Heat Press Troubleshooting


Heat presses are used to transfer images for many applications, such as a picture or image to shirts or other fabric. If you're not happy with the result on the fabric after using your heat press, you will need to troubleshoot the problem. Problems can include poor color transfer to the fabric, a double image appearing on the fabric and wrinkling of the transferred image.

Poor Color Transfer

Verify that the temperature of the heat press is between 380 and 410 degrees.

Check the pressure setting to see if it is set correctly. The pressure should be 0–Minimum PSIG.

Verify the time setting on the machine. The time speed for the dwell should be between three and five feet per minute.

Double Imaging

Check the fabric prior to printing and verify that it has been heat set.

Verify that the heat press is not running at an excessive temperature by examining the temperature gauge. High temperatures can cause inks in a gaseous state to “blow out,” which can cause ghosting.

Separate the fabric from the transfer at the same time once they exit the heat drum. If one is taken off before the other, a double image may appear.


Verify that there is an even cut on the fabric and transfer prior to threading the material in the machine.

Check the rolls of fabric and make sure they have an even edge. If the edge is uneven they will not track correctly when going through the heat press.

Examine the belt on the heat press. If a belt is ripped or torn it will need to be replaced to fix the wrinkling problem.

Tips & Warnings

  • Perform proper maintenance on the heat press to extend its life and to avoid ripping and tearing of the belt.
  • Ghosting is another term for a double image.
  • The acronym PSI stands for pound-force per square inch.

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