Step-by-Step Printing Instructions

Below you will find detailed instructions, from start-to-finish, on using the Shoe Platen Kit on a GT Printer.

  1. Attach the appropriate size Shoe Platen insert (based on the shoes being printed) to the Mounting Plate. Tighten the screws using your finger or M4 allen key (not included).
  2. Cover the Shoe Platen insert with double-sided tape (or double-sided platen tape). Make sure there is a hole in the center of the Shoe Platen Insert for the Alignment Jig to be inserted.
  3. Mask off the areas of the shoe that you do not want ink printed on to using standard masking tape or medical tape.
  4. Load the shoes on to each side of the Shoe Platen insert. Make sure the sides of the shoe are as flat as possible.
  5. Insert the Alignment Jig in the square cut-out on the Shoe Platen insert.
  6. Align the artwork in your graphic software program to match up with the Alignment Jig.
  7. Print the artwork to the GT printer. It is recommended to print in Unidirectional print mode.
  8. Set the platen height to the proper level based on the shoe that is being printed and press the Platen Feed button on the control panel to test it.
  9. Press the Print button on the GT printer.
  10. Carefully remove the printed shoes from the Shoe Platen Insert.
  11. Cure the printed shoes using a heat gun or conveyor dryer / box.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of the frequenly asked questions regarding our Shoe Platen Kit. If you don't see your question already answered below, send us your question by completing the form on this page.

Q: Which garment printers will the Shoe Platen Kit work on?
A: Our Shoe Platen Kit is designed to work on any of the Brother GT printers (i.e. GT-541, GT-782 and GT-3 models) currently released as of 2013. The Mounting Kit has a specific pin setup that is designed to match the Brother GT platens and will not work on any other printer.

Q: Where can I get double-sided tape to hold the shoe onto the shoe platen answered?
A: You can purchase double-sided platen tape for most screen print supply distributor or you can purchase double sided carpet tape online. If you're doing research online, search for the phrase "multipurpose double sided adhesive tape", "double sided carpet tape" or "double sided platen tape". Polyken is a propular name brand. It is recommended to get a 3" to 4" wide roll of tape if possible. Otherwise, you can cut down the roll of tape into the desired size for the platen insert being used.

Q: Do artwork templates come with the Shoe Platen Kits?
A: No, we do not provide any artwork templates with the Shoe Platen Kits. This is because there are too many different types of styles and shoe sizes to create artwork templates and provide them to customers. For this reason we have provided the Alignment Jig. The Alignment Jig will help align your graphics in your artwork software so that their position properly on platen.

Q: Any additional hints for aligning artwork onto the shoe?
A: One trick you can do is when the footwear is loaded on the platen and the Alignment Jig is installed, take a picture from directly above above the platen. Import the picture into your artwork template in your graphics software program on a separate layer. Adjust the size of the picture to match the rulers in your artwork template to that on the Alignment Jig in the picture. Position and adjust the size of the artwork in a different layer to match up to the location of the footwear on the platen.

Q: Because of the cost of the blank footwear, I am afraid that I will make a misprint. Any suggestion as to how I can verify my artwork is in the correct location?
A: If you are still unsure if your artwork is in the correct location, drop the platen height down on the GT printer and place a transparency over the top of the footwear. Print the artwork on Level 1 of CMYK only. Although the colors might not look correct (because the ink volume is dropped so low), this is a great method for ensuring your artwork will print in the proper location.

Q: What fabrics are best for printing on but where?
A: You have to make sure that the fabric used to create the footwear will allow the water based inks to absorb to it. So the footwear cannot be treated with any type of water resistant or Teflon coating. Otherwise the washability and durability of the printed footwear can be affected. Canvas shoes are commonly printed, but other types of footwear can also be printed. We recommend performing a print and wash test to make sure that fabric of the footwer you want to print on will meet or exceed the expectations of your customers.

Q: What is the best method for masking off parts of the footwear that I don't want ink printed on (i.e. sole, toe area or shoe lace eyelets)?
A: For the sole and toe areas of the footwear, you can use standard masking tape or medical tape (which stretches better when following the curves on the footwear). For the eyelets, you can cover them with small adhesive circles or use a liquid mask (typically found in the painting section of hobby stores). You should remove any piece of tape either prior the start of curing or halfway through to make sure that the tape can be removed cleanly.

Q:Do I need to pretreat issue prior to printing?
A: Just like when printing T-shirts, anytime you print white ink... you have to pretreat the fabric. Yes, you have to pretreat the footwear before printing white ink. In addition, if the footwear is made out of a synthetic fabric, you will want to apply a polyester pretreat (like DTG Pretreat) prior to printing on the footwear. Most polyester pretreat fluids are only designed for printing CMYK inks only.

Q: How should I cure the printed footwear? For how long?
A: Most users will cure printed shoes using either using a heat gun (typically found in the paint section of home improvement stores) or a conveyor dryer / dryer box. When using a heat gun, do not hold the shoe in your hand and constantly move the heat gun over the printed area at a safe distance so you do not scorch the fabric the shoe is made out of. The recommended curing time would be the same as if you are printing on to a t-shirt. However, we recommend on performing a print & wash test to make sure the durability matches your customer's expectations.

Q: Can I purchase a extra Mounting Kit so I don't have to constantly remove Shoe Platen Insertsr?
A: Yes you can purchase additional Mounting Kits either at the time of purchase or later on from our website. We specifically designed the shipping box to allow for up to two Mounting Kits to be packaged inside of one box. To purchase an extra Mounting Kit from the website, click on the buy menu up at the top and go down to Extras.

Q: Can I get the alignment jig in metric (CM) measurements instead of standard (Inches) measurements?
A: Yes you can get the Alignment Jig where the guidelines are set out in centimeters. However, this is not an item that we typically stock. So please be patient and allowing additional time for the manufacturing of this before it is ready to be shipped.

Q: If I live outside of United States, how do I go about purchasing a Shoe Platen Kit?
A: You're more than welcome to purchase the Shoe Platen Kit from one of our international distributors or you can send us an email with your shipping address and we will provide you a custom quote. We will calculate the shipping cost and send you back an email stating the total cost. You will be responsible for any country duties or taxes that are specific to your country.

Q: What is the best style of footwear to print on?
A: The best style of footwear for printing on is one that lays as flat as possible on the area you want to print. We recommend printing in unidirectional print mode to allow for the farthest platen gap and still able to get quality prints.

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