How To Use A Heat Press

Using a heat press machine is relatively simple, but it’s important to understand the basics before getting started. Here are some general instructions for using a heat press machine: 

Heat Press Machine Graphic

  • Start by setting up your heat press machine on a flat, stable surface. Make sure the machine is plugged in and turned on. 
  • Adjust the temperature and pressure settings on the heat press to match the type of material you will be pressing. Different materials will require different temperatures and pressure levels. Wait for the machine to reach the correct temperature before starting your heat application process. 
  • Place your item (such as a t-shirt) onto the lower platen of the heat press. You should make sure that the material is smooth and wrinkle-free before pressing. 
  • Position the screen print heat transfer on the surface of the material where you want it to be pressed. 
  • Close the upper platen of the heat press and engage the press. Manual machines require closing by pulling down on the handle or while automatic machines just require pressing a button. This will start the heating process. 
  • After the timer finishes counting down release the press and open the upper platen. Lift a corner of your design and peel the transfer paper away in a smooth deliberate motion. You may need to hold your item down with another hand, so it doesn’t lift off the lower platen during application. 
  • Once the item has cooled to room temperature, it is ready to wear or use. Allow 24 hours for the adhesive to full set before putting the item through the laundry. 

It is important to always follow the instructions specific to your machine and the heat transfer formula being used, always follow the safety guidelines for your machine and keep the machine in good condition by following the recommended cleaning and maintenance schedule. Also, make sure to test a small piece of your material before making a large batch to check the right temp and time setting.