How to cut reflective fabric film by laser?
Today, let’s talk about reflective fabric, one of the most used materials in clothing and shoes.
It usually looks like the original color of Reflective film
However, when the material is illuminated, the light is reflected from the surface of the material, making the reflective film look particularly bright.
There are two photos below of the same fabric but one turned on the flash of the smartphone
and the other didn’t’
flash OFF / flash ON
The heat transfer reflective film is widely used in clothing and shoes such as outdoor, sportswear, golf wear, and are also in police uniforms, safety clothing, and various information signs thanks to these material characteristics. Let’s look at the structure of the reflective fabric film.
Reflective fabric roll (left) / Reflective fabric upper and lower (right)
As you shown in the picture above, the reflective fabric is divided into two layers in the form of a label (sticker)
The blue side attached to the back is the actual reflective film, and the blue part that shines brightly at the top is the hot melt adhesive surface.
When heated through a device such as Heat Press or iron, the adhesive surface is activated and attached to clothes or fabrics. Let’s briefly look at the process of how the reflective fabric is attached to the clothing.
“How to cut and attach cloths of reflective fabric”
Reflective fabric that has been cut (before removing the wastepaper)
First, cut the reflective fabric with the hot melt adhesive surface facing up.
The picture as above is a cutting sample using a digital laser cutter
You may require, a half-cut or full-cut, if necessary.
Reflective Heat transfer film laser cutting with any-CUT III
2. Remove unnecessary fabric.
Reflective film after removing the fabric.
After removing unnecessary wastepaper, the area to be attached to the clothing remains attached to the back, as shown in the picture above.
3. Attach it to clothes.
After cutting the film to be attached to the clothes is completed as above, spread the clothes, and turn the film upside down and place it where you want to attach it. (Put the liner up and the hot melt side of the film to the floor)
Set the heat press temperature to suit the hot melt material of the film and press it for a certain period of time (within seconds). Afterwards, hold the paper with your hand and remove it, and only the reflective film is attached to the clothes and the work is finished
“How to cut the reflective fabric”
1. Cutting plotter
It is one of the most used methods for cutting reflective fabrics.
The structure of cutting equipment is very simple and inexpensive, so it is most commonly used.
There are the following problems when using the cutting plotter.
👉 The cutting speed is slow, so Productivity decreases. (The more complex the shape, the less productive it is.)
👉 The tool (KNIFE) is easily worn out due to the glass beads applied to the surface of the reflective material and must be replaced frequently.
👉 full-cut and half-cut operations cannot be performed at the same time.
👉 It’s hard to remove the wastepaper after cutting.
2. Flat Bed laser cutter
The flat bed laser cutter may be used to solve some problems of the cutting plotter, but it cannot solve all problems.
The flat bed laser cutter has the following problems.
👉 Rising label costs and decreasing productivity since the film has to be cut by sheet.
👉 In general, the cutting quality is not good due to poor optical system compared to roll to roll laser cutters.
There is no problem of labor costs and productivity incurred by the flat bed laser cutter since the roll-to-roll laser cutter cuts roll fabric and can do continuous cutting job.
It is the best cost-effectiveness solution considering such as saving the actual costs for production, operating costs, and shortening delivery dates, although the price of equipment is higher than that of cutting plotters and flat-bed laser cutters.
anytron any-cut III
The cutting sample of reflective fabric cut by roll-to-roll laser cutter
Any-CUT III can cut any shapes with fine quality, even very complicated shapes as below the picture.
If you are looking for a productive cutting solution for various materials used in the fashion industry, such as reflective fabric, PU fabric, leather, and fabric, the any-CUT III roll-to-roll laser cutter is what you are looking for.
Please contact us If you need a sample or demo.