My direct-to-garment printer is outrunning my heat press. What can I do?


A number of T-shirt printing machines allow users to print two or even four smaller images at one time. You may even have the ability to put four or more platens through at a time. This can cause a logjam when it comes to heat presses because each shirt is cured for about 3.5 minutes. 

I generally recommend employing two heat presses as a minimum. If that’s not an option, some digital print decorators use Nomex and a little creativity to fill the gap—take a piece of Nomex (available from supplies providers) and cut it in half. Next, lay the Nomex on the heat press and separate the two pieces by about an inch, top to bottom. This allows for two shirts, folded in half top-to-bottom, to fit on the press. 

Face the top shirt color toward the top of the machine, and the bottom shirt color toward the bottom of the machine, with the folds falling in the gap between the pieces of Nomex. The gap will prevent the shirts from getting a crease in them. This allows you to press two shirts in the time it would normally take to press one. You will still have more setup time than those using two heat presses, but it should help.