Learn the Basics of Heat Printing

What is heat printing?

Heat printing, also known as heat transfer printing, is the process of applying heat-applied materials to various items (i.e., substrates) with a heat press. Heat-applied materials contain a heat-sensitive adhesive on one side; when heat is applied by a heat press to the material, the material adheres to the substrate to which it is being applied. The end result is a decorated garment.

Heat printing opportunities.

Decorating with a heat press is an easy, cost-effective way to enter the garment decoration industry. It provides the opportunity to personalize a wide variety of items.

  • T-Shirts
  • Team uniforms
  • Bags
  • Fan wear
  • Corporate
  • Small businesses
  • Clubs
  • Schools
  • Fashion

It all starts with a heat press.

Three key components to consider when decorating with a heat press are: time, temperature, and pressure. Every heat transfer material has its own heat printing instructions.

  • Time: The amount of time, in seconds, that heat must be applied to the design/garment.
  • Temperature: The optimal degree at which the design will adhere to the garment.
  • Pressure: The amount of downward force needed when heat applying.

Choosing the right heat press.

How do you know which type of heat press is right for your business? There are several key factors to consider:

  • Space: How much space do you have in your work area?
  • Production: How much will you use the heat press?
  • Size: What type of garments are you decorating?
  • Experience: How much experience do you have working with heat presses?
  • Cost: How much do you want to invest in your heat press equipment?
Download this Heat Press Buying Guide to help you get started.

Hotronix Auto Clam
A Auto Open Clam
Hotronix®Auto Open Clam
B Swinger/Draw
Air Swinger/Draw
C Air Swinger/Draw
Hotronix®Air Fusion™
  1. The auto open clam design allows you to multi-task without running the risk of burning garments.
    • Best for beginners
    • Takes up the least amount of space
    • Most portable option
  2. The swinger/draw design gives you the ability to thread garments on or off the platen in a heat-free workspace.
    • Best for experienced heat printers
    • Produces a higher volume of work
    • Takes up more space than the auto open clam
  3. The air swinger/draw design reduces fatigue through the use of compressed air.
    • Ideal for high-volume businesses
    • Provides a heat-free workspace
    • Most expensive option

Videos for Materials, Services & Equipment

View All Videos >
  • Do-It-YourselfMaterials

    See the latest innovations in CAD-CUT® heat transfer materials and learn tips, tricks, and instructions on creating the best designs possible.

    Go To Materials Videos >
  • Sports DecoratingServices

    Learn how to use Stahls' products to start your own T-shirt business. Watch videos on services, accessories and more.

    Go To Services Videos >
  • Heat Printing & SignEquipment

    Find the right heat printing equipment for your business and learn how to keep it running at full capacity.

    Go To Equipment Videos >

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