Vinyl for Beginners: 5 Heat Press Tips & Tricks

So you are wanting to make shirts, but your not sure where to start or what you are even doing. Here is a great short summary of what you really need to know when making shirts, or even other cloth or heat pressed items. Also, If you do not own a Heat Press Yet, and are needing to buy one. This is a link to the one I use. -> Heat Press!!!!

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#1 Basic HTV Pressing
Alright so you wanna make shirts! One of the biggest items you need right now is a heat press. This will make the shirt making process soooo much easier, I SWEAR! My heat press is listed above. Some quick tips for heat pressing.
Shirts with Vinyl:
– I use Siser Easyweed HTV
– Shirts should be pressed at 330 degrees
– Press shirts at a medium to heavy pressure for 30 seconds, peal the transfer film, and press for another 10 to 15 seconds

– Make sure you can see the threads of your shirt in the vinyl, that’s how you know your vinyl is properly adhered.
– You can layer vinyl, but do not layer onto glitter vinyl.

#2 Sublimation Pressing & Printing Tips
Super easy way to make cute shirts for less money. I wish I had known about Sublimation Printing from the get go. I save so much time and I love it. I get to be super creative with my art and its an easy application process. Here are some great tips for Sublimation Printing.
Shirts with Sublimation Prints:
– For Sublimation Prints I use A Sub Printing paper and INKXPRO for my ink!
– I have a Workforce WF – 7210 Wireless Wide-format color inkjet printer, I just replaced the ink cartridges. SUPER Easy. You can find the Printer HERE and Ink cartridges HERE.
– Sometimes its smart to tape down your designs when pressing, because not everyone is accurate. I use High temperature tape which you can find HERE.
– I set my heat press to 400 degrees and press for 70 seconds!
– shirts must be 50% Poly or more for sublimation printing, I use Bella Canvas Poly Blend shirts and get amazing results!
– If your shirts are cotton, then there is a Poly Spray you can buy! I will add the link to the distributor below:
– Make sure to put a Teflon Sheet inside the shirt, so the ink wont go through to the back, it’ll happen, and your gonna feel real dumb. Also sometimes the ink will stay on the Teflon sheet, I press the Teflon sheets somtime’s to get access ink off, or you can press a plain piece of paper. If you need to buy Teflon Sheets, you can buy what I use HERE.

FYI, Every Single link I post, is what I personally use! I have bought from those distributors and use those products daily!

#3 Canvas Pressing
FYI this is a little hard and takes some time to get the hang of. I have done a few projects though and they worked out awesome.
– Make sure the Canvas is flat and removed from the frame. Do not cut extra canvas off until you reattach to the frame.
– Make sure when pressing HTV to the Canvas, you press with heavy pressure and can see the groves of the canvas when your finished
– I set my heat at 335 and press for 45 to 50 seconds and check the vinyl slowly when peeling up.
– Always repress when you peel off the transfer

#4 Infant and Toddler Shirts
– Get a Press Pillow if you haven’t already, you can buy them on Amazon or make one on your own!
– Normal Shirt Temperature, press with medium to heavy pressure for 35 seconds
– Always repress after removing the transfer sheet
– Measure designs starting from 4 inches to 7 inches. Always measure the area on the infant shirt before cutting your vinyl, Saves you so much hassle before you realize your design isn’t going to fit.

#5 The Importance of a Press Pillow
When it comes to the smaller pesky items that sometimes have bigger seams or edges that will make it impossible to press your items, a press pillow makes things so much easier. I use a press pillow mainly for infant or toddler shirts, but I also use it for pressing pillow covers, bags, flags, and oven mitts.
You can buy press pillows online at a variety of web sites, including amazon., OR you can simply just save yourself $10-$20 and go to your local Hobby Lobby or Micheals and create your own. Its super easy. I grabbed a regular seat pillow foam and cut it in half. So basically that foam you put inside outdoor pillows. Its hella easy and I never have any issues. I paid maybe less than $5 and found foam on clearance. WINNER! If your good at sewing, you can also use a Teflon sheet and cover the foam and look more professional.

Thank you guys for taking time to read this post. If you would like more tips on how to use HTV, please check out our other blog posts.
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