Will heat press melt a zipper?
Heat pressing can be so much fun, I just want to press everything! But I worry a lot since I am working with two really hot pieces of metal and things will melt. With that in mind, that got me thinking what heat press will melt a zipper? I really want to get into zipper hoodies and track jackets and a lot of my design goes over the zipper.
So will a heat press melt a zipper? Yes it will, but not all zippers will melt. The general rule is it's best to avoid the zipper completely.
- Metal Zippers: Heat Press not melt a zipper. The metal zipper will not melt when used by a heat press. However, be careful after heat pressing the metal zipper will be hot!
- Plastic Zipper: Depends. It depends on the plastic melting as well as how much coverage. Some plastic zippers will melt, but not all. Usually zipper that has fabric coverage will not melt, but that is not guaranteed.
A large worry with melting items in you heat press is damaging your platen so make sure to use a Teflon sheet or some protectant before trying this, you do not want to damage your platen's Teflon Coating. So let's look into how to protect your heat press from melting materials.
So with that how can you deal with heat pressing on a zipper?
You have a bunch of options. The goal is either to avoid or minimize direct contact of the zipper with the heat press. You can do this either by making it so the heat press doesn't touch by designing around it or using a cover to protect it.
- Cut your transfer in half and heat press one side at a time
- Use the Teflon pillow or mouse pad to lift up the area where you want to heat press that does not include the zipper
- Avoid the zipper all together with your design.
Not protecting our heat press is our priority and not wasting materials so it is important to know things can damage your heat press through melting.
Tips for protecting your heat press while working:
- It's hard to clean a your heat press when you have melted plastic. Test your heat press and material first and make sure to cover the whole thing with Teflon sheet or even just copy paper if you don't have a Teflon sheet
- Use a heat press Teflon pillow or mouse pad to help lift the portions of the garment that is not a zipper or parts you don't want heated.
How to test if an item will melt in your heat press:
- Before buying up 100 hoodies, it's best to buy a one sample zip up hoodie and test it with your heat press before committing to a bunch.
- To test if an item will melt put it between 2 pieces of paper, paper the is larger than the item and then try it. The paper will protect the heat press in case the material melts. When testing use lower temp and paper protection and low temp vinyl.
- Be mindful that a lot of items are made of more than one material. For example, a backpack has a lot of moving pieces some of which will melt (like backpack straps) and some that are not. Keep this in mind when testing your materials for melting.
What are Teflon sheets and covers?
To protect your platens and give them a longer life, you should use Teflon. Teflon has a lot of options and can be used in a variety of ways. Each of these come in a variety of sizes:
- Teflon covers: similar to a mattress cover and can hug the lower platen.
- Teflon sheets: can be placed on top of the transfers, this prevents them from sticking to the upper platen.
- Teflon pillows: you can place pillows underneath the item you are applying the transfer to. Pillows can help you get more even press when you have to work around uneven surfaces. This includes buttons, zippers, collars, or zippers.
What else can I use to protect my heat press?
- Parchment Paper - Not the same as WAX paper, wax paper will melt wax onto your items.
- Butcher/kraft paper - take shine off transfer for a matte finish
- Teflon sheet- adds more shine and gives your final product a glossy finish. Teflon is non stick which makes it easy to wipe off any dirt or ink marks.
- Silicone Rubber Pad: high quality silicone rubber pad is designed to provide worktop on the bottom of the heat press where you can do the transfers.
- Heat resistant foam pad: A heat resistant pad is placed below the T Shirt on the bottom platen. It's great for contact between your transfer and T-Shirts retain more heat.
Will heat press melt polyester?
It can if you don't monitor your temperature. Polyester is sensitive to high temperatures and fabric fibers can scorch and then melt. The ideal temperature is 300. Some polyester fabric is even more sensitive and require a temperature as low as 280 to avoid scorch marks.
The only way to known if it will scorch and melt is to test it. Get a sample of the fabric and fire the heat press up to 290 degrees and press a small corner of the fabric. The general rule is to lower the temperature and press longer.
How to clean melted vinyl off your heat press?
While it is still warm, use s crapper to get the bulk of it and then use alcohol or easy off to get the remainder off.