Vapor Bucket Hat Sublimation Instructions

Instruction Details

390°F / 198.89°C
45 seconds
Medium; PSI for Automatic Presses: 20-25
5 seconds
6700, 6701, 6702 (Part numbers may vary by distributor)

Additional Items Needed

  • Pro Spray
  • Lint Roller

Heat Press Method Instructions

Vapor® Bucket Hats Using Geo Knight DK7 or DC16 Cap Press
Imaging Area: ½” In From All Sides Of The Drop-On Cap Form – Use Standard Cap form

1. Perform Essential Calibration~ see below.

2. After Calibration is set, begin with your first hat: Put the hat on the bottom table with the bill facing out.

3. Fold out the sweat guard. If this is not or cannot be done then the hat will exhibit a corresponding ghost line in the image.

4. Draw the front of the hat down against the bottom black rubber table.

5) Sticky lint roll the front of the hat.

6. Cover the hat with protective paper and prepress for 20 seconds.

7. Open the press; discard the protective paper and lint roll the hat while it is on the press. Should a polyester hat exhibit creasing, this cannot be reversed. To cure this problem in subsequent hats, see the calibration instructions as provided in the preamble of these instructions. Just a reminder that using a piece of cut foam exactly the size of the platen when doing hats alleviates the press marks line problem entirely, so long as the paper is larger than the size of the platen and sticks out from all four sides.

8. Use Adhesive Spray or heat tape to secure the image face down onto the face up hat.

9. Press

Essential Calibration~
1. Bring the press up to 385° F. Place the cap onto press.
Strap the back of cap behind the pedestal onto the strap tensioner. The tension will be automatically adjusted by the hold-down spring. Adjust the strap tensioner (up and down) accordingly to secure the cap strap in place as firmly as possible.

2. Cover the cap with protective paper. Lower and secure the press head in place over the imaging area of the cap. Be sure the bill of the cap is positioned such that it stays out of contact with the press head as it is lowered.

3. Adjust the pressure as necessary to "lock-down" the cap. Then, turn the pressure knob such that it raises the press head until the cap is no longer firmly in place. Pulling the bill of the cap side-to-side while raising the press head best does this procedure. Then, one more time, tighten the pressure with 2 full revolutions of the pressure knob. Open the press and close it again. Press the cap for 20 seconds.

4. Open the press and inspect the protective paper and the cap for creases. Should creasing appear in either substrate, then the cap form may be too large or the pressure too heavy (or both). To remedy, change just one thing at a time (pressure or drop-on cap form) until the creasing is eliminated. The easiest way to go is to always use the smallest drop-on form suitable for the cap. Should the cap crease while using a smaller bottom rubber platen, the pressure is too high. If after preheating the cap you see brownish or translucent spots (or any spots non-red or blue) it is likely the front panel of the cap is being supported by a glue layer sandwiched between the polyester plies. This type of construction will not lend the cap to sublimation and the product should not be used to do so.

5) Calibration Test the imaging area of the cap by imprinting a colored square, preferably black, over the entire area of the front of the cap. This will show the boundaries for imaging and also will let you know if your time/temp/pressure is correct. Black is a good color to use, as it is the color that takes the longest to migrate off your particular sublimation paper into your particular substrate. An interesting sidebar: Study the expired black transfer. It will outline an imaging template for you.


Heat Press Pressure Cheat Sheet

Press Dial Level
Average Human Resistance Felt
Contact Pressure
10-15 psi
1 on press dial
Where the platen just makes physical contact with product
Light Pressure
20 psi
2 on press dial
Resistant with one arm pressing down, easy with two arms
Medium Pressure
40-60 psi
3-5 on press dial
Resistant with two arms pressing down, doesn't require usage of shoulders
Heavy Pressure
80 psi
6 and up on dial
Very resistant with two arms pressing down, requires lifting of elbows and shoulders to lock in place

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