By Chris Gallagher
Successful heat printing requires accurate, evenly distributed pressure applied from the middle of the upper platen to the garment design on the lower platen. For this reason, STAHLS’® Hotronix® heat presses have a manual adjusting knob in the middle of the upper platen, not in the back; pressure applied from the back of the heat press platen is uneven – often applying more pressure at the back of the press than at the middle, front and sides.
In addition, the amount and type of adhesive on individual heat transfer materials requires different pressure settings to ensure proper application. We strive to educate our customers on how important it is to know not only what they are applying, but also the pressure settings. Pressure is everywhere these days, and the last thing you need is to be pressured by customers because designs are falling off their garments.
How do I know if my designs are falling off due to pressure?
- A garment with seams, pockets, zippers, V-necks, etc., require heat press accessories to get even pressure across these variables.
- Different heat transfer materials all have their own time, temperature, and pressure settings – we tell our customers, “verify, then apply” (VTA!).
- Imported heat presses without adjustable pressure can cause failed applications.
What accessories help to make sure I have accurate pressure?
- Heat Printing Pillows help with buttons and zippers and Print Perfect Pads help with pockets and small items. These accessories help produce even pressure when the area is uneven. The video below goes over the benefits of other heat press accessories.
- Doing large runs? Quick Change Platens are the way to go to get the correct and even pressure on items with difficult seams or zippers without the use of heat printing pillows or pads. Hotronix® heat presses have easily interchangeable platens for almost every job, saving valuable production time. The video below is prime example of the benefits of changing out the lower platen depending on what is being heat printed.
What do I do to verify the settings for my design?
- The settings for all of our products can be found either online or with your order. If the design is not one of our products, please reach out to that supplier for the proper settings.
- Once you have the settings, adjust your heat press to the proper time, temperature, and pressure.
- If you adjusted the settings and still have issues with the heat transfer vinyl not sticking, you may need to test the press.
What else can I do?
- If you don’t have any of the heat press accessories mentioned above, you should order them so you can practice and be ready for any job that comes your way.
- In addition to heat press accessories, decoration samples are typically available and can help you as well.
- Visit the resource library on the Help & Education page on our website.
- Watch video tutorials on our YouTube channel to help you with tips and tricks for getting a successful application every time.