9 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Heat Press Printing
Aug 27, 2019
Heat press printing is one of the most common printing methods. This printing method is widely used by printers around the world to produce eye-catching prints on a garment. However, it is a long process that involves different steps and stages.
To get started with heat press printing, you need to get yourself familiarized with this method or you might end up spoiling your prints. A botched heat press printing job can cost you a significant loss of time and money and you might also lose your credibility in the eyes of your clients. Since there are so many things at stake, you need to ensure that your job goes perfect from start to finish.
In this guide, we will share some of the common mistakes that you should avoid when producing prints with heat press printing method.
1. Check Your Heat Press Machine
Doing a heat press without configuring your heat press machine can be a major goof-up that will lead to further errors in your job. Your machine can go wrong when you are operating it day in and day out. You need to check it for any dust particles, debris or any liquid residues that may come in contact with the prints of your substrate.
In addition, you need to set the configuration of your machine so that it operates under the right temperature and pressure settings that are required to produce the right heat press prints.
2. Using a Wrong Transfer Paper
A transfer paper is among the most important things you will need in heat press printing whether you are producing slogans, letters, logos or custom patches on a garment. It is a kind of sheet onto which you print an artwork using an inkjet or laser printer. Printing a design on a wrong transfer paper can spoil a print and make it look vague, dull or totally messed up.
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Therefore, you should use a proper transfer paper taking into consideration the type of fabric, the graphic elements of an artwork as well as the size of the design. Use a transfer paper only after making sure about these factors. A wrong transfer paper can totally ruin a design and cause you a great deal of grunt work as a result of a spoiled print.
3. Not Using a Transfer Paper Properly
Choosing a right transfer paper is not enough to guarantee a perfect print. To make sure that you get the right print, you need to mirror the design on the transfer paper so that you get it right on the substrate. However, the size of a design can be a glitch here and you have to make sure that your transfer paper is big enough to accommodate the entire design.
To serve this job, you can use a standard A4 paper as a test paper to avoid wasting a transfer paper. Once you get the print on it, you are good to go for printing it on a substrate.
4. Not Preheating the Garment
When you are using heat pressing printing to produce a design on a garment, you need to preheat the garment to remove any wrinkles and moisture on it. Not preheating the garment will botch the design of a print as a result of wrinkles and the moisture that might come in contact with the design.
The aforementioned factors will not allow a design to firmly stick to the garment and it might eventually peel off. This is particularly applicable for printing custom made patches on t-shirts since they are the most commonly-used clothing for heat press printing. Therefore, you should always preheat your garment every time you start a new printing job.
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5. Not Using Cover Sheet Properly
Printers use cover sheet during heat press printing process to stop the ink of a design to come into contact with heating element or any parts of fabric of a garment. Besides, it keeps the design from getting scorched as a result of the temperature.
While it is important to use cover sheet during heat press printing, there are some transfer papers that come with a protective sheet that doesn’t get affected by direct exposure of heat. So you should avoid using a cover sheet when using transfer papers that are not heat sensitive.
6. Not Setting Right Temperature for Synthetic Fabrics
Some synthetic fabrics are prone to extreme heat and can get scorched or burnt during a heat press printing process. For examples, fabrics made polypropylene are likely to get burnt during a heat press printing process since they can’t endure higher temperatures and can get easily burnt.
To print an artwork on such fabric, you need to set lower temperatures that they can withstand without damaging a design.
7. Not Properly Aligning the Garment
To get a perfect design on a garment, it is equally important that you align it properly on the platen of a heat press. To ensure proper alignment of a garment, you should position it in line of the backbone of a heat press machine. Start a printing job only after you are done with alignment of your garment or you might end up getting a misplaced print.
8. Printing On Synthetic Fibers Without Using an Appropriate Transfer Paper
Using heat press printing on synthetic fabric of a garment can cause the dye of the fabric to spoil the design. The issue occurs due to higher temperature of heat press printing that causes the dye of the garment to turn into gas and come into contact with ink of the design which in turn ruins the entire design.
You can avoid this issue by using an appropriate transfer paper that can transform a design onto a synthetic fabric under lower temperature. There are many transfer papers available in the market that works in heat press printing to print a design on a synthetic fabric.
9. Not Concentrating On Your Job
Heat press printing is a demanding job which involves different tasks. You need to create artwork. You need to transfer artwork on a transfer paper. You need to configure your machine. And you have to reset everything for the next job. So there is too much of work to do and any distraction can badly affect your job.
To make sure that everything goes just right at every step, you should avoid distractions in the printing facility. Let the other people in your team handle the trivial jobs, such as attending the client’s call or buying the urgent accessories. Once you enter the printing facility, you should wholly concentrate on the printing process. So if you want to satisfy your clients, you need to keep yourself focused on the job until you get the final print.
Heat press printing is a challenging thing for any printing and any goof-up in this job can make a difference in quality of a print. Therefore, you should avoid making these abovementioned mistakes to ensure that your printing process goes as smooth as possible.
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