Can You Use A Heat Press Printer On Polyester?

Over the past few years, using a heat press printer has become one of the most popular ways to print custom t-shirts. This has primarily been because it’s one of the easiest methods of doing so and comes with a significant amount of benefits.

However, many people have wondered whether they can use the process with certain fabrics. While many people know that the likes of cotton can be used with a heat press printer, many are unsure when it comes to polyester.

This uncertainty has been driven by the fact that heat press printing works better with certain fabrics than others. This is something that’s just as true with polyester. The main issue here is that polyester can be much more difficult to work with when using a heat press printer. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to do so.

It should be noted, though, that there are a few different things that you should be aware of when you’re using polyester with your heat press printer. By doing so, you’ll be able to ensure that the final design is a high-quality t-shirt.

Tips For Using Heat Press Printing With Polyester

Find The Right Temperature

Heat press printers normally use quite a high temperature, as this allows a design to stick to the fabric. This wouldn’t be possible if you were using a low temperature. However, this is something that you should keep an eye on when you first start using polyester.

This is primarily because it’s one of the more sensitive fabrics when it comes to heat and can react badly to too much of it; this is why it’s become somewhat well-known for being difficult to work with.

This is why you should pay a particular amount of attention to how hot your heat press printer is when you’re printing on polyester. Many experts have suggested that the 270 to 300 degree Fahrenheit range can be the most effective when it comes to the fabric.

It’s also been noted that you shouldn’t apply the heat for too long, as this can do just as much damage to your t-shirt as applying too much heat in the first place.

Here is a summarized table on temperature guide. To get the best guide on temperature on follow this article

Type of Fabric



100% Polyester


10 Seconds

100% Cotton


Up to 15 minutes



10 seconds



7-10 seconds

Use Thin Cover Sheets

When it comes to preventing your fabric or design from scorching or melting, there can be a variety of different factors to consider. There are also a few different ways to prevent it from happening, with the most notable of these being the use of cover sheets. These are placed over the design and t-shirt and under the heat press printer and serve as something of a protective barrier between them.

Because polyester can be notoriously difficult to print on, then this is something that comes highly recommended. However, these cover sheets have also been known to stop heat from being transferred to the design. This means that you’ll need to put a significant amount of thought into when choosing which cover sheets to use. Many designers have recommended using one of the thinner versions of the sheets, to begin with.

The exact thickness of the cover sheets you should use can vary greatly depending on what design and fabric you’ll be using. As such, there may be a certain amount of trial and error involved in the process.

Be Gentle

The amount of pressure you use during the heat press printing process can have a significant effect on the final t-shirt design. This is because too much pressure can end up creating a variety of heat marks on your t-shirt.

Because of that, you’ll want to apply as little pressure as possible when you’re printing on polyester. This is something that can be quite difficult to figure out, as you’ll need to apply a certain amount of pressure to apply the design.

With these two aspects in mind, you may need to go through a considerable amount of trial and error when you first begin printing your t-shirts. Once you’ve figured this out, however, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re able to apply the right amount of pressure almost every time.

How To Avoid Heat Press Marks On Polyester

Developing heat marks on polyester is one of the larger concerns when it comes to printing on polyester. They’re also something that the majority of designers will want to avoid, as it reduces the overall quality of the design.

Despite the problem being relatively common, there are no set ways to avoid them from developing. One of the easiest ways to minimize these marks is by ensuring that you aim for the lowest temperature possible while still being able to apply the design.

This might not always work, however, and your polyester t-shirt may still develop heat marks. Should this happen, then you should wait until the t-shirt cools down before doing anything; in some cases, the heat marks will disappear during this cool down.

If the marks are still visible after this, then you should wash your t-shirt, and this may get reduce the appearance of the heat marks, if not get rid of it completely.

In some cases, this may not get rid of the heat marks. If this happens, then you may need to start again with a new t-shirt and use a lower temperature during the printing process.

By focusing on each of the above areas, you’ll be able to ensure that your heat press printer doesn’t damage the polyester or the design that you’re printing. Using polyester has been one of the more difficult fabrics when it comes to heat press printing. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, as each of the above points illustrate.

However, if you’re looking for an easier way to create a custom t-shirt, then you might want to consider using the likes of cotton. This is because they can be much simpler to print on while also offering fewer problems throughout the process. When it comes to polyester, you should exercise care when during the printing process.

Tips for Heat Printing on Polyester

Here’s a quick brief of the things you need to know about printing on polyester.

Check The Level

If you want to print on any pre made item that time you will get the manufacturer’s label inside the product. In the level, you can usually find information about the fabric’s composition. 

As you know exactly what fabric you are putting in your press. Now, you can set the temperature correctly for the product. 

Test First

This is  a good idea to put a test press on the spare scrap fabric before going to run a huge production. 

But if you are on limit that time try to test the temperature on a small or hidden corner of the fabric. 

You May also Read: How To Heat Press A Hat


People over the years have tried to apply designs or logos through a heat press on polyester garments, which is very difficult. Although that doesn’t mean that it is impossible.

If you take the option of using a more suitable material – like cotton – this will make your life easier and give you quicker results.

Polyester can be a tricky fabric to use in heat press. As polyester are designed for lower temperatures and be as gentle as possible.

It does not matter how many times it takes as long as the results you are trying to achieve happen that is all that matters.

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