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Outerwear

How To Add Foil To Clothing

Got extra screen print transfers laying around? Learn how to add foil to clothing and accessories with plastisol screen print transfers.

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    Adding Foil To Clothing

    Foil fashion has spoken. Metallics are in. And so is everything shiny. Decorating with fabric foil (aka textile foil) adds an eye-catching element to any design.

    In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to add foil to clothing using screen print transfers. Not just any screen print transfers though. For the textile foil to adhere properly to clothing, you need to use a single-color screen print transfer design that was manufactured with plastisol. There are many types of “custom heat transfers” out there and they’re made up of a variety of vinyl and other man-made plastics. If you want to use textile foil, your custom heat transfer design must be made with plastisol.

    As more and more apparel decoration tools products are becoming accessible to DIY and at-home makers, the more complicated it gets. There tend to be multiple names for products and it can be unclear which is which. When and if you have any questions about apparel decoration, our team of in-house makers can help. From finding the perfect blank to learning a new decoration technique, we’ve got your back.

    Finally, we couldn’t have done this tutorial without the expert insight from our ambassador and successful small business owner, Beverly Garcia. Check out this Instagram video of her adding fabric foil to her leftover screen print transfer design.

    How To Add Foil To Clothing

    What You’ll Need To Add Foil To Clothing:


    The Prepping

    Step 1: Set your clamshell heat press to 325 degrees fahrenheit.

    Screen print transfers are just another type of custom heat transfer, which requires a clamshell heat press to apply. Make sure your clamshell press is plugged in, turned on, and set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Step 2: Set the time to 7 seconds.

    Set your clamshell heat press to 7 seconds.

    Step 3: Set the pressure to high.

    With a blank garment laid out on the platen, adjust the clamshell’s pressure to high. Refer to the manufacturer guidelines for your specific heat press on how to set the pressure.

    The Making

    Step 1: Place your screen print transfer design on the blank.

    Map out where you want to place the screen print transfer design and then place the transfer design-side facing down on the blank garment. Then place a teflon sheet (or parchment paper) over the design.

    Step 2: Press your screen print transfer design.

    Close the clamshell and press the screen print transfer design for 7 seconds. Then peel while it’s still hot! This is called a “Hot Peel”.

    Issues With Screen Print Transfer Application?

    Refer to your screen print transfer manufacturer for application instructions and be sure that your transfer is a single color and made from plastisol.

    Application Tip

    Step 3: Place textile foil over the pressed design.

    With the colorful side facing up, place a sheet of textile foil on top of the design you just pressed. Then place a teflon sheet (or parchment paper) over the foil.

    Step 4: Press textile foil for 7 seconds.

    Press your blank garment for another 7 seconds to adhere the textile foil.

    Step 5: Cool off the textile foil by rubbing a ceramic tile over it.

    The textile foil is very fragile, so avoid moving the garment around too much. If you have a ceramic tile laying around (or can go grab one from Home Depot), use it to help cool off the foil without ripping it. Simply rub the smooth side of the tile over the foiled area in a circular motion until the area has completely cooled.

    Step 6: Peel away the excess foil & reveal the design.

    Once completely cooled, peel away the excess foil. The foil will stick to the surface of the screen print heat transfer (as long as it’s made with plastisol).

    Step 7: All done!

    Yay! Learning new decoration techniques is fun! Share your creations with us on Instagram for a chance to be featured in our story.


    Now you’ve successfully learned how to add foil to clothing with plastisol screen print transfers. If you have questions about apparel decoration, our in-house team of makers are here to help! We can help you find the perfect blank and learn a new decoration technique

    Ready to start making?

    Check out these inspirational and educational articles to get you started.
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