What is a t-shirt heat press?
Very often we will have customers call who are curious about what is known as a t-shirt heat press machine. They'll want to know if that's how their t-shirts will be printed or just generally they'll want to know more about what that type of machine is. Of course that is actually two separate questions. The first answer is no, we don't use a heat press. Our printing method for our orders of six or more pieces is screen printing, which is a high quality printing technique that involves using screens to apply ink to the t-shirts. Screen printing is very professional, retail quality printing that comes out looking terrific.
However, many people are also familiar with the heat press as a means of producing custom design t-shirts. The heat press took off and became popular in the clothing industry in the 1960s and it definitely has had a role in the popularity and availability of custom designed graphic t-shirts. It has evolved quite a bit since its early days and today their are mainly three different types of heat presses. The Clamshell, the swing-away, and the draw. These are named based on how the machinery looks and moves as it presses the heat into the shirt.
Innovations in the industry have allowed for more advanced refining of the heat press and it is now much more precise in terms of the amount of pressure and heat applied to the garment. These innovations kept it viable in the t-shirt printing industry and have also kept it popular with many enthusiasts. A heat press machine can also be used to imprint designs on a variety of other products as well including coffee mugs, puzzles, and plates.
The heat press has come a long way since its early days and there are a lot of great things about it. However, here at You Design It we prefer to use the screen printing method for custom print t-shirts because of it's excellent quality, appearance, and detail.