How to Use a Heat Press Machine to Start Your First Design

Last Updated on August 25, 2020 by admin

A heat press machine is engineering to print designs or graphic design services on a substrate like a T-shirt. The most common type of heat press machine uses flat platinum to apply heat and pressure at low levels. This is a great alternative to classic screen printing. Of course, when it comes to quality and longevity, screen printing can still win the game. But from the customer’s point of view, they can’t tell the difference between a screen-printed T-shirt and a heat press T-shirt.

This is a good thing for T-shirt entrepreneurs to use a heat press machine because it is easy and affordable to print anything. It is also to easy to print a custom T-shirt. The heat press machine is a favorite printing system of many T-shirt entrepreneurs. If you have a heat press machine, you are probably wondering how to use the heat press machine. Okay, here’s a complete guide on how to use the machine.

Don’t apply too much heat because it takes a lot of heat to transfer the work of art properly and evenly. If you don’t apply a lot of heat, the artwork may not stick to the shirt properly and create problems during washing. If you are afraid of burning T-shirts, you have no objection to burning sample prints on old shirts.

It’s always scary on the first few attempts but getting your printing shirt bag will eventually develop your confidence and you finally know how to use the heat press machine. The rule is actually simple; just follow the recommended temperature for each fabric on the transfer paper. Press the shirt directly over the top. The last thing you want is a zigzag print.

There are different ways to do this without using grids, lasers, and rules. One way is to make sure the tag is attached to the back of the T-shirt. But for a faster and more effective way to ensure the position of the correct t-shirt, consider a system that projects a laser over the garment. Before putting these on your t-shirt press make sure you are stretching your shirt.

This should be done to avoid printing from cracking. Before printing your design on transfer paper, make sure you check it by printing it on regular paper. Transfer paperwork is expensive and you don’t want to waste money. A preview print is essential to check if the design is within the margins and how an artwork looks printed if the colors are printed correctly. And of course, before you print on any T-shirt, make sure that you have the best t-shirt printer that transfer paper through any fabric you wish to throw away.

There Are Few Tips to Start Your First Design


Selecting Fabrics

Not all types of fabric you can print using T-shirt presses. Not everyone knows this, but I guess you’re trying to learn why you should use a heat press machine. Anything that melts with very hot surfaces (synthetic material, thin fabric) you should consider. Make sure you are printing shirts or any items that need to wash properly after printing. If you don’t pre-wash them, they have a chance to shrink after your first wash. The most popular types of fabrics for T-shirt printing include cotton, polyester, nylon, spandex, and lyre. If you have fabrics that are not included in this list, make sure you consult a garment specialist.

Preparing for Artwork

The standard way is to create artwork for printing on the transfer paper you need to use an inkjet printer. First, you need to design your artwork using design software such as Adobe Illustrator. Remember that the heat press machines are not capable of printing white. This means that if you try to print something with white, the result will show only white color. Consider this when creating your t-shirt artwork. Make sure you invert your artwork horizontally using your design software.

Select the Right Transfer Paper

Before printing your t-shirt, make sure that your transfer paper is the right match for your printer and design. There are many types and brands of transfer paper and you need to do a good amount of research for this. But I’m just stuck on the basics of how to use a heat press machine.

Most transfer papers you will see on the market are for inkjet printers. So, if you are using a laser printer, make sure you are not using transfer paper for inkjet. You need to find the right transfer paper that is matching transfer paper with a printer. There are also other things to consider. For example, transfer papers for white tees are different from black tees transfer paper.

Choose Your Material

Unfortunately, you can’t use any fabric to print using a heat press machine. Some of them are sensitive to heat and high temperatures will dissolve them. Thin materials and synthetics should be clean up. Specially to print in cotton, lyre, nylon, polyester, and spandex.

These substances are strong enough to withstand heat press machines. It’s a good idea to pre-wash your wardrobe especially if it’s new. You will see that some wrinkles may appear after the first wash and they can affect the design. If you do this before you stress, you can’t avoid this kind of problem.

Choose Your Design

This is an interesting part of the process. Basically, any image that you can print using the best heat press machine into any garment item. If you want to run your own business, you need some basic things that will arouse people’s interest. You should work on your skills in software like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW. This way, you can combine a good idea with a good visual presentation.

Prepare the heat press machine

Whatever heat press machine you are using, it is easy to learn how to use it. With any precious or cheap heat press machine, you can set your desired temperature and pressure and also have a timer. The press should be open when it is ready. Once you turn on your heat-press, set your temperature. You can do this by turning the thermostat knock clockwise. Then you reach your desired heat setting. This will activate the heating light. Once the light is off, you will know that it is reaching your desired temperature. You can turn the knot on at this point, but keep the light on to keep it warm.

