Everything You Need to Know About A Heat Press

In this guide to heat printing, we cover everything you need to know about a heat press, including what heat printing is and the many different uses and benefits it has.

What exactly is a heat press machine?

A heat press is a type of machine that utilizes heat in order to apply designs onto various substrates.

It uses a combination of pressure from the heated upper platen onto the lower platen in order to achieve its results.

The majority of presses are used to apply heat transfers onto a range of garments.

However, there is a range of different types of presses that can be used to apply such transfers to other items, such as mugs, caps, and balls.

woman using a heat press machine to make custom tshirts

Is heat printing the same as iron-on printing?

Heat printing is used to apply graphics or artwork to a range of apparel items, such as hooded tops, jackets, t-shirts, and more.

Contrary to popular belief, a heat press is not the same as an iron, it is a specialist piece of equipment that is used commercially to apply a graphic to a fabric.

In recent years, there have been some major advancements in heat printing technologies.

A heat applied transfer uses a similar concept to iron-on transfers, but it is more advanced, more long-lasting, and of a much higher level of quality.

How does a heat press work?

A heat press will apply a transfer under pressure, and at a high temperature, for a pre-set amount of time. It gives you a reliable, professional application that should last for the lifetime of the garment.

What types of things can a heat press be used for?

A heat press can deliver a range of practical uses and offers itself as a highly adaptable piece of equipment that can open up new product channels and increased functionality for a printing business.

Essentially, it will heat things up and press them, but it forms an integral part of many different processes, making it one of the most valued and versatile pieces of kit that any printing business should own.

1. A Heat Press can be used for sublimation
We’ve already covered the many different uses and benefits of sublimation and sublimation printing. Dye sublimation is a specific method that involves using specialist inks that are printed onto paper via a transfer. This transfer is heat pressed onto a poly-coated substrate or a polyester garment.

2. A Heat Press can be used for vinyl
When you see names and numerals printed onto sports T-shirts and other such garments.

3. A Heat Press can be used for decorated patches
By using a heat press, any decorative patch or screen that is printed can be heat=sealed onto a product or fabric of your choosing.   A sublimated patch is an ideal solution for those looking to use a design with many colors. So, when screen printing or embroidery isn’t going to work, you can simply put the design onto a sublimated patch and heat seal it in a press.

4. A Heat Press can be used for screen printed transfer
Screen printing has surged in popularity, but it comes with a high set-up cost and a need to know specific skills in order to get things right. Thankfully, there is an alternative solution that gives you the ability to offer screen printed items without having to do any screen printing yourself; plastisol transfers. This process simply involves using a transfer, having a garment to embellish, and of course, a heat press.

5. A Heat Press can be used for rhinestones
Rhinestone transfers are another way a heat press can be used, preventing you from having buy rhinestones or hand place them onto a garment or item.

In Summary

Heat printing with a heat press is a great process of producing custom apparel products.

In terms of the complexity, it is a relatively straightforward tool to use; which also offers great flexibility in terms of the products and materials that can be used.

From t-shirts to tote bags, caps, and aprons, there are so many options for this versatile tool.

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Contact Information

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Inkwell Printing

3925 South Highway 97

Sand Springs, OK


(918) 508-3634

Business Hours

Monday 9AM - 5PM
Tuesday 9AM - 5PM
Wednesday 9AM - 5PM
Thursday 9AM - 5PM
Friday 9AM - 5PM
Saturday By Appointment
Sunday Closed
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