Heat Press Temperature Guide for Vinyl: The Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

 Printing on shirts using heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is not a walk in the park. It takes dedication, skills, and the proper knowledge. What was once a crafting hobby can turn into a full-blown business and you need to cover all aspects of the business.

One of those is mastering the right temperature and time settings of an HTV. That’s why we’ve come up with this heat press temperature guide for HTV. We featured all HTV products available at TeckWrap Craft with their recommended temperature and time.  

Remember that heat transfer product come in different patterns and textures. Some are thicker, some are thinner, that’s why their heat/temperature and time settings differ. Pin this cheat sheet, print it out, and place it somewhere in your work area.

Without further ado, here’s the recommended pressing time and temperature for TeckWrap Craft’s HTV products.

Heat Press Temperature Guide: Vinyl

 

TeckWrap Craft HTV

Heat Press Temperature

In ℉

Heat Press Temperature

In ℃

Heat Press Time

(in seconds)

Colorful Camouflage Heat Transfer

290 ℉ to 300 ℉

143 ℃ to 148 ℃

10-15

Flock Heat Press Vinyl

310 ℉ to 320 ℉

154 ℃ to 160 ℃

10-15

PU Heat Press Vinyl

266 ℉ to 284 ℉

130 ℃ to 140 ℃

8-12

PU Rainbow Stripes Heat Press Vinyl

266 ℉ to 284 ℉

130 ℃ to 140 ℃

8-12

Glitter HTV

266 ℉ to 284 ℉

130 ℃ to 140 ℃

8-12

Colorful Splash HTV

300 ℉ to 315 ℉

149 ℃ to 157 ℃

10-15

Galaxy HTV

266 ℉ to 284 ℉

130 ℃ to 140 ℃

8-12

Glow In The Dark HTV

300 ℉ to 315 ℉

149 ℃ to 157 ℃

8-12

Snowflakes Pattern HTV

300 ℉ to 315 ℉

149 ℃ to 157 ℃

10-15

Puff HTV

300 ℉ to 315 ℉

149 ℃ to 157 ℃

10-15

Glow In The Dark Puff HTV

300 ℉ to 315 ℉

149 ℃ to 157 ℃

10-15

Patterned HTV

266 ℉ to 284 ℉

130 ℃ to 140 ℃

8-12

heat press machine for vinyl printing

Image from Wikimedia by Pocsywe

Pre-Press Time and Temperature

Above are the heat and time settings you should take note of when working with TeckWrap Craft’s HTV products. Aside from the heat and time settings on the actual pressing process, you need to also know that pre-pressing the garment before the actual printing of the vinyl is important.

Pre-pressing is the process where the fabric or a piece of clothing is pressed to remove the moisture from the garment before the actual printing. Pre-press the fabric on the recommended settings of the HTV above with light pressure between 10-20 seconds only.

Yes, garments even from the clothing store have moisture trapped on their fibers and it needs to be removed with pre-pressing the garment.

During the pre-pressing process, you can place a cover on top of the garment like a Teflon sheet or parchment paper. The protective sheet protects the garment from scorching or getting dirty, especially for light-colored fabrics.

Setting the Right Time and Temperature Setting for a Heat Press

Heat press machines these days are easy to use when it comes to adjusting the time and temperature settings. All you have to do is press the arrow keys “up or down” for the traditional dial machine. For newer heat press models, you can input the desired number just like a microwave oven.

Make sure to read the heat press guidelines or product guide on how to adjust the time and settings. Some machines come in Fahrenheit or celsius settings, that’s why our temperature chart above indicates both ℉ and ℃

You’ll love modern heat press machines that have an automatic shut-off function where the clam opens on its own when the time is up. The older models of the heat press machine make a beeping noise when the time is over.

What Happens if You Don’t Follow the Ideal Temperature and Time Settings

The time and temperature chart above serves a purpose — to ensure the vinyl sticks properly and you won’t experience any hassle when printing. What happens if you don’t follow the proper press time and temperature? As expected, the vinyl won’t adhere to the fabric properly.

Too much heat and longer times may cause the fabric to scorch and the vinyl to melt. While lower temperatures and not enough time may cause the vinyl not to peel off from the carrier sheet. That’s why the best output depends on the right temperature and time settings.

Possibly, you have to press again, or the whole project will come to a waste. Fabric printing using HTV has a huge learning curve. Honestly, it can be a trial and error process especially if you don’t follow the time and temperature guide above.

Common Problems Encountered When Printing Using Heat Transfer Vinyl

Along the way when you print a lot of shirts and use different types of heat press vinyl, you may encounter problems. As much as you want everything easy and copacetic, dealing with problems is inevitable. Here are the common problems encountered when printing using heat transfer vinyl and solutions on how to solve them.

Problem 1: A part of or even the whole decal comes with the carrier sheet when peeled.

  • Possible Reason: Lack of time and pressure when pressing.
  • Solution: Adjust the time and temperature and press again (only on the part where the vinyl did not stick on the fabric).

