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Tag Archive heat press


heat press machineHeat presses have two plates, or platens, as they are more often called. The top platen heats up, and is therefore called the heat platen. Once the machine is plugged into a power socket, it takes time, temperature and pressure for it to do the t-shirt press.

Most, if not all, heat press machines have a digital display on which you can set the time and temperature. Some very expensive machines will also allow you to set the pressure digitally. Only very old or antiquated machines will have analog time and temperature settings.

  1. Time

The time range for most t-shirt presses is 0-999 seconds.

Now, no one is ever going to do a press for 999 seconds, or 16 minutes! You will likely have a house fire on your hands if you give it a go (so don’t). Most heat transfers only need 10-20 seconds to complete.

heat transfer printing

  1. Temperature

Most machines have a temperature range of 0 – 500° F. This is more than enough to perfectly apply all heat transfers onto t-shirts and other garments. A higher temperature than 500° F would likely burn or melt your transfers and t-shirts!

  1. Pressure

Pressure is set on most machines by turning a knob. This knob will be situated either on top of the control box at the back (like this machine), or on top of the heat platen (like this machine).

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heat pressFor those who are in garment printing business, heat press machine is a printing device which helps you earn bread and butter. Thus, should be always handled with utmost care and precaution if you want it to deliver at its best all the times.


1. Cleaning the upper platen:

In order to the clean the upper platen after use first of all power off the machine and let the machine cool down. Sprinkle a small amount of mineral any mineral acid on to soft cloth, now gently wipe the platen surface with this dampened cloth. This removes the extra inks which come transfers.


1) Do not use anything rough or sharp things such as the scrub pads or knifes to remove any layer of residue ink left on the platen. As these materials will damage the protective Teflon coating

2) Never use the mineral acid while the platen is hot, as its highly flammable. Also, avoid coming it in contact with sparks and flames


1) Gives you a clean and smooth surface which is ideal for heat transfer process, an uneven surface can reduce the quality of transfer

2) A cleaner platen distributes the heat and pressure evenly, which helps you to produce great workpieces


2. Protecting the Teflon surface:

The Teflon coated surface here is nothing new, it’s the same as your cooking utensil and serves the function of preventing ins to stick on platen surface. Avoid using and sharp items such chains, zippers and other things to prevent the Teflon layer from getting scratched.


1) If you are using additional Teflon sheets please try to remember that it will increase the thickness of the layers and would require more pressure and temperature

2) If a garment has some metal tags try to cover up in multiple patches of smaller dimension


heat press3. Regular oiling and greasing:

You know its quite important to regularly oil and grease the mechanically moving parts of any machine. It always works wonders for everyone. If you do not oil or grease at regular intervals then the heat press becomes slightly hard to work with as the pivots get harden because of dust build up. Also, without lubrication the most of the exposed parts will dry out and start rusting, thus gradually increases the friction making it harder to work.


Well, lubricating is a good thing but what happens when you overdo it. The grease build up can be noticed which can get to your garments. So always after greasing, clean of the press before starting it.


4. Cleaning the air system:

Well, this one is for the automatic machines. As they operate by using compressed air which is being sucked in from the environment. It contains a large amount of dust and dirt particles which can clog the entire system. So, to avoid such a situation check the air filters regularly and if necessary change them. Also, replace the desiccant air drier if it’s used completely to prevent the moisture jamming and damaging the air pipes.


5. Have a cleaner workplace:

One important thing is to have a very much cleaner working space, the cleaner space easier & smoother will be a job. Particles like lint, hair and other debris can get stuck in the garment while transferring. So, try to keep the workshop as clean as possible.


The regular maintenance will let your machine perform smoothly and efficiently over a longer period. You can follow the above mention points to get the better performance from your machine.


When shopping for a high quality heat press machine or t-shirt printers there are several things to look for, such as a timer, temperature gauge and the weight of the press. A good and efficient press must have a digital control complete with these features. These are the reasons a business or a person, taking it as a hobby, should invest in a quality heat press.

rotary heat transfer machine

  1. Cost-effective

Investing in a good heat press will yield profits for your work in the long run. With a machine which can handle a high volume of work, you can create lots of printed T-Shirts. The machines are designed to handle small and large volumes of work, depending on the type.

  1. Easy to use

Quality heat presses are easy to use. Those with no prior experience are able to learn fast when they have access to a good heat press. The technology applied in their manufacturing and control is easily grasped during the process of using it. They take relatively little space and are efficient.

  1. Speed

heat transfer printingThe speed of a heat press makes it attractive. It is fast and produces many printed objects compared to other graphics printing machines. A heat press machine has a control panel which does not require much energy to operate and creates results quickly.

  1. Quality production

It prints electronically and quickly without undermining the quality. The heat press is able to make complete and even transfers on the substrates by application of temperature up to 500°F.