There is no set temperature that you can use when pressing heat. Your transfer paper packaging will tell you how to set it up. It will be around 350-375 ° F, so don’t worry it doesn’t seem high. You can always use an old shirt to test the pressure.

Next, set the pressure correctly. Turn the knob of the pressure until you reach the setting of your choice. Dense materials usually require more pressure, while thinner ones do not. You should notice moderate to high pressure in all cases. Although it is best to do some testing until you find a level that you don’t think and it gives the best results. In some presses, the low-pressure setting makes it more difficult to keep the handle lock.

Put your clothes on the press

It is essential to straighten the material inside the press. Any fold will lead to bad printing. You can use the garment item to heat for 5 to 10 seconds to remove creases. It is a good idea to stretch the shirt when you put it on the press. This way, there will be some agreement when the print is finishing. The T-shirt tag you should attach to the back of the press. This will help to place the print properly. Some presses project a laser grid over your wardrobe, making it even easier to align your design.

Your printed transfer should face down on the top of the garment. It is necessary while the embroidery designs are placing down on the adhesive side. As a protection, you can put a towel or a piece of thin cotton cloth over your transfer. Although you don’t need to do this if you have a protective silicone pad in your press.

Move the Design

Once you have pressed the garment and the print and placing it correctly you can bring the handle down. It should be locking tightly so that you do not have to physically press on it. Then you need to set the timer but it is depending on your transfer paper instructions. It would be usually between 10 seconds to 1 minute.

When the time is up, open the press and take off the shirt.  Hopefully, you will see your wardrobe successfully transferred over your wardrobe. If you have made more new shirts, you can repeat the process. If you want to add a print on the other side, make sure to put the cardboard inside it first. Use less pressure to avoid re-heating of the first design.

Print Your Design

An essential part of the heat pressure process is the transfer paper. It is a sheet of wax and pigment that attaching to which your design can print properly. It is placing on top of your clothing in the press machine. There are different types of transfer paper. But it is depending on the type of printer and the color material.




 There are several common issues here mentioning below.

Inkjet Transfer: If you have an inkjet printer, make sure you have the appropriate paper. An important point to note is that inkjet printers do not print white. If you use it while color it shows you a different color after print. So, you can work with an off-white color.

Laser Printer Transfer: There are different types of paper for different printers. They do not work conversely, so be sure to choose the right pix. Laser printer paper is considering to have slightly worse. It will provide you a better result.

Sublimation Transfer: This paper works with a sublimation printer and special ink. So it is a more expensive option to transfer. It only works with polyester materials.

Transfer Space: You also have the option to leave the pre-printed images. You can use a heat press machine without any printing design. You can even use your heat press to attach embroidery designs. It has heat-sensitive glue on the back.

There are several things you need to consider when working with transfer paper. One of the basics is that you should print the right side. This may seem obvious but it is easy to get it wrong.


Take Care Your Machine

  • Always keep the upper platen clean
  • Secure the Teflon coating
  • Regular lubrication to prevent unwanted stress on your machine
  • Keep the air system clean special for automatic heat press machine
  • Secure the lower platinum rubber pad


Frequently Asking Questions:

What do I need for a heat press machine?

In addition to the heat press, you will need a computer for design. There are various tools such as scissors, a cutter, heat tape, a printer, ink. There is also a transfer paper to keep the transfer in order during the tapping process.

How do I know if my hit press is ready?

The press should be open when it is ready. Once you turn on your heat-press, set your temperature. You have to do these by turning the thermostat knock clockwise. You have to do this until you can reach your desired temperature. This will activate the heating light.

What kind of paper do I need for a heat press?

The paper is necessary to design a light T-shirt for white, cream, or pastel light-colored fabrics. To transfer the design to the fabric of your choice, you can use a heat press machine or higher ordinary common iron.

How much does it cost to start a t-shirt printing business?

By the end of the day, you need to spend a minimum of $ 1000 to start a T-shirt business outside your home. This is a very small investment if you compare it to other decoration methods. There are some examples like direct screen printing equipment or embroidery machines. Note that both designs can cost several thousand dollars.

Do I need a license to sell T-shirts?

Generally, you will only need a retail license. It is eagerly necessary when you are selling clothing into the market. There is no need for a special business license to sell your homemade products. You may need a business provisional license to buy or sell clothing from a clothing distributor.

About Neharash

I am Neharash, A product reviews writers. I had started my writing career in 2016. Now I am an experience writer about water purifiers.

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