One of the questions that we get regarding the cap platen is what is the best way to cure a printed cap. The best method depends on the number of caps your company is going to print. If you only plan on printing a couple caps (under 10) per month, then you will probably be better off using a standard heat gun – which can be found at your local home improvement store in the paint department for less than $100.00. On average, it will take 2-3 minutes to cure a printed cap using a heat gun. If you are going to print more than 10 caps a month, it may be advantageous for you to invest in a cap press. A cap press can range from $400.00 to $900.00 depending on the features. It will take less than 1 minute to cure printed cap using a cap press.
Below are some tips for curing a printed cap using a heat gun and a cap press.
When using a heat guy, here are some tips to follow:
- Never hold the cap in your hand. The heat from the heat gun can burn your hand. Place the cap on a counter top or table.
- Get a heat gun that will allow you to regulate the temperature. Some of the heat guns will go up to 1000 degrees F – which is too much for curing caps.
- Hold the heat gun approximately 8 – 12″ from the cap during the curing process. Putting the heat gun any closer to the cap cause scorch the fabric.
- Constantly move the heat gun across the printed area of the cap. This will help prevent scorching the fabric of the cap.
- Pay close attention to the buckram (stiff backing on the inside of the cap) to make sure that it does not get too hot. This could get too hot and become distorted.
- Most bills of caps are made out of plastic. If the plastic gets too hot, it will become distorted.
When using cap press, here are some tips to follow:
- When curing the crown of the printed cap, most cap presses will have a feature that stretches the cap during the curing process. Use this feature to prevent the fabric of the crown from pinching when the cap press slows.
- Pay attention to the buckram (stiff backing on the inside of the cap) to make sure that it does not get too hot. This could get too hot and become distorted.
- Since the bills of most caps are made out of plastic, trying curing the bill of the cap in two session at half the time. Some users will cure the bill for 15 seconds, then cure the crown for 35 seconds and go back and cure the bill for another 15 seconds.
We hope you find this information helpful when making your decision on how to cure a printed cap.