A heat press is a very useful piece of machinery. It can be used for affixing labels, logos, and prints to a variety of materials. Whether you have a basic heat press, or one made for professional mass production jobs, here are a few steps, and heat press accessories, you’ll need to help you get started.
How To Use Your Heat Press Effectively
Before you get started always make sure you have the heat press accessories that you need. Heat transfer papers are most commonly needed. These are what you will print a design on that will then be transferred to your product. Inkjet label printers are commonly used for this type of printing due to their ability to print high quality images.
Keep in mind to always conduct a test print of your design on regular paper before using transfer paper. This allows you to test color and consistency without wasting any expensive supplies.
- Heating. Once your machine is powered on, turn the thermostat knob until the indicator light shines red, this means the unit is heating up to the desired temperature. Once that temperature is reached, turn the dial until the heating light is off. In most units, this light will continue to turn on and off as needed to maintain the specified temperature. If you’re unsure what temperature to use, your transfer paper packet should specify.
- Pre-Printing. To print, open the unit and lay out the shirt, or material, positioning it so the design can fit where you want it. Take care when loading your shirt or material to make sure it is as straight as possible. No one wants a crooked print after all. An easy way to check straightness is to make sure the tag is aligned with the back of the machine.
Additionally, you can preheat the shirt for a couple seconds to help remove wrinkles. This can create a smoother surface for the image to adhere to, and remove the chance of distortion from wrinkles. Either way, once the shirt is laid out, place the paper face down on the shirt.
- Printing. Once everything is in place, lower the top and lock it into place. After which you should set the timer to the appropriate length. This can usually be found with the transfer paper you’re using, as with the temperature requirements.
- Removal. Once the timer sounds, life the top and carefully peel back the transfer paper from the material. Keep in mind that it will take up to 24 hours for the print to fully finish adhering to the material. Don’t wash or crumple up the material until enough time has passed.
Operating a heat press isn’t an overly difficult process, but these tips can help make it even easier. While working the press isn’t hard, try and keep in mind what heat press accessories you’ll need most. A reliable printer, transfer paper, and non-stick parchment paper can go a long way when starting out. As you begin to print larger and more complicated jobs, you’ll learn what additional heat press accessories will be needed for clean and effective print jobs.