Last week DRN posted our thoughts on the Brother P-Touch Cube Pro (PT-P910BT), a fantastic (although on the pricey side), 36mm label printer. At the time we got to test out their laminated cartridges both with a white backing and a clear backing. They are tough, durable and survives my toddler's antics within reason - she can't tear it apart. For me? I scored some brownie points for getting all the containers in the kitchen labelled.
When it came to iron on labels for kids clothes, it has always been a task I outsource to a very popular local company. Normally I would just order a stack in a value pack which may or may not be quite enough but you make do because the alternative costs more. Considering I now have four children in the blended family, this cost can rapidly add up. Contrary to popular belief the older ones can still lose things, but the more challenging part is that the newly minted teenager's clothing is virtually indistinguishable in size (and sometimes style) to me (I rock far too many t-shirts).
Hence having the ability to print iron on labels on demand makes it a very attractive proposition in my household. The tape are 12mm high and the cartridge holds 2m of it. The resolution is good enough to fit in name and phone number in a smaller font. The tape itself feels a lot like paper. There is a faint pattern on the front so which makes it easy to identify which way is up if you are inclined to put blank labels on your apparels.
To attach the fabric tape on garments is same as other iron on labels. Iron set to medium-high temperature, extra piece of cloth to go on top of the label (or baking paper). Press down firmly for 15-30 seconds to apply heat, remove and check carefully (don't burn yourself). If it didn't attach properly just apply heat again.
Disclaimer: check your fabric, and test it somewhere inconspicuous first!
The iron on fabric tape is suitable for:
- 100% cotton
- 100% linen
- 100% polyester
- polyester and cotton blends.
They are not unsuitable for:
- Wool, Rayon, Chemical fiber
- Pile (towels) and other thick materials
- Denim and other rough surfaced materials
- Waterproof materials
- Non-heatproof materials
- Elastic (stretch) type materials
There are some caveats to laundering and dry cleaning. The instructions stipulates that garments with correctly attached fabric tapes can be washed or dry-cleaned over 30 times. Water temperature needs to be lower than 80C, and it will discolour if placed in bleach for an extended period (no kidding given my numerous failures with bleach). Most interestingly though, if it comes off in the wash, you can just apply it back on as per above procedure. That is assuming the wash cycle hasn't mangled it.
I haven't thought about this before but there is essentially an "edit undo" where you do the same as if you are applying the label, but use tweezers to peel it off starting from the edge. The instruction sheet does note that some adhesive with ink may remain on garment.
The cartridges thus maketh the printer. Whilst the Brother P-Touch Cube Pro is a solid printer on it's own, it is the variety of tape that Brother makes available that really take it to the next level. As previously mentioned, the Brother P-Touch Cube Pro (PT-P910BT) costs AUD$549 is not a cheap proposition. But looking at the versatility of the consumables, it is definitely not a one trick pony.
Edit: There are much cheaper options from Brother Australia, namely the PT-P300BT for AUD$79 and supports tape width up to 12mm. Also at AUD$149 is the PT-P710BT which supports tape width up to 24mm. The cartridges are universal across this range up to the width supported by the respective printers.
Media Type : TZe tape
Available Tape Widths: 3.5, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36mm
Dimension (Width X Depth X Height) : 138 mm x 94 mm x 138 mm
Weight: 1.05 kg
Print Resolution : 360 dpi /560 dots
Print Speed : 20mm/sec
Tape Cassette: Up to 36 mm
Cutter: Auto (Full Cut/Half Cut)