Heat Press Time and Temperature Instructions : A Detailed Guide with Chart

Heat Press Time and Temperature Instructions : A Detailed Guide with Chart

A heat press machine is perfect for when you’re trying to produce shirts and other fabric items for promotional purposes. You can press an image on anything of interest.

You’ll need to ensure you heat your items at the right temperature for your transfer image to fit. This brief guide will help you see what temperatures are suitable for the fabrics you will use, plus how long you should press your items.

 (Note: All temperatures here are listed in Fahrenheit.)

Heat Press Temperature Chart

How Do You Set the Time and Temperature?

The heat press machine you utilize should feature a setup where you can adjust the time and temperature. A machine should let you adjust the time by minutes or seconds. It may also come with an auto-off feature that shuts off after the time ends. An alert sound should also go off when the timer finishes, letting you know when your work is complete.

The temperature setting feature should be self-explanatory, but always look at how the temperature is listed. It may come with alternate displays for Fahrenheit or Celsius settings.

What If It Doesn’t Look Right the First Time?

Sometimes you might not get the results you want the first time you try using a heat press on a fabric. Check the temperature of the press, and see how long you used it for. Look at how well you remove the screen material from the fabric after it is heated, as sometimes removing it too fast or without control might damage the image.

Be sure you look at how well the fabric looks, and that you’re using the right setting. If there’s a case where the fabric has a mix of different items, work with the majority item when figuring out the settings you will utilize. A shirt with an 80-20 polyester-cotton blend will work well with the traditional polyester setting, but you should keep tabs on how well the fabric responds to the heat process.

Heat Press Time and Temperature Guide for Different Materials


Polyester can be heated at 270 degrees and pressed for ten seconds. Peel the transfer off while it is still hot.

Polyester is useful for not requiring as much heat. But it should not stay in your heat press machine for too long, or else the image will warp.


Vinyl is easy to use in a heat press, but it also requires extra heat. You can heat vinyl at 320 degrees for about ten to fifteen seconds.

These standards are consistent for all vinyl items. These include Series 31 vinyl items with a matte finish or a Series 51 vinyl product featuring a gloss finish.


Cotton requires extra heat at 380 degrees for fifteen seconds. Again, peel the transfer while hot. The timing is useful for traditional shirts.

Full-Color Images

Heat your fabric at 350 degrees for twelve seconds to allow all the colors of your image to move forward. The effort ensures the colors will show and the contrast will appear well. You can peel the transfer off when it is hot.

Vintage Designs

A vintage design entails a faded look that creates an aged style. You can produce this by heating an item at 350 degrees for about twelve seconds. Always peel off the design while hot.

Glitter-Based Items

Glitter items feature sparkles that require an extra bit of time. Heat at 350 degrees for fifteen seconds, and then peel of the transfer while it is hot.

Digital Prints

It takes longer to heat press a digital print on a fabric. You will require five minutes of pressing at 305 degrees for the display to look its best. Peel off the transfer item when it is hot.

Reflective Designs

The reflective layout is necessary for safety material, as it is something people can see in dark settings. The reflective printout should be heated at 305 degrees for about ten to twelve minutes. You can peel the texture off when it is cold. Be sure the transfer paper you use can support reflective features.

Glow In the Dark Items

A glow-in-the-dark material should be on a paper item that works well in dark settings after being in a lighted area for a while. You can get this transferred by setting your temperature at 350 degrees for twelve seconds.

Metallic Designs

Complete a transfer for a metallic finish at 320 degrees for twenty minutes. The transfer should cool off before you peel it, but don’t wait too long before then.

Photo Transfer For a Light Fabric

Complete the transfer at 385 degrees for about twenty to thirty minutes. The process works best for white items, but any light tone will be fine enough.

Photo Transfer For a Dark Fabric

Dark fabrics require less heat for the transfer. Apply the transfer at 356 degrees for twenty-five minutes. Watch for how well the dark fabric looks and that you don’t use excess heat.

Plan Your Heating the Right Way

Every item you can utilize for your heat press will have unique rules. You’ll have to handle different items for heating, but the rules for whatever works will vary surrounding what fits. Be certain you use something right to make it all work.

About the author

Jemma Clinton is the Editor In Chief at Printer Wire. As a tech enthusiast, she always follows the latest technological trends especially those are related to printers. She is wired to write reviews and guides related to various kinds of printers.

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