how to use a heat press machine

Today I will show you how to use a heat press machine which is used to transfer designs through heat sublimation. 

You can buy it on eBay or Amazon and it will come with a basic structure of the press, 2 cables, and the head or meter.

You must look at the instructions of your machine for how to assemble it correctly and what type of cables you should use depending on the country you are in (as different voltage measurements are depending on each country). 

Before you start, make sure you also do a test with some old or unused t-shirts, so you don’t make mistakes when you are going to use them for something more serious like having customers. 

Now let’s try it and find out how to use heat press machine!

how to use a heat press machine

Learn how to use a heat press machine (6 Easy steps)

If you are wondering “what is heat press”? It is a type of heat press that is a very useful tool to carry out different personalization techniques especially in textiles, as it transmits and controls temperature and pressure at the same time at the determined time you chose.

In addition, they can be used for sublimation, transfer, and textile vinyl, among other techniques, so if you have a mind having a business with sublimated t-shirts is an excellent choice.  

As I also mentioned in other articles, you can even make your pieces of vinyl in Cricut, so you can combine both machines and you will have an incredible business of your own.

Another detail when choosing and knowing “how to use heat press machine” is that there are many types and sizes of plates, depending on the products to be transferred or sublimated.

In the case of textiles and especially t-shirts, you will need a flat iron, as they have 2 plates, some lower ones with a silicone pad where you put your garments, and the other upper one that is in charge of doing the pressure and heating(or ironing).

Essential materials for how to use a heat press machine:

  • Thermal iron
  • Vinyl for textile
  • Teflon paper

how to heat press a shirt (step-by-step)

  • Step 1

    First, you plug in your machine and press the power switch. Then set your iron head to the temperature and time you want, for example, a sublimation will be at 180° and for 15 seconds. 

    To do this, press the “Ok” button and you will see that it says “P 1” which is the temperature, then adjust it with the buttons of a triangle in a normal position to increase the temperature and another inverted triangle to decrease the temperature. 
  • Step 2

    Now to set the time, press the “Ok” button again (after setting the temperature) and there you will also decrease or increase the time with the arrows of the triangles. 

    Once you are done press “Ok” and wait until the temperature light turns off (usually it is the first light on the head and it is next to an indicator that says “Heating-up“. This means that your heat press has reached the temperature you set.
  • Step 3

    Now you can open the press and put on your shirt. In this step be careful when turning the press, as it is hot and you can burn yourself, it is best to pay attention when you are turning it.

    Once the t-shirt is ready on the press, you can place your vinyl in the area you have in mind and when you are done you can use the Teflon paper to cover both (the t-shirt and the vinyl). 
  • Step 4

    turn the press back to the Teflon paper, close the press, and press “Enter“, then do nothing more than wait, the machine will count down the time and sound an alarm to let you know when the ironing process is finished.
  • Step 5

    When the alarm sounds, remove the paper (be careful not to burn yourself, you can wait a few seconds before touching it) and gently peel the plastic off the vinyl.
  • Step 6

    To make sure that your vinyl is perfectly adhered you can iron again for about 15 seconds more, once you remove the plastic converter (but if you put the Teflon paper on top before doing so!)

And now you know how to use a heat press!  So you can start using it on any t-shirt or any garment you like!


Also here you can see how to heat press a shirt, from the start to the end of the process:

As you can see it’s a very intuitive and easy-to-do procedure since the machine does the whole process.

You just have to be a little attentive and know the temperature you want to use (this will vary depending on the product you want to use to adhere designs to your textiles).

When you are done with your ironing, turn off the switch and let it cool down a little in case you want to store it.

A recommendation is always to work in a comfortable place with a stable table on which to place the heat press, so you will not have any kind of problem when working with it.

Also, try to check what kind of voltage is used in your region so you don’t melt your machine when using it.

I hope this tutorial on “how to use a heat press machine” has really helped you!

You already know that T-shirt sublimation is a great thing to do, so just give it a try! (Don’t forget that it can be a great entrepreneurial idea to do it yourself!)

As always it’s a pleasure to help you discover your own creative potential! 

Happy crafting!  

You can do it!

 See you in the next tutorial! 🙂