heat press uses

The Many Uses of a Heat Press

Kristine Shreve EnMart

Kristine Shreve is the Director of Marketing for EnMart and parent company Ensign Emblem. She developed and writes two blogs—the EnMart Threaducuate blog and the SubliStuff blog. Shreve also maintains the EnMart Twitter account and Facebook page. She can be reached via email at

Even though it might not seem like it at first glance, a heat press is a very versatile piece of equipment. All it can is heat up and press things, but the variety of techniques for which it can be used make it one of the most valuable machines in your shop. Adding a heat press to your setup can open up a world of opportunities for new markets and new sales. Here are some uses for a heat press that'll make you think about adding one to your shop. 

Use 1: Sublimation. Dye sublimation is a process by which a special ink is printed on a special paper via a transfer. The transfer is heat pressed on a polyester garment or a poly-coated substrate. Sublimation offers the ability to do more complicated designs, as well as widening the number of items you can offer to your customers. 

Use 2: Screen-printed or plastisol transfers.  Screen printing is a popular decorating technique with a learning curve and high set-up cost. Plastisol transfers allow you to offer screen-printed garments and items to your customers without having to do the screen printing yourself. All you need is a transfer, an item to embellish, and a heat press, and you’re in business.

Use 3: Vinyl. Vinyl is often popular for the names and numbers you see on sports jerseys and team uniforms. If you have a lot of school or sports league business available in your area, vinyl would be a great addition to your product and service offerings.

Use 4: Rhinestones. If bling is your thing, then you’ll love rhinestone transfers. They offer the sparkle and shine without the hassle of buying rhinestones and placing each one on yourself.

Use 5: Decorated patches.  A blank patch, embroidered or screen printed by you, can be heat sealed onto a garment, backpack, or other item. Sublimated patches are an easy solution for incorporating many colors into a complicated design. If you have a design that won’t translate well for embroidery or screen printing, put it on a sublimated patch and then heat seal it to the item to be decorated. 

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.