Black Vinyl - Some rear windows today feature a heavy dot matrix pattern, especially at the top of the window. It can cause a light disparity through the glass when window film is applied. An advanced installation technique is to apply a strip of black vinyl across the top of the rear window to essentially block out the matrix.
Bumping - A technique used to lock down window film to the edge using a lint free paper towel wrapped around a squeegee or hard card.
Dot Matrix - Installed by the automotive manufacturers on the windshields (front and rear) so that the glass is bonded to the vehicle it is the contact point between the glass and the frame. It further acts as a shield against ultraviolet sun rays in order to protect the adhesive bond, which would otherwise be weakened by continual exposure. Many of the materials that comprise these dots are non-stick substances. The dots are designed to ward-off adhesion, so the installer is fighting against the very properties of the materials they want to tint on.
Dry Shrinking - Used for installing window film on compound (curved) rear windows. It's generally accepted within the window film industry as a superior installation technique as it takes less time to install versus the wet shrink method. The film will last longer as a larger portion of film will be heated, thus allowing the film to conform to the window better. This technique is also recommended for cars with thicker defrost lines, and cars with very curved rear windows, e.g. VW Bug.
Factory Edge - The factory edge refers to the machine cut edges on both ends
of a roll of film. It is important to note for two reasons:
(1) When heat shrinking the rear window of a car, the factory edge shows the
“machine” direction, or the direction the film will shrink. The manufacturing
process stretches the film primarily in the direction it is wound down into
shorter rolls. The polyester has “memory” that wants to return to its original,
unstretched shape. Trying to heat shrink in the opposite direction can actually
cause the film to burn and buckle.
(2) A factory edge offers a straight cut that can be used by advanced installers
in some automotive and flat glass installations to eliminate trimming one side
of a window.
Fingers - A portion of applied window film that will not lay down flat due to the curve of the glass or improper squeegee technique.
Hardcoat - A scratch-resistant protective coating on one side of window film.
Heat Shrinking - During the manufacturing process, machines pull and stretch film. When properly heated, the film shrinks back into the machine direction. Amazingly, the film will then fit extremely curved windows in one large piece.
Light Gap - A small gap between the edges of the film and glass allowing light to pass through.
Micro Edging - performed on side door windows to give the appearance of having no film edge on the glass whatsoever. This technique will eliminate light gaps and provide a factory-installed tint look.
Mounting Solution - A mixture of clean water and a small amount of liquid soap such as Johnson's Baby Shampoo. The solution is kept in a spray bottle, used to clean windows as well as a "slip" agent to keep the adhesive from sticking to the glass while you position and squeegee it.
Patterns - The film is trimmed into a custom pattern to fit each window perfectly on the outside of the window before the liner is peeled and the film installed on the inside of the glass.
Puddles - Water trapped underneath window film. Puddles can prevent film shrinkage in a small area.
Release Liner - A thin plastic clear film, coated with a release agent, which covers the film's mounting adhesive until installation. On a roll of film, it is on the opposite wide from the hardcoat.
Relief Cut - A cut made to allow excess film that has formed into a finger to lie down against the glass comforming to it.
Spot Drying - A technique used to remove “fingers”. Hold a heat gun about
10” above the film pattern on the exterior of the window. Turn on heat gun
and move in a circular motion for 10-15 seconds at the top of a finger. Push
out finger with a squeegee as the heat shrinks it. Repeat process if finger is
Shifting Side Windows - a side door window that shifts out of frame when rolling it down. During vehicle inspection, it's important to check to see which way the window shifts because shifting varies from car to car.
Strip and Splice - The original rear window technique was the strip and seamed method where multiple strips of film are utilized. Even though the strip method is more time consuming than a fast "one piece", you can waste hours and film trying to heat shrink a window that you have not yet mastered. This technique makes it possible for you to tint any car, anywhere, with or without electrical power, and without heat shrinking. The strip method is also a fallback procedure in case you only have smaller rolls to work with.
Trimming Glass - A large piece of glass that is mounted in the installation area, as close to the car as possible. It is used to hold patterns when you need your hands free, especially helpful when rounding the corners or cleaning up imperfect edges of cut patterns. Mount the glass vertically to keep dust in the air from landing on your patterns; it is also a great place to peel the release liner when doing side windows.
Wet Shrinking - The technique is to wet the outside window with solution, lay the film with the liner up across the window, trim the pattern, and then remove any fingers with a heat gun. The heat softens the film allowing it to "shrink" back to its original form before it was stretched during the manufacturing process. The release of this built up tension allows the film to form to the curve of a rear window.