Top 5 Simple But Important Heat Pressing Tips

We love how excited and eager you are to break out your new heat press and begin heat pressing. We’ve been there too! But it’s important to get familiar with your heat press because sometimes you can overlook some aspects that may seem simple, but affect the performance and results of your printing experience.


5 simple heat pressing tips all heat printers will benefit from:

  1. Make sure collars, seams, and zippers hang off the lower platen
  2. Preheat your garments
  3. Center your designs properly
  4. Follow the application instructions
  5. Use a cover sheet

Create a Seamless Print Surface

When heat pressing a button down, 1/4 zip, or any garment with seams, buttons, or zippers, you’ll want to make sure they’re hanging off the lower platen. Doing this creates a smooth printing surface and ensures your design is being applied with even, accurate pressure. If you heat apply over a raised area, you risk the design lifting or not fully adhering to the garment.

Use a heat printing pad or pillow if you’re placing a design near a raised area. When heat applying, the seam or zipper will sink into the surface and give you a smooth printing area.


Preheating Prevents Errors

Before you heat apply your heat transfer vinyl designs or transfers, always preheat your garments or accessories. This removes wrinkles and moisture and allows the design to adhere to the garment better.


Placements Can Be Challenging

Design placements should be 2 to 3 fingers below the neckline, depending on the shirt style and transfer type. Placing the transfer too low, too high, or even off-center can make the garment look bad and lower the value — or worse, you’ll have to start over. Download the Design & Size e-book to help with proper design, size, and placement for a variety of apparel.


Application Instructions Are Meant to be Followed

Know the application instructions and make sure the press is always set correctly prior to application, especially if you walk away between applications. Time spent double checking your instructions and settings will save you time and materials in the long run and give you durable and professional results.


Protect Your Designs & Equipment

Use a heat press cover sheet. It’s the easiest step in heat printing, but often the most forgotten especially when you’re hustling to complete a job. You don’t want to spend precious time out of your day not making shirts while you clean the platen. Keep a small stack of cover sheets nearby as a reminder and soon you’ll be making a good habit of it.


There are always new things to learn and heat printing tips to be shared! We hope these 5 tips help you get started on the path to a successful heat pressing experience.

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