Problem 2: The whole vinyl decal does not stick on the garment or the transfer is untidy even after how many presses.

  • Reason: There’s a coating on the fabrics, like anti-microbial or water-repellant chemicals.
  • Solution: Try removing the coating by washing the fabric. In some cases, the vinyl won’t really stick after several presses, in this case, you can assume that the shirt brand you have is not suitable for heat transfer printing. Try other clothing brands and make sure to read the product description.

Problem 3: The fabric turns yellow or scorched after pressing, especially for light-colored fabrics like polyester or sublimated fabric.

  • Reason: The fabric material is not ideal for high-temperature printing or the press temperature is too high. Probably there are existing oil stains on the fabric.
  • Solution: Choose another fabric, reduce the temperature (still within the recommended range), and place a Teflon Sheet over the whole garment while printing. If you’re in doubt that the fabric has dirt, especially oil stains make sure to wash the fabric before printing on it.

Problem 4: The vinyl sticks initially and then falls off after a while, especially for multi-layered vinyl.

  • Reason: Incorrect application of the multiple layers.
  • Solution #1: When printing multiple layers of vinyl on a shirt, make sure all the HTV has the same characteristic. All of the vinyl layers should be hot peel, warm peel, or cold peel.
  • Solution #2: Special types of vinyl like glitter or metallic should always be on top. Glitter vinyl cannot be used as the base layer because all the other top layers won’t stick properly.

Problem 5: The vinyl falls off after washing.

  • Reason: Obviously, the reason is incorrect washing of the garment.
  • Solution: If it’s for personal use make sure to know the proper washing instructions. If it’s a gift for friends or your clothing line, make sure to attach garment washing instructions with the product. Here are the wash and care instructions for vinyl-printed garments:
    • Avoid wearing, washing, or folding the garment 24 hours after pressing the HTV.
    • Wash the shirt inside out, the vinyl should be inside.
    • Always use cold water. Warm water may cause the vinyl to come off.
    • Do not iron directly on the vinyl as this may cause the vinyl to crack or peel off. If you want, you can place a piece of fabric on top of the vinyl when ironing over it.
    • Avoid using harsh detergents and fabric softeners.
washing machine settings for vinyl

Image from PxHere by rawpixel

Other Heat Transfer Printing Methods and Their Heat Press Time and Temperature Guide

Of course there are other heat press printing processes aside from using HTV. But for these processes, you’ll need a high-quality printer, pigment ink, or sublimation ink to complete the process. Unlike the heat pressing using a vinyl where you’ll only need a cutting machine.

In case you’ve decided to resort to these other printing processes, here’s the temperature chart and heat press time you should take note of

Printing Process

Uses

Heat Press Temperature

In  ℃

Heat Press Time

(in seconds)

Light transfer paper

Light fabrics

180 ℃ to 200  ℃

10-15

Dark transfer paper

Dark Fabrics

135 ℃ to 175 ℃

25-30

Sublimation printing

Polyester shirts

Light fabrics

Sublimation goods

180 ℃ to 200 ℃

40-60

Printable vinyl

For light and dark colored fabrics

165 ℃ to 170 ℃

10-15

 

heat transfer vinyl

Neon Regular Color Heat Transfer Vinyl from TeckWrap Craft

Frequently Asked Questions

What Temperature Do You Use for Heat Transfer Vinyl?

The ideal temperature to use for heat transfer vinyl is between 260 ℉ to 315 ℉ (130 ℃ to 160 ℃) using medium pressure. It’s important to read the product description of the heat press product before doing any work.

How Long Do You Press Heat Transfer Vinyl?

The perfect time to press heat transfer vinyl is between 8 to 15 seconds using medium pressure. Most heat presses have an automatic shut-off setting where the machine sounds when the press time is up.

What Temperature Should I Set My Easy Press?

The temperature used for an EasyPress is between 260 ℉ to 315 ℉ (130 ℃ to 160 ℃), much like a heat transfer machine. An EasyPress and heat transfer machine is recommended for vinyl printing, household irons are discouraged.

Why Is My Vinyl Coming off My Shirt after Washing?

There are several reasons why the vinyl comes off after washing it. It may be caused by improper washing or ironing. Make sure to learn the proper wash instructions for vinyl-printed garments.

Final Words

Pin this post and make sure to follow the right temperature and time settings recommended above when using TeckWrap Craft heat transfer vinyl. Of course, you want a vivid and perfect design all the time, and in order to achieve that, you need to follow the tips and recommended settings mentioned above.

Appropriate time, correct temperature, and firm pressure are crucial for a problem-free printing experience. It’s also crucial for the proper HTV sizing on your shirt. Also, you need to mirror HTV before sending it for cutting on your Cricut or Silhouette machine.

In case you encounter any problem with heat press printing in the future, backread this post and try to figure out what’s the problem. Hopefully, the solutions above will give answers to your problems.

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