Is a Heat Press Better Than an Iron?
There’s more than one way to apply heat to your heat transfer vinyl (HTV). The humble clothes iron is a functional option, whereas many businesses defer to a heat press machine dedicated specifically to HTV application. Some people wonder if they need to purchase a heat press if their iron would work just fine. If you’re curious whether a heat press is better than an iron, read this explanation of a heat press’s advantages.
One advantage that a heat press has over an iron is pressure regularity. Heat is the primary catalyst for HTV’s adhesion to a fabric, but that heat must couple with sufficient pressure for a baseline amount of time. You can apply pressure yourself with an iron, but there’s no way to measure the force you apply—it’s mainly guesswork. Also, your arms don’t match a heat press’s ability to maintain pressure for a set amount of time without variance.
A heat press may also be better than an iron because irons have a couple of temperature-related issues. First, as with pressure, there’s no way for you to know the temperature of the sole plate’s surface for sure. Also, because temperature uniformity along the surface of the sole plate isn’t important for the usual duties of a clothes iron, certain sections may be hotter than others—namely, the center of the plate may be hotter than outside edges. However, you can set a heat press to a certain temperature and rely on it time after time for HTV transfer.
Substantial Surface Area
Clothes irons are easy to maneuver with your hand, but this comes at the cost of more heating area. Coupling its triangular shape with the lack of surface area means you cannot heat an entire shirt at once with an iron; instead, you must heat it in sections. Counter to this method, heat presses allow for more heating area because engineers design them specifically to apply HTV to various garments.
One final note: using a heat press affords you credibility in the eyes of consumers, while using a clothes iron doesn’t give you this luxury. Essentially, using a heat press is something you can advertise, while relying on an iron is not. Furthermore, using a heat press guarantees you can deliver an identical product to each person who purchases a shirt, bag, hat, or other item.
If you’re interested in buying a heat press machine, specialty heat transfer vinyl, or any number of other HTV products, contact our PrimePick USA team.