Customization Tools You May Have Missed
A properly equipped customization workspace can make for an efficient, productive, and even comfortable room to return back to for your projects. Though you may have felt at times that your workspace is either low on some resources, or missing something entirely to further enhance your process. To help in seeking out more for your workspace, we’ll be covering a few nifty customization tools that are often overlooked.
AlbaChem is best known for their Eco Mist Adhesive Spray for sublimation, but they in fact specialize in a variety of sprays and solutions for the customization industry. One of these is their Cutting Mat Cleaner, designed for cleansing any dust or residue out of a cutting mat. For when you need to restore a worn out cutting mat, you can lightly spray this cleaner across your mat, then simply squeegee the residue away. With all the gunk now out of the picture, you can then spray just enough Eco Mist Adhesive Spray to the mat’s adhesive portion to restore its tack for holding transfers. By taking advantage of these tools, you’ll be able to restore any of your old cutting mats in no time, saving you money from buying another.
Another AlbaChem solution worth noting is their Vinyl Letter Remover, which can surely handle more than just letters. Upon pressing an HTV transfer, you may have experienced the late realization that it’s been designed, weeded, or spelt incorrectly. With AlbaChem VLR, it’s just a matter of turning your shirt inside out, then dousing the solution over the transfer's area. The vinyl will begin to bubble up and wrinkle as its adhesives detach from the fabric, allowing you to then remove the mistake transfer. Leave the shirt to air dry for a few minutes, then it’s ready for another go with a clean HTV transfer. Though be sure to safely use VLR with gloves, as it's potent enough to affect skin or hair.
Certain delicate sublimation blanks often need extra cushioning before pressing them. Most notably, ceramic blanks like photo tiles and ornaments can easily crack without any padding present on the lower platen. While Geo Knight specializes in heat presses, they’ve also developed some tools that any heat press user can take advantage of. One of these is the Nomex heat felt, which is a 14 by 16 inch, or 16 by 20 inch heat resistant pad that’s perfect for ceramic sublimation blanks. As you press ceramic blanks onto this soft pad, they essentially sink into the pad and maintain an even pressing surface with the heating element, all without the risk of cracking from pressure.
While ceramic ornaments tend to be on the thicker end, did you know it’s still possible to single press a folded transfer onto both sides of one? This is all possible with another Geo Knight tool, aptly named the green heat conductive rubber. Available in the same sizes as their Nomex heat felt, these are silicone pads with one-eighth inch thickness. They’re capable of spreading heat from an active element across uneven surfaces, as well as blocking it for avoiding certain areas. But by covering ceramic ornaments with this special pad, it’s able to bring heat to both their front and back sides. This works particularly well with double sided ceramic blanks thanks to their heat absorbent nature, even with a heat resistant pad like the Nomex heat felt below them.
The last tool to note is for anyone that enjoys enhancing their kicks with custom long socks: the SubliCraft sock inserts. If your long sublimation socks are in the straight or hockey shape, these inserts are ready to take away the troubles of pressing entirely. Due to their highly flexible nature, socks can be rather difficult to press on their own as they tend to bunch up without a consistent surface holding it together. By sliding your straight or hockey shaped socks onto the respective SubliCraft inserts, you now have a more even surface to work with in applying your transfers onto each one. Whether you intend on customizing a portion of them, or by using a full bleed transfer, SubliCraft sock inserts are must-haves that only make working with long socks easier than ever.
Even if you feel your workspace is lacking some additional tools at the moment, it’s never too late to start finding new ones in curating a more productive environment. And believe it or not, the tools shown here aren’t the only ones ready to enhance your workspace. You can find plenty more tools at heat.press/supplies, ranging from practical items like heat tape and dispensers, to interchangeable lower platens for certain heat presses. But to learn more about customization supplies for heat presses and vinyl cutters, be sure to visit our YouTube channel for tutorial videos on them, or our website through the supplies short link, or HeatPressNation.com.