In this Buyers Guide, we’ll cover the basics of heat […]
In this Buyers Guide, we’ll cover the basics of heat press machines – the different types, features, and things you should consider when deciding which press is right for you.
Let’s get to it!
What is a heat press machine?
A heat press machine (or simply “heat press”) is used to apply a printed transfer, heat transfer vinyl, screen printed transfers, rhinestones and more onto substrates like T-shirts, mouse pads, flags, tote bags, mugs, caps, etc, via the heat transfer process.
To do this, the machine heats up the top platen, which is used to press the graphic/design material and substrate together, to a recommended temperature (the temp will depend on the type of transfer).
The platens then hold the materials together for a set period of time under a set pressure; be sure to always follow the specific instructions for each type of transfer you apply.
For example, sublimation on fabric will require a higher temp and “dwell time” while digital transfers from an inkjet or color laser printer will have a lower temp and a different dwell time.
Today’s presses come with all sorts of options and features. Basic elements include press type (clamshell or swing-away), pressure adjustment (manual pressure knob or digital pressure readout), and manual or digital temperature controls.