Note: It’s very rare that I post the same post on both blogs because the subject matter of the two blogs is so different. In this case, however, I made an exception. A heat press has so many uses across the spectrum it seemed a shame to not share the content in both places.
Even though it might not seem like it at first glance, a heat press is a very versatile piece of equipment. While it’s true that all a heat press can do is heat up and press things, the variety of techniques for which it can be used may well make it one of the most valuable instruments in your shop. Adding a heat press to your set-up can open up a whole host of opportunities for new markets and new sales. If you’ve never considered adding a heat press to your shop before, here are some uses for a heat press that may make you think again.
Use 1: Sublimation – Dye sublimation is a process by which a special ink is printed on a special paper and then the transfer is heat pressed on a polyester garment or a poly coated substrate. Sublimation offers you the ability to do more complicated designs on garments, as well as widening the number of items you can offer to your customers. If you’ve ever wanted to offer mousepads or coffee mugs or jewelry boxes, then sublimation is the discipline for you.
Use 2: Screenprint or plastisol transfers – Screenprint is a very popular decorating technique, but it does have a learning curve, and setting up a shop can be expensive. Plastisol transfers allow you to offer screenprinted garments and items to your customers without having to do the screenprinting yourself. All you need is a transfer, an item to embellish, and a heat press and you’re in business.
Use 3: Vinyl – This is another popular decoration technique that can be used on garments and other items. Vinyl is often popular for the names and numbers on sports jerseys and team uniforms. If you have a lot of school or sports league business available in your area, vinyl may well be a great addition to your product offerings.
Use 4: Rhinestones – If bling is your thing, then you’ll love rhinestone transfers. A heat applied rhinestone transfer allows you to add sparkle to garments and other items without having to deal with the hassle of buying rhinestones and placing them yourself.
Use 5: Decorated patches – A blank patch, embroidered or screenprinted by you, can be heat sealed onto a garment, backpack or other item. Sublimated patches are a terrific way to make complicated designs with many colors simple. If you have a design that won’t translate well into embroidery or screenprint, put it on a sublimated patch and then heat seal it to the item to be decorated. Your complicated design is now decorating the item of your choice with one easy press.
Finally, if all else fails, and you’re having a busy day at the shop, you can always make a quick snack on your press. Now, we don’t recommend this option, but it can be done and apparently, the grilled cheese sandwich turns out quite tasty.