how to heat press hoodies: a step by step guide

How to Heat Print Hoodies: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re a custom apparel decorator, you may be interested in heat printing hoodies to expand your product offering. Hoodies are an ever-popular item that can increase the value of your brand and boost sales in any season. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of heat printing on different areas of a hoodie, as well as different types of accessories you can use for the best results.

Types of Accessories to Use

Hoodies can be tricky to heat press due to pockets, seams, zippers, and buttons they may have that will affect the pressure. With the help of a few accessories, you can ensure the perfect application of your transfers.

  • Heat Printing Pillow: A Heat Printing Pillow helps ensure even pressure and adhesion when heat printing on items with seams or uneven surfaces, such as hoodies.
  • Heat Press Pad: Heat Press Pads are the handy when decorating near pockets, seams, or zippers. By elevating the print area away from any obstructions, the pads provide a solid surface for even and accurate pressure.
  • Quick Change Platen: If you’re using a Hotronix® heat press compatible with Quick Change Platens, a smaller platen size might be a worthwhile investment. Use a medium size platen to easily drape the pocket and hood of the hoodie off the sides of the platen so you don’t need to insert a pillow or pad for each application. Smaller platens are also handy for isolating smaller print areas such as a left chest logo.
  • Flexible Application Pad: The Flexible Application Pad was designed to protect heat sensitive garments while heat printing. For zip-up hoodies or button-ups, the Flexible Application Pad can be used to cover the zippers or buttons and protect them from the heat of the press.

Add Print Placements to Increase Product and Brand Value

Take advantage of the abundance of areas that can be printed on hoodies. With a small inside tag or sleeve print, you can easily increase the perceived value of your product and brand. Here are a few different print locations to consider adding to hoodies:

  • Left Chest: Left chest prints are a classic and subtle way to display a brand or design.
  • Hood Print: Use the hood to add additional logo branding or add numbers for sports apparel.
  • Pocket Print: Add additional design details that increase value to your customer by printing the pocket of a hoodie.
  • Full Back: Full back designs are eye-catching and make a statement.
  • Inside Tag: Printing inside tags with your brand name or logo shows attention to detail and quality.
  • Sleeve Print: Sleeve prints add a unique touch to a hoodie and can increase the perceived value of the product.

Printing Different Locations of a Hoodie

  1. Left Chest: Use a smaller platen or a Heat Press Pad to isolate the print area. A good rule of thumb for placement is going straight down from where the top shoulder seam meets the collar, and straight across from where the sleeve seam meets the side seam, roughly 4-5″ depending on the garment. Test out the placement before you press by securing the transfer in place with a piece of Thermo-Tape™ and trying on the hoodie. When in doubt, it’s better to position the transfer closer towards the middle of the garment rather than the sides. After all, no one wants their logo in their armpit!
  2. Full Back: Use a larger platen for a full back design. Also consider the area of the back covered by the hood when worn. For many hoodies, the perfect placement so the transfer will still be visible below the hood is about 5″ to 6″ below the collar seam.
  3. Inside Tag: Use a Tag Along™ Platen, a smaller size platen, or a Heat Press Pad to print inside tags.
  4. Sleeve Print: Use a smaller platen designed for sleeves or a Heat Printing Pillow to ensure even pressure. Another method is to lay the sleeve across the platen, ensuring that the cuff is off the edge so it won’t affect the pressure. If you have a Quick Slip Lower Platen Protector on your platen, you may need to remove this so your hoodie will stay in place as you position the sleeve.

Experiment With Different Transfer Types

Now that you know how to heat print hoodies in various locations, experiment with the types of transfers you use. Using a dimensional patch or emblem or special effect HTV is a great way to increase the value of your product and profit margin. Level up your product offering to stay relevant and trending amidst the competiton!

By using these tips and techniques, you can create high-quality, value-added hoodies for your customers. For best results, use the appropriate accessories and follow the recommended time, temperature, and pressure settings for the type of transfer being used. With a little practice and experimentation, you can become an expert at heat printing hoodies and take your custom apparel business to the next level!

See Dave heat press a left chest, full back, and sleeve print on a hoodie in the video below! You’ll also get some hot heat printing tips from Jenna on heat printing accessories, bags, and more!

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