5 Transfer Application Tips -What Not to Do

Applying a transfer is easy.   Position on the heat press.  Close the press for a specified time. Lift the press. Peel the carrier.   What could go wrong?

Accessories You Don’t Need

When we trouble shoot application issues with customers they almost always have the right time and temperature.    Most issues arise because they have ADDED steps that aren’t needed and these cause the issue

1. Cover Sheets

With the exception of UltraColor Soft, no cover sheet is needed with any of our products.  Unlike heat transfer vinyl, our transfer products are on their own release paper separating the ink from your heat press.    Not only are they not needed, but these are the biggest source of an application issue.  If you are using a Teflon cover sheet, or upper platen cover, you are blocking the heat from reaching the transfer that needs it.   You have basically covered it up.    So let that heat free!   No cover sheets!

UltraColor soft does come with its own anti-static cover sheet that is thin and will not block the heat.

2.Heat Press Pillow

Heat press pillows are sold to help with heat transfer vinyl application.   But the “squishiness” of the pillow is not suited for custom transfer application.    So toss the pillow!


Heat Printing on A Bumpy Road

3.Apply over buttons, seams, pockets and zippers.

For a quality application you need a firm, flat surface.   So those buttons, pockets, seams and zippers can not be in the way.    We recommend using an interchangeable platen, print perfect pad or mouse pad to raise the print area only.   When you close your heat press you want the buttons, seams, pockets and zippers to not touch the top of your heat platen.   Your press should only be touching the transfer area.


Putting A Print in the Wrong Location

4.Apply it too Far Left.

No we aren’t talking politics, we all have enough of that.    When positioning your print in the left chest or heart area don’t get the print under the arm.   You have that shirt laid out nice and flat on the press.    But a body is not flat so your eye can be tricked.    We recommend using the intersection of the neck seam and just above an imaginary line between the bottom of the arm seams as the perfect location for that left chest print.

5.The Belly Print

A big rookie error is getting the print too low on the shirt, right on that belly.    And no one wants their print to be noticed there.     To prevent this there are all kinds of tools-laser alignment, t square or even the three or four finger rule.   I like to use the intersection of that same imaginary line under the arms as my horizontal center and the shirt tag as my vertical center.  If your print falls right in there you have avoided the belly print.

Do you have any tips you want to include in our list of what not to do when applying a transfer?  Leave your ideas in the comments below.






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Designs FromHeaven

I am using ultra color soft and have had about 7 of my 63 prints not stay stuck completely to the shirts & that has bummed me out. After the first 4, I began placing them in the dryer for 5-10 minutes to get any moisture out and began to do this for the rest, as well as, heat pressing my shirts before I press the prints on while using a piece of butcher paper to cover the print before I press it. I purchased my new heat press outside of Transfer Express and increased my temp at 300 degrees exactly beforei pressed anything, pressing for 12-13 seconds and most of the others worked and released very well. Can the transfer prints hold moisture and if yes, how can I get the moisture out of them?

Dealer Services

The transfers, themselves, should not have an issue with moisture. However, apparel, such as 100% cotton, can hold a lot of moisture.
You made the correct adjustments. We always recommend pre-pressing the shirts before applying the transfer and if you don’t have a Hotronix press, we recommend increasing the temperature by at least 10 degrees. You can get temperature test strips to test the accuracy of your heat press as well, to make sure that it is actually heating up to the temperature that it says it is.


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