Heat printing, which is also referred to as heat transfer printing, involves the process of utilizing a heat press to apply heat-applied materials to a variety of items or substrates.
These heat-applied materials that are used in the process contain an adhesive on one side, that is heat-sensitive. When a heat press is used to apply heat to this material, the material will then adhere to the item (substrate), to which it is being applied.
The end result of this process is a decorated garment, such as a t-shirt, or sweat-shirt with a graphic of lettering of your favorite sports team, the college you went to, a saying you like, etc.
Opportunities With A Heat Press
Using heat printing for this type of garment decorating is a pretty cost-effective and relatively easy way to start a business in the decorated garment industry.
It gives the opportunity to provide garment decoration in a personalized manner with a huge variety of items, not just t-shirts and sweat shirts. Have a glimpse at the top heat presses these days.
Some examples include the following:
* Sweat Shirts
* Small Businesses
* Team Uniforms
* Bags (equipment, backpack, etc.)
* Fan Wear (Go Seahawks!)
* Clubs and Schools
In order to do all this, you must have a heat press. There are three main factors to take into consideration with regard to heat press decoration. These are time, temperature and pressure.
Heat transfer materials are different and each one has its own heat press instructions.
Time is simply the amount of time, in seconds, in which the heat is to be applied to that specific garment and design.
For temperature there is an optimal degree a which the design substrate will adhere to a specific garment type.
Pressure, with regard to a heat press, is simply the (downward) force needed when applying the heat to the garment and decoration.
So what type of heat press is the right one?
You’ll have to ask yourself some important questions:
How much space to you have available for your heat press?
How much/often will you be using the heat press? If if helps, think in terms of your printer for your computer. While someone at home may print a few pages a week, and can use a $30 ink jet printer, an office that prints thousands of pages a day, will need a much sturdier laser jet printer, in terms of print volume.
The size of the garments you will be decorating is important as well. While this article is about t-shirt printing, as mentioned above, there a a variety of items you can use. It may be advantageous to plan ahead.
If you think you want to grow and expand beyond t-shirt printing, maybe it’s important to factor that into your planning right now.
And yes, obviously cost is a factor, too. There are a wide variety of prices.
Let’s discuss three different types of heat presses, the auto open clam design, the swinger / draw design and the air swinger / draw design.
The auto open clam is the most portable option, taking up the least amount of space and is the best bet if you are a beginner.
With the swinger / draw design, while it takes up more space, you can definitely produce a higher work volume. Keep in mind that it’s better for people that have experience with a heat press.
Finally, the air swinger / draw design can help minimize fatigue by utilizing compressed air.
The air swinger / draw design is the most expensive option of the three, but it also provides a heat-free work space and is the best option for higher volume businesses.
Using a heat press for t-shirts can be a great, low cost opportunity for starting a small business. Use these points when considering which heat press may be best to get started.