FAQ

Topics


1. Firing transfers

Q 1.1 What is the firing cycle for Ceramic Transfers?↑↑

A: Make sure the transfers have dried fully before firing. Ideally 24hrs dyring time before kiln firing. Any water left under the transfer is likely to cause a blowout when firing and damage the transfer. Due to the fact, there are thousands of glazes, substrates, kilns etc, all firing curves can just be recommendations. You may have to test what works best under your circumstances, with your material.

Firing cycle as follows:
- Keep kiln vents open until 500 Celsius
- The cover coat will be burning off up to 450 degrees, so ensure there is ventilation in the kiln room
- heat kiln from room temperature to 70 Celsius over 1 hour
- hold at 70 Celsius for 1 hour
- heat kiln from 70 Celsius to 785 Celsius at 150 degrees per hour
- hold at 785 Celsius for 20 min
Let the kiln cool at a normal rate with vents closed. Vents can be opened at 100 Celsius and the kiln opened at 50 Celsius.

Q 1.2 What is the firing cycle for Enamel Transfers?↑↑

A: Make sure the transfers have dried fully before firing. Ideally 24hrs dyring time before kiln firing. Any water left under the transfer is likely to cause a blowout when firing and damage the transfer. Due to the fact, there are thousands of glazes, substrates, kilns etc, all firing curves can just be recommendations. You may have to test what works best under your circumstances, with your material.

Firing cycle as follows:
- Keep kiln vents open until 450 Celsius
- The cover coat will be burning off up to 450 degrees, so ensure there is ventilation in the kiln room
- heat kiln from room temperature to 70 Celsius over 1 hour
- hold at 70 Celsius for 1 hour
- heat kiln from 70 Celsius to 700 Celsius at 250 degrees per hour
- no hold required
Let the kiln cool at a normal rate with vents closed. Vents can be opened at 100 Celsius and the kiln opened at 50 Celsius.

Q 1.3 What is the firing cycle for Glass Transfers?↑↑

A: Make sure the transfers have dried fully before firing. Ideally 24hrs dyring time before kiln firing. Any water left under the transfer is likely to cause a blowout when firing and damage the transfer. Due to the fact, there are thousands of glazes, substrates, kilns etc, all firing curves can just be recommendations. You may have to test what works best under your circumstances, with your material.

Firing cycle as follows:
- Keep kiln vents open until 400 Celsius
- The cover coat will be burning off up to 450 degrees, so ensure there is ventilation in the kiln room
- heat kiln from room temperature to 70 Celsius over 1 hour
- hold at 70 Celsius for 1 hour
- heat kiln from 70 Celsius to 600 Celsius at 200 degrees per hour
- hold at 600 Celsius for 20 min
Let the kiln cool at a normal rate with vents closed. Vents can be opened at 100 Celsius and the kiln opened at 50 Celsius.


2. General transfer questions

Q 2.1 What colours are possible with the transfers you print?↑↑
A: The technology we use for printing transfers allows us to create a large range of colours and gradients of colour. This is a far greater range of colours that can be achieved using silkscreen printing of transfers. The colour range is a subset of the CMYK colour range. If you need more detail we can send you the ICC (International Colour Consortium) colour profile for the range of colours we support. We cannot print white, so it is best to use the transfers on white or light coloured glazes. We are not able to print magenta. So in this case we have a colour chart of what we can replace it with.

Q 2.2 What type of cermic ware can I use for transfers?↑↑
A: It is preferable to use these transfers on a white body or a white glaze, or bodies and glazes that are light coloured. This is because these printers do not print white and thereby rely on your substrate to provide the white tones for the transfer. But if you want the effect that the underlying body or glaze colour comes through, you can of course use a darker body or glaze

Q 2.3 Can I place the transfers on bisqueware?↑↑
A: No. Bisqueware is too porous and doesn't allow the transfer to adhere properly to the substrate.

Q 2.4 What is the difference between a transfer, lacquer (cover coat) coated with or without flux?↑↑
A: To protect the transfer from damage during application a lacquer is placed on the transfer after printing. The laquer may or may not contain flux (clear powdered glass) depending on your requirements. Laquer containing flux is applied to transfers to acheive a gloss finish. Without flux in the lacquer the finish after firing is satin.

Q 2.5 Can the transfers be applied to enamel or glass? ↑↑
A: Yes they can. The transfers are compatible with enamel and glass. Refer to the FAQ firing questions to see their firing cycles. Enamel is a softer material and during firing will give a natural gloss to the applied transfer. Transfers to be applied to enamel should not have a lacquer with flux .

Q 2.6 When I print on glass there are areas on the glass that are clear that should be white?↑↑
A: Generally transfers are applied to objects that are white in colour or light coloured. The colour white is not printed on a transfer but acheived by having a white underbody. This is the same for all printers that assume they will print on white paper. Should you want a white background we can print transfers on special transfer paper that has a white backing that simulates a white background. When requesting transfers for glass in your order request please specifiy white transfer backing paper.

Q 2.7 Can you match the colours in my image?↑↑
A: We can get very close. Most photographs are captured in the RGB colour space of which our printing range is a subset of. So we may not be able to match exactly the colours of your image but in most cases it will match so closely you won't know the difference. As mentioned in q2.1 we cannot print magenta, so if your image contains magenta we have a chart from which we find a suitable replacement.

