With so many methods for decorating apparel, the research process can be overwhelming. While each of the methods: silk screening, direct-to-garment, embroidery, sublimation, and heat printing has a position in the industry, one thing is consistently true: each utilizes a heat press. When shopping for your heat press, it is important to note that all heat presses are not created equal and cost is not the only factor.
When selecting a heat press, consider the three key elements of heat printing: time, temperature, and pressure. These elements are used in different combinations when applying heat printing materials so they require accuracy to get the best adhesion and finished product.
1. Time - Look for a digital timer or beep to let you know that time is up. Investing in this feature will ensure a good product.
2. Temperature - Look for a heat press with a coiled and evenly-spaced heating element. It will always provide consistent, accurate heat. A heat press that has individual heating rods cast into the aluminum will have uneven temperature (cold spots) during application and designs will not adhere properly.
3. Pressure - Look for a heat press that offers a digital pressure reading so you know exactly how much pressure you are applying. Without it, it’s a guessing game and a potential for your designs to not adhere.