So you’ve got a team jersey that needs some TLC? Are those great looking plasticized letters starting to curl up and peel off? Not a problem. Keep reading for instructions on how you can re-attach them neatly and easily.
1. Launder the jersey on gentle cycle to remove any debris. Allow it to dry. Turn your jersey inside out when laundering it to avoid additional loosening of the lettering.
2. Lay the jersey on the ironing board with numbers smoothed out.
3. Set your iron to the hottest setting and turn the steam feature off.
4. Position the number carefully, and place the edge of a sheet of plain paper over it.
5. Press the edge (not the whole bottom) of the iron to the edge of the letter.
Place the edge of the paper even with the edge of the plastic number so that you can see what you are doing more easily.
Use only the edge of the iron, not the entire flat surface. The object is to seal the two layers of plastic to each other along their edges. Using the entire flat part of the iron will place too much heat over too much surface area at once.
You will need to experiment with heat, time, and pressure applied to find the best combination. Start with very short pressing time… almost a “tap” and gradually increase it until you come to a (few seconds) time period which will adhere the plastic layers without melting them so much that they stick to the paper.
6. Gently press down and slide the edge of the iron slowly along the edge of the paper.
You do not want the iron to actually touch the plastic, as this will melt the plastic and leave ugly goo on your iron. See “Tips” below.
7. Continue until every edge is tacked back down into place.
8. Leave the jersey on the ironing board until everything has cooled down.
9. Pat yourself on the back and prepare for your kid to say “Hey! You fixed it! Thanks!”
Keep the paper between the plastic and your iron to prevent the melted plastic sticking to the iron. The object is to melt the plastic layers together, not melt the plastic to the iron.
Waxed paper can be substituted for regular paper, but will leave a wax residue which must then be cleaned off the iron and lettering.
You do not want the iron to actually touch the plastic, as this will melt the plastic and leave ugly goo on your iron.
If you don’t want to risk further damaging your garment, lots of small sporting goods stores have an iron specially made for adhering numbers to fabric. They can repair your jersey most of the time free of charge.
This process is specifically for heat transfer lettering and will not work on silk-screened or sublimated designs. Attempting these steps on such a garment may further damage your product.
Irons can get very hot. Handle with appropriate care.