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Heat Press Time And Temperature: Guide And Instructions

Some people may think that it is very easy to transfer a graphic design on a material. The belief that you can follow the steps in the instructional manual and do a perfect job is okay but not easy.

This is because, the actual transfer with a heat press machine is a little bit complex when you start.

One thing you should not forget is that your products must be in perfect condition. However, achieving this will be hard if you are not conversant with the heat and temperature workings of your heat press machine.

It is also a serious problem if you don’t know how and when to transfer your design onto the material.

For the actual heat transfer to be effective, you will have to set the temperature correctly, ascertain the amount of pressure to apply and identify the temperature range that is needed for each material you want to heat press.

Finally, you should know if you will peel out when the machine is still hot or cold.

To decide on all these factors can be a little overwhelming especially when you want to produce a perfect result. This is why we have provided you with a quick guide in this article to enable you to transfer your designs correctly and without stress.

Heat Press Temperature Guide For Different Materials

To set the accurate Temperature and Heat of your machine, the material you are using is important.

1. Multi-purpose material

If the material you are using is the Multi-Purpose type, Temperature setting can be at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while the appropriate Time should be at 10- 12 seconds.

The multi-purpose material is a bestseller and can be used for many design purposes. Therefore if you follow the above procedure when printing on a multi-purpose material, be sure of an efficient result.

2. Sublimated (Polyester) material

While making use of the Sublimated (Polyester) material, remember that polyester materials do not like high temperatures. Therefore it is better to follow these measures:

  • The Temperature setting should be at 270 degrees Fahrenheit
  • You should Time your heat press at 10 seconds
  • And you can only peel when it is hot

3. Stretch (swimming gears) material

If the material you want to print on has a lot Stretch just like in swimming gears, you should do your heat transfer according to the following procedure:

  • The Temperature should be set at 335 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Time: 12- 14 seconds
  • Peel: Cold

4. Full color material

If you want to print your design in Full Color, you should follow these guidelines so as to produce a perfect finish:

  • Set your Temperature at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The best Time is from 10- 12 seconds
  • While you can only Peel when it’s Hot

5. Vintage style

If you want to achieve the Vintage look, that is the old and faded look, simply follow these guidelines to reach your goal.

  • Temperature setting: 350 degrees Fahrenheitii
  • Time: 10- 12 seconds
  • For you to arrive at the perfect result, bring it out when it is still hot.

6. High textured

When printing a high textured design and you want the Glitter design to be showcased, follow these procedures for your heat transfer:

  • Temperature Setting should be at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Time: 15 seconds
  • When you want to Peel it, make sure that it’s when hot

7. T-shirt or sweat shirts

Then, if your heat transfers items are the usual T-shirts or Sweat Shirts, the following settings should be adhered to;

  • Temperature Setting: 365-375
  • Time: 10-12 seconds
  • It is advisable to bring it out while it’s still Hot

8. Glow in the dark

When you are going for a unique design like the Glow in the Dark type which will still shine after exposure to light, these steps are necessary;

  • Temperature setting: 350 degrees Fahrenheitii
  • The perfect Time should be at 10- 12 seconds

9. Difficult materials

If you are faced with the job of carrying out your heat transfer on Difficult Materials or stubborn fabrics, the following steps are necessary:

  • Temperature: 330 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Time: 15 seconds

Related image

10. Metal finish

When trying for a Metal like finish, that is, the design you want to get at the end of the heat-pressing procedure is metallic in look, these steps are appropriate:

  • Temperature Setting: 320 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Time: 20 seconds
  • It is better if you remove it when it’s Warm.

11. Reflective

When the material you want to heat press on is the type that is reflective, you should follow these guidelines so as to arrive at the proper result.

  • Temperature Setting: 305 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Time: 10 to 12 seconds
  • It is better to Peel out when it is cold.

12. Photo transfer on white fabric

If what you are asked to do is a Photo Transfer on a White fabric, carefully set your machine as follows for a greater success.

  • Temperature Setting: 385 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Time: 25 to 30 seconds

13. Photo transfer on dark fabric

When the Photo Transfer is on a dark fabric, these steps are appropriate.

  • Temperature Setting: 365 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Time: 25 seconds
  • It is best to Peel when it is still hot.

14. Quality color

If your client want you to produce a very High-Quality design in full color such that will make an impact these steps are necessary;

  • Temperature Setting: 305 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Time: 10 seconds
  • It is best to Peel out when it’s hot.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to check heat press temperature?

There are a few ways to check the temperature of your heat press. One way is to use a heat gun to measure the temperature. A heat gun gives you more accurate results since this measures temperature closer to where the image is being pressed.

Another way is to use an infrared thermometer. The infrared thermometer will measure the temperature of the upper platen. To do this, you will need to remove the Teflon sheet, pressure bar, and rubber pad. Then, measure the temperature on top of where these items were sitting. If your infrared thermometer measures black is hot, it should check out just fine.

2. How to set heat press temperature?

You can do a few things to set the temperate on your heat-press. One way is to use the built-in controls. These are usually found on the front or side of the machine.

Another way is to use a digital controller. This is an external device that you can use to control the temperate on your heat-press.

3. How to set time on heat press machine?

Heat press machines are used to apply heat and pressure to various materials. To set the time on a heat press machine, you will need to determine the time that you want the machine to run. You can typically find this information in the user manual for your machine.

Once you have determined the time, you will need to enter it into the machine. The time is usually set by entering four digits to indicate the number of minutes. For example, you may enter 1-0-4-0 for a time of 10 minutes or 1-5-1 for a time of 15 minutes.


I believe that the above guidelines should cover all the designs you will come across in your heat transfer career or business.

Remember to use the appropriate machine that will accurately transfer your graphic designs without causing any hitch.

In case you encounter a problem that is not among the ones listed above, you can check the user’s manual of that particular heat transfer press. Try to follow these instructions judiciously; you will be sure to succeed.


Relevant Reading:

1. Vinyl Cutting Machine Buying Guide

2. Sewing machine for quilting buying guide

3. Sewing Room Ideas For Small Spaces

4. How to Come Up With Awesome T-Shirt Design Ideas

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12 thoughts on “Heat Press Time And Temperature: Guide And Instructions”

  1. Great information. Lucky me I recently found
    your boog by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve book-marked it for later!

  2. I have a quick question and i wanted to see if you could help me out it would be greatly appreciated i have ruined so many transfers trying to get it correct. I have tons of vintage iron on transfers most of them being The Rats Hole transfers from the 70s-80s era. They are all in good condition and i have had plenty of success applying them but not consistent results. I was wondering if you could give me any input or advice. I am using a actual heat press not a home iron, I have everything needed but i do not understand the temp good enough. Should i run at 325 degrees or 350? Any help at all would really be great. Thank you so much

  3. good afternoon I have a question regarding polos because I tried htv vinyl onto a polo amnd after awhile it peeled off so I want to know what is the best temperature to set to heat preass Vinyl onto a polo that’s 50% cotton and 50% polyester


  5. I am having problem setting up my max press time and temperature for PVC vinyl print,I have made several prim some with success and other spoilt,can u help me with rift settings for flock,PVC on cotton and jerseyed materials

    • Hi. I’m not fond of sublimating on cotton even with a poly spray. But if you already did your decision then sublimate it at 385 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) for 28-30 seconds.


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