How To Make Custom Heat Transfers



Screen printing and heat transfer remain one of the easiest business to start up, and at Tshirthelpdesk, we will be showing you how this is done in seven simple steps.

To get started, we would need a few things to be in place:

1.    Your design

2.    Ink printing machine

3.    Heat transfer machine

4.    Art design

5.    Curing machine

6.    And finally, your shirt of course.


First, you spray a little adhesive on your screen printing machine palette. Next, we’ll be placing the special transfer paper down on the palette.


Print your design just as you would print on any t-shirt. Artwork design should be reversed, so make sure you use Plastisol Ink only for printing. Plastisol ink remains the best for printers well and creates some great designs, but oil-based ink requires a lot of different chemicals for cleaning and isn’t eco-friendly.


Add adhesive powder on the paper that you printed on and make sure it is all over the printed part, and take out the excess powder (This can always be re-used for future transfers).


Next, you cure the ink. This can be achieved with a conveyor dryer, a flash unit, heat press or a propane heater. The powder cures into the ink, so you can not see the powder anymore. The printing ink needs to be completely cured before the shirt can be processed or worked on. Heat is applied precisely where it is needed for your process. It dries the printing ink and saves both the paper and machines.


Place your t-shirt on the heat transfer machine, close the machine and warm the shirt a little bit, at preferably less than 10 seconds.


Place the paper that has been printed on and cured on the shirt which is still on the machine. Make sure the printed part rests on the shirt at the right position you want it to be. This is the reason the printing must be reversed, so that when printed, we have our design in the right direction.


Close the machine and heat up for about 30 to 40 seconds. Twist the pressure knob clockwise to increase pressure, and counter-clockwise to decrease pressure. In many instances, you will need to use the medium to high pressure. You will also need to set the temperature to 350 to 375°F (177 to 191°C) and just like that, you have your awesome quality ink printed shirt with your very own design.

This took less than ten minutes, so basically you can make a lot in a day.

Please visit for more info on where to get the transfer paper and adhesion powder.