Heat Setting "How To".
Another Airbrushing Novelette



Someone asked about a heat setting "How To".
Here it is...
Really you don't need to have a heat setting "How To" because most paints
on the market that are in the need of heat setting will have the instructions
printed right on the label. The directions are right there in front of you under
the price tag. You just have to peel off the tag and read what the paint
manufacturer suggests that you do.
Heatsetting on a heat press is easy just set the heat press to the temperature
of what it says on the bottle then watch out for the handle popping up and
hitting your chin or burning your hands on the top while placing the fabric into
the jaws of the fire breathing dragon. The one thing that can happen with a heat
press is that the heat will yellow the fabric. This yellowness will wash
out with the first wash. The heat is yellowing the starch in the fabric
if the fabric is new and has been unwashed to remove the starching.
With an iron you have to be more careful. A light cloth or the shirt, etc. turned
inside out is the way to start. The reason why is to keep the iron from not
sticking but pulling across the paint as the iron moves. The iron must be on
the hottest setting, Cotton or Linen with no steam. Don't stop the iron in one
place for long and be sure to get every area at about the same length of time.
If you aren't careful with this you will have a perfect impression of an iron
complete with steam vents on your garment with perfect paint and the
surrounding areas and steam vent spots faded. The iron shape will be there
forever. I know personally about having the iron mark on a shirt because I
have a ying-yang shirt I painted for myself years ago that still has a perfect
iron shape on the right hip. Testimonial to the knowledge gained through
screw ups and mistakes.
Another way to heat set is to throw it in the dryer and run it through a cycle
on the hottest setting available. This is good for fabrics such as sheer curtains
which can be on the big side and the fabric prone to melting on to an iron.
What you are doing by heat setting is "melting" the acrylics into
the fabrics to create a better bond. Acrylics are plastic polymers and will
become melted or more pliable with heat. Wet Heat is also use to loosen
stuck on jar lids and stck needles inside airbrush bodies. The paint will melt
so the lids come right off and the needles slide out easily.
I've had some people tell me they were going to take the shirts home and
soak them in vinegar or salt to "set" the paint but I believe this
only works with dyes just as you would add vinegar to easter egg dyes and
does not apply to pigment paints but I could be wrong.
Don't wash the garment for at least a week. Better to wait 2 weeks before
the first washing to let the paint cure. Best if hand washed, if not then gentle
cycle in the washing machine will do. Wash in cold water, no bleach or
Woolite, mild detergent and let the garment hang dry.
Do not ever have a shirt or garment that has been airbrushed dry cleaned
or wash the garment in Woolite. Bad news at Black Rock if you do.
I have shirts I still wear that I painted 14 years ago. I use Jerzees Super Tees,
50/50 cotton/polyester blend. See through, wrinkled and shrunken
100% cotton shirts are not something I particularly like to airbrush on.
The shirts will wear out before the paint does. Some look like they are almost new.
The really big thing to avoid and I stress this point immensely... Iron the
shirt/garment before it is worn! If you iron it afterwards it irons in body odors
into the fabric and forever after people will be wrinkling their noses and
handing you deodorant.
Createx and other acrylics formulated for airbrushing fabrics melts on
and melts off. The cure time is one-two weeks for fabrics. Dry heat melts on,
wet heat melts off. That's why you never wash acrylic airbrushed garmentry
in hot water. Why you don't dry them in a dryer is too keep the individual
threads making up the garment from fraying, producing the lint you have to
get out of the lint trap and thinning the fabric to the point where it is so thin
that holes happen. Good garments and fabrics with high thread counts are the
best to use, the thicker the thread, the higher the count the better.

Oh Denise Shoobee Doo


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