Due to their incredible precision and ability to kiss cut layered materials, lasers have long been popular choices for cutting twill appliqués and pvc-free heat transfer products for apparel. But did you know that you can actually engrave intricate designs and photos on pvc-free heat transfer material and eliminate the need for weeding all together? In addition to eliminating the weeding step, engraving heat transfer material is also a faster, cleaner and less expensive option than silk screen printing.

In this sample club project we'll walk you through the steps of laser engraving Siser Easyweed (a pvc-free heat transfer material) and applying it to a t-shirt. And don't forget to check out the video above to see the laser and heat press in action!

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Materials Needed

We used a Fusion M2 40 120w:

Raster: Speed 100% // Power 39% // 400dpi // Stucki

Vector: Speed 100% // Power 5% // 100F

Focus: -0.0625

Step 1: Prepare Artwork

The goal in this application is to engrave away the transfer material to reveal the carrier/backing. The area that is NOT engraved is what will be heat pressed to the garment. For this reason, you'll want to:

  • Invert the artwork you are working with
  • Make sure to mirror any text as well so it appears correctly when heat pressed
Design files for laser engraving heat transfer material

Step 2: Send to the Laser

Apply the heat transfer material shiny-side-down onto the muti-mat. Ensure the material lays flat and there are no bubbles or ridges. Insert the multi-mat into the laser. Send the job to the laser with the correct parameters for your machine's wattage. Generally speaking, for this type of material you'll want to start at a high speed and low to medium power. For a 120-watt system, we engraved at 100% speed and 39% power. It may take some experimentation with your power settings to achieve the result you're looking for.

Other engraving parameters:

  • Use your air assist feature and engrave from the bottom up. This will reduce any dust/debris from settling into unwanted areas.
  • Select 400 as your engraving DPI
  • Use the Stucki dithering pattern in the Epilog print driver.
laser engraving heat transfer material with your epilog

Step 3: Heat pressing

Remove the finished piece from the laser and prepare to heat press it. All Siser materials will have instructions on the temperature and length of press. Most require a temperature of around 305°F/150°C and medium pressure in the heat press for 10-15 seconds.

laser engraved heat transfer material laying on a shirt ready for heat pressing
Peeling away the heat transfer material to reveal the heat-pressed design

Step 4: Enjoy

Once the heat pressing process is finished, your laser engraved Siser Easy Weed shirts are complete!

group of laser engraved heat transfer material on a tshirt
close up of laser engraved siser easy weed backpack
close up of laser engraved siser easy weed tshirts

Where can you sell garments with laser engraved heat transfer designs?

  • School clubs, teams or other organizations.
  • Corporate team building exercises/retreats.
  • Recreational sports leagues.

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