There’s a near infinite variety of t-shirt designs these days, to say nothing of hats and coffee mugs. Ever wonder why?
It’s because you only have to buy a plastic bucket heat transfer machine to start churning out your own designs. It’s an awesome gig for those who are always full of ideas, or anyone who wants to start a new business or indulge in a new hobby.
But first, let’s find out how to use a heat press in 8 steps. The first two are background information. Like a good movie, it gets better from there.
- CHOOSE YOUR PRESS
The first step you need to take in your journey is finding the right press for you. If you’re starting a t-shirt business, it’s best to do a thorough investigation into your options. For example, a press that is too small may only be great for some designs, but a larger one gives you the option to cover an entire t-shirt. Similarly, you might want to make prints on a wider range of products, and in this case a multifunctional machine may prove invaluable.
how to choose a heat press
The most important distinction, however, is between home presses and professional ones. The former is mostly made with private use in mind, but you can certainly use it for a business in its budding stages. If you are already handling bulk orders or plan to get to mass production, then a professional press is a better choice. It offers more settings for pressure and temperature and comes with larger platens.
- CHOOSE YOUR MATERIAL
Unfortunately, you can’t use just any fabric for the pressing. Some of them are sensitive to heat and high temperatures would melt them. Steer clear of thin materials and synthetics. Instead, print on cotton, lycra, nylon, polyester, and spandex. These materials are robust enough to withstand heat pressing, while you should consult the label for others.
It’s a good idea to pre-wash your garment, especially if it’s new. Some wrinkles might appear after that first wash and they can affect the design. If you do this before pressing, you will be able to avoid such issues.
- CHOOSE YOUR DESIGN
This is the fun part of the process! Essentially any image that can be printed can also be pressed onto a garment. If you really want your business to take off, though, you need something original that will wake people’s interest. You should work on your skills in software like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw. That way, you’ll be able to combine a good idea with a nice visual representation.
- PRINT YOUR DESIGN
An essential part of the heat pressing process is the transfer paper. This is a sheet with added wax and pigment that your design is initially printed on. It is placed over your garment in the press. There are different kinds of transfers, depending on the type of your printer and the color of your material. Here are some of the most common ones.
Inkjet transfers: If you have an inkjet printer, make sure to get the appropriate paper. An important thing to note is that inkjet printers don’t print white. Whatever part of your design is white will be shown as the color of the garment when heat pressed. You can work around this by choosing an off-white color (which can be printed) or using a white garment for pressing.
Laser printer transfers: As mentioned, there are different types of paper for different printers and they don’t work interchangeably, so be sure to pick the right one. Laser printer paper is considered to yield somewhat worse results than inkjet paper.
Sublimation transfers: This paper works with sublimation printers and special ink, so it is a more expensive option. The ink here turns into a gaseous state that penetrates the fabric, dying it permanently. It only works with polyester materials, however.
Ready-made transfers: There is also the option of getting pre-printed images that you put in the heat press without doing any printing yourself. You can even use your heat press to attach embroidered designs that have heat-sensitive adhesives on the back.
We have transfer paper wholesale for sale and welcome to your come and purchase!