Q 2.8 I get a edge around the gloss transfers once fired?↑↑
A: This edge is a result of the flux in the cover coat, creating the gloss effect. As the entire cover coat contains flux, the image and its surrounds will be glossy. The edge cannot be eliminated, but the closer you cut to the edge of the image the less it will be seen. Alternatively go for a satin finish.

Q 2.9 There are cracks in my transfer after firing? ↑↑
A: Most likely the transfer is not compatible with the glaze it has been applied to. Each glaze needs to be tested for compatibility.

Q 2.10 Can I apply the transfers to any glazed ceramic piece? ↑↑
A: Yes you can. You can even apply the transfers to inexpensive ceramics purchased at discount stores. Ceramic transfers tend to be more compatible with softer glazes. Testing is required to find the glazes that best match the transfers.

Q 2.11 Are the transfers food safe? ↑↑
A: The transfers should not be placed in areas that will come into contact with food or liquid. So we suggest using them on the exterior of functional pieces, like in mugs, jugs, bowls etc. The transfers contain less harmful substances than the mass produced Chinese tableware available today. Our transfers are very durable so will not rub off or get damaged, unless the piece is damaged.


3. Applying Transfers

Q 3.1 How do I apply transfers?↑↑
A: What you will need:
- Soft little rubber squeegee or a roller
- Lukewarm water in a bowl
- Cloth to dry transfer as water comes off it

Firstly ensure your surroundings are dust free and clean. Clean your ceramic,glass or enamel piece. Use clean lukewarm water in a bowl to place your transfer in. Do not let it curl up. Hold it open and after a second or so it will remain there. Let it sit in the water for 30 seconds or until it loosens from the backing paper.

Now take the transfer and position it onto your piece. Hold one end and carefully slide the transfer out from the other end. Reposition if necessary. Now you need to remove all water and air bubbles. Use your little squeegee or roller. Stroke the transfer from the middle to the edge, with firm but careful movements. Do this all over the transfer, drying with your cloth as you go. You can also cross hatch the surface, to ensure all water and air bubbles are gone. If not all removed, you will get blow outs in your fired piece, damaging the transfer.
Leave your piece to dry for 24 hours before firing The firing cycle of your chosen substrate is in the FAQ's.


4. Troubleshooting transfer and firing problems

Q 4.1 The transfer is sticking to the backing paper↑↑
A: If this happens, you can use warmer water to help water absorption into the backing paper. If a little area is sticking you can peel off the transfer to that area, and carefully scratch with your nail to release it.

Q 4.2 A section or the entire transfer will not glue down↑↑
A: There is not enough glue on the transfer to aid sticking to your piece. You may have left it in the water too long, and the glue has floated off the transfer. You need to rub the glue from the backing paper onto it and reapply. If a section is not sticking, you can use this glue in that area and stick it down.

Q 4.3 Difficulty in stretching the transfer when applying to a curved surface↑↑
A: In this case you can use warmer water to create more stretch in the transfer. You can also make a cut with a scalpel or any sharp blade, to enable it to move and adhere on that curve. This cutting is preferably only done on transfers without flux in the covercoat.

Q 4.4 Transfer tears, can I fix them?↑↑
A: Transfer tears can occur if too much pressure is applied to the transfer when using a squeegee to remove water from under the transfer. You could try an onglaze touch up to hide your tear.

Q 4.5 After firing pinholes have appeared on the transfer↑↑
A: These are air bubbles or water trapped under the transfer, that has blown out due to steam build up during firing. You need to squeegee thoroughly to get all bubbles and water out before firing. You may also have not let the transfer dry enough, allow transfers to dry for 24hrs before firing.

Q 4.6 After firing some edges of the transfer have burnt back↑↑
A: This shows that part of the transfer was not in contact with the surface of your piece. In this case cut the transfer smaller so that it adheres to the substrate.

Q 4.7 After firing the surface of the transfers is rough like sandpaper↑↑
A: If your transfer was one with flux in the covercoat, then this rough texture may be due to an under firing, where the flux did not melt enough. You need to ensure you fire to the correct temperature, and increase your soak time to an hour.

Q 4.8 After firing there appears to be a halo like effect around the transfers↑↑
A: This halo like effect corresponds to where the covercoat ends. This coat should totally burn off in the firing. If not you can:
>Fire a cone hotter.
>Remove this halo with a scouring powder.
>Use distilled water in the future.
>Wipe down your piece with clean water before mounting.
>Slow fire in the future

Q 4.9 After firing the transfers have come out a lot duller than they were↑↑
A: The transfers have been over fired. Fire at a lower temperature next time.

Q 4.10 Squiggly spots or strange shaped pinholes in the transfer↑↑
A: This is usually from foreign matter like hair or dust, that has got trapped under your transfer.
>Ensure your transfer water is clean.
>Ensure your piece is clean.
>Work in a clean dust free environment.


5. Samples

Q 5.1 Can I get some transfer samples?↑↑
A: Yes. Send us an email requesting samples that also includes a shipping address and we'll send you transfers to test with. You only need to cover the delivery fee, R99 for courier delivery (major urban centres).



Digital Transfers Co.
Your source for digital transfers.
Administrative Office
28 Winkle Way
Sunset Beach
Cape Town
South Africa

+27 (0) 21 551 0944
info@digitaltransfers.company

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