  1. Versatile

High-quality machines are versatile, in that, they can produce on different materials and fabrics, for example, satin and cotton. They can also work on hard materials, such as ceramic tiles. These allow them to work on mugs, tiles, umbrellas and other products with much ease. Their versatility is a huge advantage for businesses and people who want to try out different designs and prints.

  1. Integrated techniques

Heat presses can use integrated techniques—you can use a heat press machine with other printing techniques such as the use of ink. This prevents any form of hindrance. These are the advantages of high-quality heat press machines.

However, heat presses, especially the high-quality ones, are very expensive to buy and set up. But it’s not true that cheap heat presses are worst. The heat press cannot layer colors on fabrics because they will become bulky and heavy.

How to Extend the Service Life of Automatic Heat Presses

It is necessary to pay attention to the life of automatic heat presses in the use of the process, but do you know what should be the way to extend its life? Let’s have a talk about it.


heat press machineThere are a lot of methods that can extend the life of  automatic heat presses. First, let’s think of is its production equipment for maintenance, including the appearance of the wipe, the main thing is to clean up the residual matter clean. Followed by the need to add the location of the oil in a timely manner to replace the oil, otherwise it will make the machine serious wear and tear phenomenon, there is the machine after a period of time, you need to stop to rest, and then do a good job of Automatic Heat Presses maintenance.


First of all, we can check from the Automatic Heat Presses machine installation environment, mainly to check it above the machine is not in a more appropriate environment, only it will be used in the appropriate temperature environment , It can run better, there will be no failure, followed by the need to note that the machine location to stay away from the vibration source, to prevent the machine at work affect the processing accuracy and stability. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight and avoid moisture to prevent the Automatic Heat Presses machine from getting wet.

heat press machine

In fact, when the Automatic Heat Presses in the work of the time, it will friction with the template, which pass some working pressure and operating temperature, so that the veneer and the substrate is more closely connected, so that the template was damaged. So in order to be able to strengthen, are the need to use this cushion, so you can make the Automatic Heat Presses work portfolio, the cushion will be between the hot plate and the template, play the working pressure and operating temperature can The effect of uniform transmission, so that it can be a good way to reduce the damage occurred.


The above method can help you to extend the life of Automatic Heat Presses, adequate maintenance work, so that equipment can always maintain a perfect state, easy to run in the smooth operation.

Several Ways to Maintain a Heat Press

Replacing a heat press can be very expensive. Here are several ways that could prolong the life and help maintain a healthy heat press.

heat press

1. Maintain by Cleaning:


Make sure to dust your heat press on a regular basis. Try to avoid getting to the point where it is visually obvious that your heat press needs a dusting. Built up dust can make the machine run hotter. Make sure to keep dust off both the exterior and interior components of your heat press.


To lubricate your heat press, use a high heat and extreme pressure lubricant or a white grease and apply it to the pistons and rods of your heat press. This will help the lowering and lifting of the platens become a smoother motion. Apply the lubricant with either a cotton swab or a rag. You should only need to do this about once a year. However, depending on how often you use your heat press, it’s certainly okay to do it more than once a year.

Clean Upper Platen

A well-functioning platen, is a clean platen! Use a lint free cloth to wipe the top of your platen with iron cleaner, alcohol, mineral spirits, or a simple green/water mix. Before you start cleaning, make sure your platen is cool, to eliminate the chances of burning anything. You should clean your upper platen at least every couple of weeks, but the frequency will depend on what you’re pressing and how frequently.

heat press

2. Maintain by Replacing Parts:

Rubber pad / lower platen

When the surface of your lower platen is cracked, dented, punctured, warped, chipped, or deformed in anyway, it may be time to replace it. Replacing a lower platen or even just the rubber pad is much cheaper than replacing the whole heat press. Transfers need a flat and smooth surface to ensure even pressure, and when the surface is deformed, even pressure is hard to maintain.


It is always important to use the correct cord. If you replace the cord that came with the heat press, be sure to replace it with a chord that can handle the appropriate amount of voltage/wattage. If it’s replaced with a cord with a smaller gauge or is a thinner cord, it could become a fire hazard.


3. Maintain While Working:

Use teflon sheets/covers

To protect your platens and make them last longer, use teflon. Teflon comes in a variety of forms that can be used in different ways. Teflon covers act like a mattress cover and hug the lower platen. Teflon sheets can be placed over the top of your transfers to prevent them from sticking to the upper platen. Teflon pillows can be placed underneath the item you are applying the transfer to. The pillows help get a more even press when the item has uneven surfaces to work around, such as buttons, collars, or zippers. If you already use teflon products, then you know that you can reuse teflon through a lot of transfers, however; there will come a time when you need to replace them. Teflon has been used to it’s fullest extent, and should be replaced, when it is ripped, cracked or torn.

