Today, I’m reviewing Neenah EPC™ Film – Environmentally Preferable Cuttable Film. Neenah EPC™ Film is marketed as a greener alternative to more traditional vinyl heat transfer sheets, and it can be used as a substitute for vinyl heat transfer film in just about any project. It’s available in both multi and single color packs, and comes in green, black, white, blue and red.
According to the Neenah website and downloadable brochure:
Neenah EPC™ Film – Environmentally Preferable Cuttable Film
Neenah EPC™ Film (Environmentally Preferable Cuttable Film), is a new cuttable film that does not contain the chemicals other films & vinyls do. Our EPC Film is NOT PVC, does not contain bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates.
Neenah EPC™ Film cuts, weeds, and transfers more easily than the current films in the marketplace. There is no need to use a tape to move the image to the garment or substrate; once cut & weeded, the image is ready for transfer.
Neenah EPC™ Film can be cut with a die or press cutter, plotter/cutter or a personal craft cutter. It can be applied with a heat press or hand ironed.
Its stretch-ability is good for synthetic fibers, cotton, canvas and hard surfaces.
- PVC Free – No phthalates or bisphenol A
- Easy to cut and weed – Saves time and reduces waste
- Does not require a transfer tape – Saves time and money
- Can be applied to tiles, tins, wood, leather, paper, films and more – New revenue streams applying letters, numbers, monograms and logos
- Heat press or hand iron – Professional, commercial and craft uses for additional revenue
- Wash durable – Can be used on t-shirts, athletic wear, and other garments
- Bright intense colors – Colors don’t fade and are vivid for team spirit colors
- Can be cut on craft cutters – Use with Cricut® and other craft cutters
- High opacity – Can be applied to all colors with no show through
- Shine or glitter film – Parchment or glitter can be used for a wide range of colors and appearance
Retail Price: $15.95 for a 10-pack of 12″ x 12″ sheets in assorted or single colors
CUTTING THE FILM:
1. A die cutter with a standard die makes clean cuts through the film with a single pass.
2. The film cuts cleanly and easily by hand with a craft knife.
3. When using an electronic cutter on the heat transfer blade setting, the design is cut cleanly through the transfer medium, but not through the paper backing. This allows you to remove excess transfer material, leaving only the design on the on the backing. (This makes positioning the design on the fabric easier and helps facilitate ironing.)
Tip: If you’re using an older blade that doesn’t make a completely clean cut, you can use a blunt tool or toothpick to hold the design in place while you’re peeling off the extra material.
4. The transfer film works well with both fine cuts and larger shapes.
5. Though the film cuts cleanly with an electronic cutter, craft knife, or a manual die cutter, only an electronic cutter can cut with the precision required to keep the full sheet of paper backing in place.
6. Be careful with very fine or delicate cuts—they can break or stretch if handled roughly.
APPLYING THE FILM TO FABRIC AND SURFACES:
1. To prevent scorching, place a pressing cloth or a piece of paper between the iron. and the transfer paper.
2. The instructions for fabric call for 60 seconds of ironing up and down and for 60 seconds of ironing left to right, but I recommend ironing for 60 seconds in a circular motion on the front of the fabric, then flipping the fabric over and ironing in a circular motion for another 60 seconds on the back.
3. Fabric/surface tests:
Adhered thoroughly and maintained fine details.
Adhered strongly in the center, but the rougher texture of the fabric made it much harder to seal the edges completely.
It is possible to use the heat transfers on synthetics, but the lower temperature settings required to keep you from melting non-natural fibers yields a less clean transfer.
Adhered surprisingly well to wool felt, even around the edges. (Though, given the nature of wool felt, I think that the design will eventually begin to pull away from the fabric.)
Adhered smoothly and seamlessly to unfinished wood.
Tip: When using wood, reduce the ironing time to around 30 seconds to avoid dark spots and discoloration. (My design is a little bit dark around the edges because I ironed for too long.)
5. The shapes I cut using my electronic cutter were easier to peel away from the backing than those that I cut all the way through with a manual die cutter or craft knife. The extra backing paper also prevented the edges of the design from getting pulled up accidentally.
6. Layering shapes is possible—and it looks fantastic when it works—but it’s incredibly difficult to keep the edges of the first shape firmly adhered to the fabric when peeling away the backing from the second shape.
When layering more than one shape, make sure that there is enough blank backing paper surrounding the top shape to completely cover the shape on the bottom. If you don’t, the first layer will stick to the paper or pressing cloth when you iron the second shape.
Note: To be honest, I only got layering to work about half of the time, and then only on plain cotton. If you’re going to give it a try, I strongly suggest practicing a couple of times with some scrap fabric before moving onto your main project.
7. Light stretching did not tear the design once it was applied to fabric.
8. The transfer colors stayed bright, vibrant, and opaque after the transfer process.
Heat transfer tips:
• Flip or mirror images before cutting the transfer.
• When possible, use an electronic cutter with a heat transfer blade setting.
• Keep the iron moving to avoid scorching or uneven darkening of the fabric/surface.
• Keep a large, dull darning needle on hand to help hold the edges of a design in place when peeling off the backing.
The Neenah EPC™ Film – Environmentally Preferable Cuttable Film was easy to work with and performed just as well as its vinyl counterpart. I liked the fact that it was versitile enough to be used with both an electronic cutter and more manual alternatives, and I especially appreciated the availability of bold primary colors. I would use it again for a future project.
Disclosure: Samples provided for review, but my opinions are honest and my own!
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