How to use Heat Press Machine for sublimation

How to use heat press machines

Canvas of creativity on clothes, mugs, ceramics and other useable items is never going to end. So, embrace yourself with latest trends of the town. To print those creative designs on your clothes, t shirts or others items, you need to know the working of a heat press machine. In this short tutorial, we will guide you how to use heat press machine for sublimation printers in an easiest way. Further, there are some pro-tips that will help you fill minor details like a heat press professional operator.

Choosing the right heat press

Which One I Should Buy

Deciding which heat press is better suitable for you is a crucial task as heat press machine for mugs will not be right choice for usage in case of clothes as the platen is curved. But you need a flat platen for heat press on clothes. These heat press devices are mainly categorized into heat press for home and professional heat press machine. The later one has extra features but is a bit hectic task to operate for a newbie while the former will be quit straight forward with an easy to operate menu. Even if you are still confused to select than you can check our selection of best heat press machines which have all the necessary categories for you.

Choosing material for heat press

This is a crucial step in the process of heat press sublimation as the quality of material will affect the fate of sublimation. Always you heat resistant material that can bear higher temperatures. Clothes stuff like nylon, polyester and cotton mix are recommended to use as they can bear high temperatures without burning and melting.

  • Clothes
    • Polyester, mixed cotton fabrics are preferred for use in heat press machine for clothes as they can bear high temperature easily. Acrylic like synthetic fibers will melt at such temperature, so don’t use them.
  • Mugs/ ceramics
    • Always use glazed ceramics when it comes to heat press sublimation. The glazed coating easily absorb prints and the color of print is neither distorted nor faded even after long usage. You can also place those mugs or pots in the oven.

Sublimation Design selection

This is the most creative part of sublimation process in which you print the colors of your imaginative thought, family values, memorable moments of life and many more canvas on sublimation paper. You can use Adobe, Illustrator or creative studio by Sawgrass to design your graphical images.

Note: Keep in mind the size and density of image according to the size of object on which you are printing. So, you don’t need to stretch the image which may distort the colors on the print.

Sublimation Printing

Depending upon the required size and density of print, select the specific sublimation printer or visit best sublimation printers to buy a perfect printers for yourself that fulfil all your needs.


  • Always use sublimation ink for printing on sublimation papers
  • Do not use white color on prints as the white colored portion will be printed as colorless.

Preparing heat press machine

Before using the heat press machine, you need to pre heat the machine to a certain temperature. During the pre-heating process, open the machine so that the platens could heat properly and if any dust is there, you should clean it.

Setting the temperature for heat press

This is the most critical step in using the heat press as slight alteration in temperature can either burn your clothes or misprints on clothes. So, you need to be extremely careful while setting the temperature.

You can use the thermal nob or buttons depending upon the availability to adjust the temperature. Once the machine reached the set temperature, the indicating light will turn off. Temperature range of sublimation paper is presented on the bag of sublimation papers that you are using. However, the usual range is between 300-375°F. Don’t worry if it seems higher because it will not damage the material but required for optimal output.

Setting the pressure

The next thing to set the pressure at which the heat press machine will punch on the material. Higher pressure is mostly preferred for thicker material as it fixes the prints tightly to fibers. You can adjust the pressure manually by using the pressure nob/buttons.

Place the clothes in heat press

Just place the fabric (only fabric) in the heat press for less than 10 seconds to remove the moisture from the fabrics. After removing the moisture, place the sublimation paper having sublimation print on the fabric with print side towards the fabric and the paper side away from fabric. After that close the heat press and set the timer, usually no more than 20 seconds. The automatic heat press machine will automatically open after the set timer while manual heat press machine needs helping hand. Remove the paper. Your print is on the fabric now. Place the fabric for fixing of ink for 24 hours at least.

Note: Do not stretch or wash the fabric within 24 hours of printing.


  1. Finding the center of clothes is always tough. Using measuring equipment and other stuff does not help a lot. But here we will tell you a pro formula to find the center of clothe just by using the heat press machine and simple steps.
    • Firstly, fold the fabric by joining the opposite ends and place under the heat press just for a second. This will create a line in the center as you can see in the diagram below
    • Now fold the non-sticky side of print in the same way by hands, do not place it in heat press. A line will appear in the center. Remember the non-sticky side or see the diagram below.
    • Now match the center lines of both, fabric and the print and then place under the heat press machine. Your print will be in the center of fabric perfectly.
How to use heat press machines

Are you facing a problem in which some of your prints attach to clothes while some portion do not attach properly? Then don’t worry, we have a cool and working solution for you. Just place a heat press pad under the area of print. It will evenly distribute the pressure on the whole surface of fabric and the whole print will perfectly attach to the fabric. Tadaa and done….


So, these were few simple and easy steps to learn how to use heat press machine for sublimation in 2023. Further, you need to adopt some precautionary measures as the platen is really hot and can burn your body quickly.

Let us know if our pro tips helped you solve your problems.

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