Placement of application surface

Be sure to work from in the center of the platen during the application process. The force the heat press can exert outwards when the platens are pressed together, meaning that the heat starts in the center and spreads out to the edges. Uneven pressure (caused by uncentered applications and uneven-natured items) can cause certain parts of your transfer to not apply correctly.

Different Available Sizes of Heat Presses on the Market

Different sizes of heat press may affect the size and type of items they can press, for example, small presses can only work on small T-shirts and fabrics while large presses can work on odd items, such as mugs and helmets.

Now to break it down for you, there are different available sizes of heat presses on the market.

different sizes of heat presses

1. Very small presses
The very small heat presses, that are normally referred to as “label presses,” range from presses measuring 4” x 6”, 6” x 6” and 6” by 8”. These presses are suitable for small items, such as baby clothes and tote bags.

These presses can also be used to work on large items that only small area is needed to be heated. These heat presses take little space due to its compactness. Thus, they are suitable for hobby purposes and people who use them for small work like printing their favorite T-shirts. The very small presses cost less. It only works on small items and accommodates less volume.

2. Small Presses
The small presses vary from 9” x 12” to 12” x 14”. They are portable, thanks to their relatively small size, and are inexpensive compared to the larger ones. They are able to press on items, for example, small T-shirts. This size also takes less space and is convenient for people with space constraints. They are also suitable for people with less work or those who print shirts as a hobby.

different sizes of heat presses

3. Medium presses
The medium heat presses on average measure about 15” x 15”. They are large enough for people with medium businesses and have more power, hence suitable for people who do repetitive work. They are much cheaper and can press medium-sized items. This machine is ideal for a medium-sized businessman.

4. Large presses
Large presses come in measure up to 40” x 64”. These monsters are only used in leading world brands where there is a high turnover of artistic items such as ceramic tiles, mugs, and printed T-shirts. These presses are effective and function all the time without glitches.

Overall, heat press machines are a great deal for graphic imprinting, from hobby activities to large businesses. They produce high-quality products, hence the widely popular artistic market and T-shirt brands around the world. Heat press machine size is just one of the many factors to be considered when shopping for such a machine.


Each model of heat press is designed with its unique list of features and to carry a specified task. Other than this, these machines might look almost similar in appearance. This might prove to be a bit hard for people which have never laid an eye on this kid of machine before to distinguish between the different models.

What Are The Main Types Of Heat Press Machines

Before you set out to purchase a heat press machine, therefore, you are highly advised to learn the different types of heat press machines available on the market. This will help you identify the one that will meet your needs and expectations (based on its features and specialty).


Below, we’ ll look at the main types of heat transfer machines that you’ll find on the market today:


  1. Small Format Heat Press

This device is used if you’re planning to sublimate on t-shirts and small items such as caps, mugs, plates, and shoes.

rotary heat transfer machine

  1. Calendar Heat Press

These heat presses are large format presses that are built for flags, large exterior banners, and other large soft-signage applications, as well as day-to-day soft signage and fabric sublimation. With the addition of table attachment to your calendar unit, users can cut and sew apparel pieces.


  1. Flatbed Heat Press

Although they can’t effectively manage the kind of rolls and fabric sizes that a Calendar heat press can, flatbed style heat presses are versatile presses that can heat transfer onto fabric as well as aluminium, hardboard, floor mats and other unique media.


  1. 3D Vacuum Heat Press

A 3D vacuum heat press is a compact desktop machine that allows heat transfer onto materials with a curved edge or shape. Sublimation blanks and pre-treated objects, such as smart phone covers, mugs, picture frames, sporting goods, buttons and others available for sublimation by this device.

Something You Need Know About Heat Press on Dye Sublimated Fabrics

What is Dye Sublimation?

Most polyester fabrics, such as many of the popular “Performance Garments”, are dyed using a sublimation process. The dye sublimation process uses high heat to permanently fuse the colorant into a polyester fabric.


Heat serves two critical functions in this dying process. First, the heat causes the pores of the polyester fabric to open up, so the material can accept the dye. And second, the heat converts the solid ink dye on a transfer sheet into a gas.

dye sublimation

Under pressure of the heat press, the gaseous dye is forced into the open pores of the polyester.  As the temperature drops, the pores close up capturing the dye inside of the bonds to the substrate.


The sublimated color is very durable because the dye becomes an integral part of the fabric, rather than a colorant on the outside of the fibers of the fabric, which can bleed and fade.  Sublimated fabrics can be washed again and again, without losing the vibrancy of its color.

heat transfer printing

Dye Migration Can Discolor Heat Transfer Appliques

There’s one slight catch, though. When you heat press an applique onto a sublimated garment, the high heat can release the dye in the fabric. These dyes can then migrate and discolor a heat transfer vinyl applique.


Discoloration resulting from dye migration does not occur immediately. Instead it is a gradual process, which may take as long as 72 hours to occur. For example, a white applique heat pressed onto a black sublimated garment is likely to turn gray over time.