Eliminate Scorch Marks with the ARCH Method

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By Beth Whittock
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Eliminate Scorch Marks with the ARCH Method

Eliminate Scorch Marks with the ARCH Method

Are you getting tired of scorch marks on your garments whenever you try to apply custom heat transfers or CAD-cut heat transfer vinyl? Well don't worry because we have a solution for you and it's only four steps so keep reading this blog to find out how you can eliminate scorch marks on all of your heat-printed garments.

The ARCH Method.

The ARCH method was introduced by Josh Ellsworth, one of our heat printing experts in the US. This method has proven successful time and time again, so let's talk a little bit more about what the arch method is and how you can utilize it in your business.

The four steps of the arch method are:

  • Accurate pressure
  • Reduced temperature
  • Cover sheet
  • Heated lower platen

Step 1 - Accurate Pressure

If you're applying too much pressure to your garments through your heat press, this will cause a Scorch mark. So regardless of whether you're printing onto a delicate fabric or if you're just not making sure that your pressure is set to medium, this will scorch your garment.

The first step to making sure that you're not putting press boxes onto any of your products with a Hotronix heat press is made super easy because of the digital pressure readout. By using a heat press with a digital readout you can see exactly what pressure you're achieving.

If this didn't fix the problem, move on to Step 2.


Step 2 - Reduce temperature.

What temperature are you fusing your garment at? Can you reduce this? If you're working with a heat-sensitive garment then reducing your fusing temperature is critical. UltraColour heat transfers apply at just 120° making them the lowest fusing heat transfer on the market, and a great choice for this part of the ARCH method. 

Why can't you just reduce your current temperature and use the same heat transfer or HTV? Because heat applied materials have specific recipes that are designed to ensure you're providing your end user with a quality garment that offers them longevity. By fusing Screen Printed heat transfers at 120° instead of the 160° they're supposed to apply at, you're not giving the adhesive on the back of the carrier sheet enough time or heat to bond with the garment. If it even apply at all, you may find that after a wash or two, the transfer begins to peel, resulting in a low quality garment. 


Step 3 - Cover Sheet

A cover sheet is a barrier between the garment and the heat transfer. They come in different thicknesses and can affect your fuse in different ways. By adding a cover sheet to your process, it stops the hot platen from touching your garment directly. Thin release paper cover sheets are used when working with cold peel transfers to ensure that the lifting of the press does not accidentally begin to peel the carrier from the garment too soon. But this sheet can also provide some scorch mark relief.

If this does not work, consider using a thicker cover sheet such as a Grip Flex Rubber Pad. The Grip Flex has been designed to offer a thicker barrier between garment and hot platen.

The final step of this method is


Step 4 -  Heated Lower Platen

If you're familiar with Hotronix heat press machines, you'll know that they'll offer interchangeable lower platens so you can fuse onto different-sized print spaces while maintaining accurate pressure every time. Well, in addition to this, Hotronix have created the Lower Heated Platen collection to offer your heat from inside your garment.
Place your lower heated platen onto your press and plug it into the power bank. This will then heat up the platen allowing the heat that's needed for the application to come from underneath and inside the garment. This means you can use a lower temperature on your top platen, minimising any outer scorch marks.


And voila, you've solved your scorch mark problem. By assessing your issue at every stage of the ARCH method, you have created a calm and measured action plan to solve your problem and continue providing high-quality garments for your customers.


If you want to see the ARCH method in action, check out the Youtube video below:

1 month ago