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Heat Pressing - Step by Step

Author: Bryan Birch
by Bryan Birch
Posted: Jun 07, 2017

How To Heat Press

Have you heard of friends and family, or perhaps someone you follow online, beginning to create their own t-shirts, brands, or merchandise?

It is an ever growing industry and craft, for those wanting to express their creativity in a very public way - on your chest!

Heat pressing is one enjoyable way you can get your ideas onto a tee.

In this article we’ll give you a short guide to the basics.

What You’ll Need to Begin

  • A heat press machine set yourself a budget and find one in that price range. There is a great range in pricing, from very cheap to very expensive. As with most things, the more you spend, the better you press will be.

  • Either, an inkjet printer with sublimation inks and transfer paper if you would like to press sublimation images. Or, heat transfer vinyl and a cutting machine if you would like to press vinyl.

  • Blank T-shirts!

Step by Step

  • Begin by turning on your machine and allowing it to heat up. The time varies between machines.

  • Print or cut out the design that you would like to press onto a t-shirt (or whatever other surface that is appropriate).

  • Place your t-shirt down into the heat press, with the side receiving the transfer facing up.

  • Set the pressure so that the top comes down firmly upon the garment and locks/clicks into place firmly.

  • Pre-press your t-shirt for 3 - 5 seconds to remove moisture.

  • Set the time and temperature given by the manufacturer of your transfer or transfer material into the machine.

  • Place transfer face down on your t-shirt and cover with a Teflon sheet to protect the upper heat platen (most machines will come with a free sheet. If yours doesn’t come with one, you may use baking paper instead).

  • Close the heat press and allow the timer to count down.

  • Open and remove Teflon sheet - depending on whether your transfer is a hot or cold peel transfer, remove it now or wait until it cools.

  • Repeat, repeat, repeat!


As you’ll agree, that was a very basic overview of how to heat press. There will be possible variations depending on the machine you buy and the transfers you press.

There is something very satisfying about heat pressing, it will give you a good feeling to be out and about with your very own self designed and produced t-shirts on.

I hope you’re able to try it out soon!

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Author: Bryan Birch

Bryan Birch

Member since: Jun 06, 2017
Published articles: 1

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