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Fabric Heat Shrinking

 Fabric Heat Shrinking

  • Once the fabric has been glued to the structure, it can be made taut by heat shrinking. This process is done with an ordinary household iron that the technician calibrates before use. A smaller iron is also used to iron in small or tight places. The iron is run over the entire surface of the fabric. Follow the instructions for the work being performed.
  • Some processes avoid ironing seams while other processes begin ironing over the structure and move to spanned fabric or vice-versa. It is important to shrink the fabric evenly. Starting on one end of a structure and progressing sequentially to the other end is not recommended. Skipping from one end to the other, and then to the middle, is more likely to evenly draw the fabric tight.
  • The amount of polyester fabric shrinks is directly related to the temperature applied. Polyester fabric can shrink nearly 5 percent at 250 °F and 10 percent at 350 °F. It is customary to shrink the fabric in stages, using a lower temperature first, before finishing with the final temperature setting.
  •  The first shrinking is used to remove wrinkles and excess fabric. The final shrinking gives the finished tautness desired. Each process has its own temperature regime for the stages of tautening. Typically ranging from 225 °F to 350 °F, it is imperative to follow the process instructions.
  • Not all fabric covering processes use the same temperature range and maximum temperature. Ensure irons are calibrated to prevent damage at high temperature settings.

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