls are sent to the slitters. The slitters take the giant 60″ wide master rolls and “slit” them down to either 15″ or 20″ widths (depending on the order), and are individually packaged for delivery.
Some distributors order master rolls so they can do the slitting themselves. They may offer different widths than standard or cut them into individual sheets. These master rolls are bundled and shipped off all over the world!
After all is said and done and the Siser materials have left the building so to speak, that’s when the pro’s from Marketing, Tech Support and Sales take over. For all European sales and support, the Siser Italy team takes the reigns, for US and Latin American sales and support, the Siser North America team takes the lead. Siser offers support to all distributors and end users in 55 countries!
For more information on the production process, check out this video I put together. To share your thoughts, comment below or reach out to us on social media!