Common mistakes for printing with heat press machine

Angie Renner
Published by 
Angie Renner
Last updated: 
February 6, 2024

If you are working on t-shirts for your clients with your heat transfer machines, you want to produce the best quality print; one that catches everyone’s eye! There’s no better way to keep your customers coming back and even get loads of referrals.

Unfortunately, most t-shirt printing business owners don’t know how to achieve this. Or no matter which formula they use, they never deliver a high-quality print in all the projects they work on.

Keeping in mind that t-shirt printing is a competitive business, you would want to make all your clients happy regardless of the cost by giving them the best.

Pay particular attention to the following tips (common mistakes, actually, ) made by most businessmen when using the heat press transfer paper and you’ll have the happiest clients ever…

Common Mistakes That Affects The Quality of Your T-shirt Print:

Mistake #1: Not Using The Right Heat Transfer Paper Material

Did you know that the heat transfer products aren’t created equally?

If they were, life would have been much simpler as the process of choosing the correct heat transfer product wouldn’t have needed much thinking.

Unfortunately, it does. You’ll need to have a clear track record of the company you’re buying from as well as their specialization.

Different brands that produce heat transfer papers- but these papers specialize in certain kinds of t-shirts. If you want to print on a given type of t-shirt, and it fails to fall within the company’s range of specialization, don’t get surprised when you produce low-quality prints on your garments.

This is the number one mistake many business owners make- not acquiring the right tools for the right job. They do the exact opposite of this- using the wrong tools for the wrong job. They choose the wrong type of transfer paper and assume that it will make their garments come out the way they expect it to.

Unfortunately, they get crooked graphics on t-shirts that nobody would be proud wearing.

TIP: Always make sure to use the right tools for the job. If you intend to work on a particular t-shirt, check if you have the right heat press machine for the job, follow the right process, and most importantly- use the correct heat transfer paper.

Otherwise, you’ll miss the market regardless of how your artwork looks. The final product just won’t appear as you expect it to if you don’t use the right transfer paper.

Mistake #2: Not Using The Correct Paper In The Correct Way!

So you’ve successfully gone through the process of selecting the right transfer paper for the t-shirts you’re working on. And now you want to start the printing…

Take a pause! You’re not yet there. There’s the other aspect of using this equipment correctly. Take note of all the sides of your paper and always remember to mirror your design before you transfer it to the paper.

We have witnessed the most creative people come up with highly impressive artworks. Sadly, they forget to mirror mode their artwork, and they end up transferring the design to their garments in the wrong way. That’s much like printing a negative.

You definitely wouldn’t dream of doing that. Thus, ensure your printer settings are correct before you begin the image transfer process

Next, you need to make sure that the entire design will appear on your transfer paper when you print it. How do you do this? By just running a print test...

Because transfer papers are expensive, you would not wish to do the test print on it. Instead, you can use standard paper- print the image in mirrored mode and check whether the entire artwork appears on the paper.

Do some parts appear to be cut off? Does the whole design look as you expect it? Do the colors appear as you expected them to? If you find any issue in the test print, be sure to fix them before you print the image on transfer paper.

Mistake #3: Not Using The Heat Transfer Machine Correctly

When you have printed your image on the transfer paper, and everything else is ready, it’s time to print on your garments.

But not so fast!

Take a quick look at your heat transfer machine to ensure it’s ready for the task. Ensure there are no dust or particles that are likely to distract the transfer process. The paper MUST be positioned correctly.

Ensure the iron is really hot before you place the transfer paper containing the image- avoid pressing down when your machine is in the warm-up stages.

Otherwise, your final print wouldn’t look as good as you want it to. In such a state, the chances are high that you’ll let go of your machine faster, limiting the transfer from taking place optimally.

Final Message For You:

The need to produce high-quality prints on your t-shirts can’t be emphasized further. T-shirt printing is a highly competitive business, and clients will go for businesses who give them the best quality.

Whether you’re working on the simple mill commemorative t-shirts or printing the top end t-shirts, ensure you avoid the mistakes outlined above, and you’ll be amazed by the improvements you’ll make in your business (including increased profits).