No more waiting for inks to dry or stressing about gaps in the emulsion that leave unsightly marks on your garment or tote bag.
Why Heat Press Printing?
1. It is easy to print on demand
If your customers are the type to request 2 or 3 shirts of a particular design over an extended period of time, having a heat press and heat transfer paper means that you can stock your customer’s design for up to two years and reproduce the design for them anytime in under a minute. This is especially useful for events and trade shows where you have no guarantee of selling every shirt you print. It makes a lot more sense to keep blanks on hand and just print what you need.
2. It’s easy to combine different designs on one garment
When you do screen printing or direct to garment printing, you have to dry your garment before starting another design on the same garment. With a heat press, it’s a matter of heat pressing the design onto the fabric, peeling off the transfer paper and then repeating the steps for the next design for the next part of the garment. No more waiting for ink to gel or having trouble with lining up the different screens for a multiple-color design. All you need is your design on heat transfer paper and you’re good to go!
3. Saving on gang sheets
You can print more than one design on a gang sheet which saves you both time and money. You can print on gang sheets when: printing more than one design of the same color, printing multiples of the same image, printing multiples of the same image but in different sizes. Printing on gang sheets means that you can simply cut out the design that you want to transfer using heat press and keep the other unused designs in stock without wasting the release paper.
Heat press printing is fast, reliable and relatively inexpensive in terms of labor and material cost.
Your initial investment
Before you embark on your heat transfer printing business, you will need to invest in these key pieces of machinery and materials:
- Heat Press
- Plastisol Heat Transfer Paper (with your design screen printed)
If you don’t have the time or inclination for to screen print your own transfers, then you can send in your designs and simply have them deliver it to you on the transfer paper. Good quality transfer papers can last up to two years so if you anticipate having to repeat a particular design, you can order a lot so you have some on hand at all times.
Transferring your design from paper to shirt
- It is best to start out with a 16x20 heat press.
- The heat press emits heat of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The whole heat transfer takes about 6-15 seconds depending on the machine and design.
The whole heat press process takes about 15-30 seconds depending on how long it takes you to load a T-shirt or other garment onto the press and place your design on top of it. The heat press itself works very fast – it takes about 6-8 seconds per design with a buzzer going off when the design is finished.
Investing in a heat press can be a great way to boost your income, especially if you already have the materials and know-how for screen printing. You can prepare your designs in advance and have them on hand for orders. Some screen printers also have a difficult time distinguishing between direct-to-garment screen printing and heat press output, which tells you a lot about the quality of the heat press products.
Heat press printing is also great for irregularly-shaped items like baseball caps – it is much easier to do a heat transfer.
Heat presses also don’t take up much space so if you’re planning to work from home, it’s pretty easy to find a place for it compared to the equipment used in screen printing or digital printing. If you’re just starting out with selling printed apparel, heat press is a great technique to learn and will probably earn you the most for your initial investment.