Foil has always been one of the most attractive T-shirt applications for laser transfers. Adding a layer of foil to a garment gives it the look of haute couture. Using hot foil produces a metallic shine similar to chrome or glitter t-shirt vinyl, but with a softness that’s hard to beat. And doing so with a laser printer means you can produce intricate designs without cutting and weeding vinyl. Durability has been the hot foil weakness. Today’s news for laser transfer users is the addition of a new hot foil solution that is much more washfast and offers some interesting new benefits. Owners of CMYK laser printers can now print metallic foils and solid white transfers without white toner. Owners of white toner enabled printers like the iColor Series can now print metallic foils and fluorescent transfers without using fluorescent toner. If it sounds like magic, that’s entirely appropriate because the name of the product begins with Presto! Let’s pull back the curtain and see how the new PrestoSoft No-Cut hot foil laser transfer solution works its magic.
PrestoSoft Hot foil Overview
The PrestoSoft No-Cut hot-foil laser transfer solution is a variant of the iColor Standard 2-Step Paper designed for decorating dark garments. The A Foil sheet in this application is impregnated with solid color or metallic foil and applied to a garment using roughly the same two-step process as the one for decorating dark apparel. The image is printed on the A Foil sheet. Then the A Foil and B Paper are pressed together to add a layer of white adhesive to the print. When pressed to the shirt, the B paper’s adhesive bonds the foil to the apparel. When the A foil sheet is removed, it weeds itself and transfers the foil only where the adhesive layer has been added. The color of the A Foil is of course the color applied to the apparel. The current options in the PrestoSoft No-Cut line are metallic silver and gold, neon orange, neon green, blue and white. The Silver, Gold, White, Neon Green, and Neon Orange A Foil sheets and the standard LoTemp B Paper sheets are all sold separately. You’ll find them all here.
Presto! EasyFlex Advantages
- Expanded spot colors: One of the most exciting advantages of the PrestoSoft No-Cut laser transfer solution is the fact that it goes beyond metallic foil colors. In addition to the ever popular silver and gold, Presto! comes in neon colors and solid white. These add useful and exciting print applications. People using CMYK laser printers like the GO UNO and OKI C831TS can use the Presto! Foil to create solid white spot color transfers. Indeed, any OKI LED printer that supports the transparency media type will work. And users of CMYK and white toner printers can add fluorescent spot color transfers using the Neon Green and Neon Orange foils.
- More durable. The standard hot stamping foil solution where foil is applied to black toner, is a popular and easy application, but it’s not particularly washfast. Colored hot foil applied in this manner can’t be machine dried without bleaching the dye from the foil. Presto! transfers are as durable as regular two-color dark shirt appliqués.
How does PrestoSoft No-Cut work? The process is the same as that for Forever Flex-soft No-Cut transfer media. Please click here to download the detailed instruction sheet for the nitty gritty details. Here’s a brief summary.
- Design your graphic in CMYK mode in composite Black (CMYK value of 100/100/100/0).
- Set the media type as Transparency or Foil and load the media foil or color side down (matte side up).
- Pre-heat the heat press table for at least 30 seconds! Then press the A Foil and B Paper face-to-face for 90 – 120 seconds @ 266 – 293°F. You’ll need heavier pressure than the medium setting recommended for iColor Standard 2-Step transfers.
- Rub the B Paper with a textile for about 5 seconds. Then peel in one smooth motion, as you would a standard 2-Step transfer.
- Tape A-foil sheet to the shirt using heat tape, and press to shirt with firm pressure, for 30 seconds at 275 – 310°F depending on the fabric (See instruction sheet for specific recommendations).
- Allow to cool to room temperature. Then peel foil in one smooth motion. Cover with matte silicone Kraft paper and press for 25 – 30 seconds to fix the toner on the fabric. And Presto! you’re done.
PrestoSoft No-Cut Cost and Profit
Of course, the best magic trick is turning customer requests into profit. Here again PrestoSoft No-Cut doesn’t disappoint. Here’s the cost and R.O.I. breakdown.
- Cost of an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of Presto! EasyFlex A Foil: 79 – 85¢ sheet.
- Cost of B Paper: $1.69/sheet.
- Cost of toner: 6 – 20¢ (depending on design).
- Cost of wholesale shirts: $2.00 – $5.00.
- Total material cost: $4.54 – $7.74.
- Sell your wares for $15.00 – $20.00 each and you’ll soon be able to buy yourself a new top hat.
This is good news indeed for owners of laser toner printers. The added color gamut of PrestoSoft neon and white means more creative possibilities for owners of CMYK laser printers. The superior durability of PrestoSoft No-Cut vs. traditional hot stamping foils means your customers will be to keep their fancy foil shirts looking good long after the first wash cycle. And the best trick in the PrestoSoft magic show is the addition of another profitable application to your laser transfer product line.