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If you’re looking for parts and heat press accessories that speed up productivity and improve safety in the workplace, then please read on!
In the paragraphs that follow, you’ll learn about 6 essential heat press accessories you’ll need for your business.
We can’t imagine how work without this equipment would be — not only does it reduce failures, but most importantly — it speeds up production.
By the end of this article, you’ll know what key items to have if you own a heat press and why making these small investments can make a huge change in your day to day workflow.
So, let’s have a look at those accessories.
How do you heat press on uneven surfaces? Maybe you’re working with a t-shirt (or other garments) with common trouble spots like lumps, folds, zippers, seams, or buttons…
… and you just need a way to either raise the pressing area of the garment or make the area smooth and even before pressing.
Lucky for you, there are some solutions! We offer two products that are specifically designed to work around those problems, heat press pads and heat press pillows.
Let’s get into what both of these products are used for.
Heat press pads are the perfect accessory to elevate the print area of your design while making sure seams, zippers, and buttons hang off the edge.
To use a heat press pad, you set it down on the lower platen of your heat press and place the garment over it or in between both platens if your heat press is threadable.
It’s as simple as that!
Plus, you can turn heat press pads into ANY shape or size you want with a pair of scissors.
This is particularly useful if you’re going to heat press on a wide range of products like button downs or onesies which vary in size.
So, if you need to print on just the right chest pocket of a shirt but don’t have a 4’’ x 4’’ pad, that’s not a problem. You can easily cut it down to that size.
Now that you know a bit more about heat press pads, let’s talk about heat press pillows.
Heat press pillows are very similar to heat press pads, but there are subtle differences between them.
For starters, they are different in appearance as you can see by the photos. Unlike pads, teflon pillows allow decorators to get an even surface no matter what garment or substrate you’re printing on.
To use a heat press pillow, slide the pillow under the fabric, next to the buttons for instance and fit it in place.
In doing so you’ll raise the print area over the buttons so that the platen of your heat press just hits the pad and transfers.
These come in different sizes ranging from small to extra-large. These also come in more accurate sizes based on common heat press platen sizes.
Next heat press accessories on this list are finishing sheets.
If you’ve printed the design on the garment but still feel like the look isn’t complete, you may want to give it one last touch.
How and what do you need to do that? Well this is where items called Finishing Sheets come in — some almost look like regular paper — thin square sheets. But, these sheets are made of different materials and are quite different in function.
You’re supposed to place them between the image and the platen for that ‘’final’’ press. Not only do they protect the heat press from any stains or residue while preserving your garment, but they also give garments different finishes.
It is important to note that there are a few finishing sheets you can choose from. So, let’s go over them real quick.
Teflon sheets act as a protective layer and are multi-functional.
These reusable sheets will protect your heat-press and garments from high temperatures when heat pressing. Teflon sheets can also be used to give garments a “glossy” finish.
Now let’s move on to another type of reusable sheet.
Flexible Finishing Sheets
Flexible finishing sheets are a great option for a number of reasons.
For one, you can use it on a wide range of products, from shoes and sweatshirts to caps and masks.
Why? Perhaps the name already gives it away… it’s flexible!
Made up of rubber silicone, it easily conforms to uneven surfaces, making it easy to transfer designs on most awkward areas and gives garments a “matte” look.
These are also used to protect heat sensitive items and garments like leather from melting under high temperatures.
Flexible finishing sheets are big enough to fit most standard heat presses. Should you need to divide it into smaller pieces, you can!
And if that’s not enough, what if I told you they are durable enough to last for several months or perhaps years in some cases? It’s true.
You can use this product more than just once. It’s reusable, so you can use it over, over, and over again.
Lastly, let’s discuss what standard finishing sheets are and their purpose.
Standard Finishing Sheets
Next heat press accessories on the list are standard finishing sheets. We consider these to be an essential heat press accessory.
Standard finishing sheets are thin, parchment like paper that are used to protect not only your heat press, but your substrate as well.
The way a standard finishing sheet is used depends on the type of customization you are doing.
In some cases, you’ll want to “sandwich” your garment in between two finishing sheets. With other customization methods, one finishing sheet on top of your substrate is sufficient.
Each of these finishing sheets serve a different purpose but having one of each in your shop will make customization much easier.
Now that we’ve covered finishing sheets, we can go over the next important accessory to have in your shop, interchangeable platens.
Why purchase a new platen if you already have one? Short answer — versatility.
The bottom platen that came with your heat press is unique in size. This means you can’t resize it to fit a variety of items.
Having the ability to transfer designs to all kinds of substrates is vital if you plan on expanding your business.
And that’s where interchangeable platens come into play.
Interchangeable platens are a popular choice for their ability to print on a huge range of items including shoes, caps, bags, the list goes on…
Each of these are specifically made for different substrates and come in their corresponding sizes, you just have to buy the right platen for the job.
Having the platen that came with your heat press is a good place to start, but you’ll want to have several in your collection to help cut production times and print on unique spots of a substrate.
It’s also important to note that not all heat presses have the ability to interchange platens, so you’ll want to make sure of that before you go out shopping for one.
When you’re ready to take that step, you can find some popular sizes here.
Let’s move on to another essential heat press accesories, platen covers.
If you can’t stand the frustration and difficulty of threading apparel on the bottom platen of the heat press… it’s time you buy a platen cover!
It’s surprisingly easy to set up. You just have to pull the platen cover over the bottom platen — like putting a bed sheet down to a bed — and it’ll fit right into place.
That’s of course if you have the correct platen cover size for your heat press. So it’s important to double check.
Once you get a platen cover, you’ll find threading a LOT easier. Twisting, turning, and sliding apparel on and off will be a breeze.
And for good measure, platen covers are going to help protect the rubber on the lower platen making sure it’s never damaged.
Not only are platen covers great items to have but smaller accessories like heat tape make a difference as well.
An important step in customizing blanks with heat transfers is placement.
Having heat tape handy helps to prevent transfers from sliding out of place before being pressed. What you’re looking for is a tight marriage between the transfer paper and the blank.
For example, when you’re sublimating an item without using heat tape and the transfer shifts, it can result in ghosting.
The appearance of ghosting can be described as a fuzziness or a blurry section in the design. It is out-of-focus and makes the color and image look distorted.
The best way to prevent ghosting is to make sure the paper doesn’t move… or… use heat tape, rather than relying on luck to secure transfers to your items.
The same goes for any kind of heat transfer, not just sublimation.
It’s a great accessory for holding transfers on t-shirts, tiles, mugs, and plaques while heat pressing.
It’s simple to use, especially when paired together with a dispenser. Just stretch, cut, and put the sticky side of the tape down on your item.
Last on this “must have” list is a digital heat and temperature probe.
A Digital Heat Press Temperature Probe provides the best surface temperature readings available for your heat presses.
Sometimes, heat presses can give off false temperature readings which can ultimately ruin some of your work, putting you behind.
Now, using one is very simple. You place the probe on the bottom of the upper platen. Then, the sensor will measure the actual temperature of your heat press and give a fast, accurate reading.
What you may find is that even though you’ve set the target temperature of your press to 320 degrees, the actual temperature reading could be a few degrees ‘’off’’.
So next time a rhinestone or heat transfer isn’t adhering properly to your garment, test your heat press!
Good practice is to test your heat press weekly. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Every decorator in this industry wants to create their best work, quickly and efficiently especially because it’s a big investment.
Having these heat press accessories will put you ahead of the game and keep your business running smoothly.
If you want to find more of these heat press accessories, visit colmanandcomany.com
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