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How to Use a Heat Press Machine

A heat press is a machine that is used to transfer designs onto everything from T-shirts to hats to plates. To bond a design to an item, the machine uses high heat and pressure. Typically, heat presses have to be heated to a temperature of at least 190 degrees C. Before you begin transferring a decal to an item, allow the heat press to warm to the appropriate temperature --- you should be able to find this temperature in the owner's manual that came with your heat press.

Plug in your heat press, close the top of it, turn on the machine and set the temperature dial to the appropriate level. If you're not sure what the correct temperature is, consult your owner's manual. Allow the heat press to warm to the correct level before you use it.

Open the heat press and place your printable item face up on the flat surface of the machine. Place the decal in your desired position on the printable item. The decal should be face down on the printable item.

Close the heat press and fasten the lock to ensure the printable item doesn't move during the adhesion process. Adjust the pressure setting and set the timer. Refer to your owner's manual for the correct pressure and time settings.

Open the heat press when the timer goes off. Remove the printable item from the machine and carefully place it on a flat surface. Remove the decal paper from the printable item once it has cooled.

Things You'll Need

  • Heat press
  • Decal
  • Printable item
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About the Author

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordan Whitehouse has been writing on food and drink, small business, and community development since 2004. His work has appeared in a wide range of online and print publications across Canada, including Atlantic Business Magazine, The Grid and Halifax Magazine. Whitehouse studied English literature and psychology at Queen's University, and book and magazine publishing at Centennial College.