There are several different types of application tapes. Sign makers use paper and clear application tapes. Crafters prefer transfer tape on a release liner or with a printed grid. In the world of digitally printed garment decoration, only special clear tape is used.
Heat transfer tape is specially made to help apply printed ‘t-shirt transfers’. The right transfer tape, or ‘pre-mask’, can make all the difference when finishing a printed transfer. That’s why we’ve added Logical Color ClearMASK heat transfer tape. ClearMASK heat transfer tape is engineered to be fully compatible with Logical Color printable face film. This tape is suitable for most digitally printable heat transfer films for transfer onto cotton, polyester, cotton-poly blends, Lycra, Nylon, and similar fabrics. ClearMASK comes in low and medium-tack levels.
WHY Heat Transfer Tape?
There are graphic shops that are trying to bring in more customers by expanding into garment decoration. If you have a vinyl cutter and/or digital printer, you already have most of the equipment needed. So you may be asking yourself “Why can’t I use my sign vinyl application tape on garments?”
Answer: The heat transfer processes used to apply digitally printed images to fabric require temperatures up to 320°F. Your vinyl application tape won’t work well in that environment. Paper application tapes may be able to withstand the heat, but will leave adhesive residue on the garment. Standard clear tapes will melt. So, to produce professional-quality printed t-shirt transfers, you need a specially engineered solution like Logical Color ClearMASK heat transfer tape.
ClearMASK LT is a low-tack heat transfer tape that is great for Logical Color WarmPEEL CP PRINT and CozySOFT PRINT. The low-tack adhesive helps reduce the risk of stretching fabric during removal. Sometimes a higher tack tape will pull the garment and may stretch it a little too much. This could cause your graphics to stretch with the garment. No customer would want a garment that is already stretched out with a lopsided graphic. It will be unappealing and you have one unhappy customer. Also, when using a higher tack tape, if not used correctly, the mask could take some of the ink off the graphic.
ClearMASK MT is a medium-tack tape that is compatible with thinner printable material like CozySOFT PRINT. It works great with Logical Color Universal PRINT as well. Universal Print has a self-adhesive carrier to help with weeding the material. Because of this, ClearMASK LT has a hard time pulling the material up from the carrier.
ClearMASK and ColorPRINT
We have also tested this tape with popular SISER printable heat transfer vinyl. Logical Color ClearMASK LT works great with SISER ColorPRINT Easy. ClearMASK MT works well with ColorPRINT Easy, Soft Opaque and ColorPRINT PU. You can of course use Siser TTD Easy Mask with ColorPrint HTV. But if you have both ColorPRINT and Logical Color printable HTV in your shop, it’s good to know that you can use one line of tape for for brands of printable media.
How to use Logical Color ClearMASK
In your favorite design software, get your graphic ready for printing and contour cutting.
- Print the graphic right reading and take it to your cutter. Contour-cut with the recommended blade and weed the excess film.
- Cut off an appropriate sized section of ClearMASK. It comes on a white siliconized liner. With this feature, you can cut what you need and save pieces of the mask for other jobs.
- Remove the liner and lay the mask over the print . Apply smoothly with a squeegee and firm pressure. Take care to avoid bubbles and wrinkles.
- Remove the PET release liner from the back of the printable HTV
- Place the tacky side down, ‘right reading’ on the garment and press using the recommended settings for that film being applied.
- Depending on the material, it may be a hot, warm, or cold peel. Check with the material instructions about this. NOTE: ClearMASK MT can be hot, warm or cold peel, but is better with a hot or warm peel. Because of the higher tack, the longer it sits on the shirt, the more likely it is that the adhesive could cause some stretching to the garment.
- For more detail instructions and troubleshooting tips, download our ClearMASK User Guide.
Logical Color ClearMASK is versatile and easy to use. It’s application tape that is meant to be used for heat transfers. ClearMASK is made specifically for Logical Color printable HTV, but also works with SISER ColorPRINT products. It comes in a low and medium-tack. We offer ClearMASK in 15, 20, and 30-inch widths. All rolls are 90 feet long. The next time you’re faced with a challenging printable heat transfer job, try a roll of Logical Color ClearMASK