Tips and Tricks for Proper Pressure

“I’ll tell you what it means….PRESSURE.” or “PRESSURE…pushing down on me.” Or “It’s time to take the PRESSURE off.”

What do lyrics from Billy Joel, Queen, and Duran Duran all have in common?! ….thats right, PRESSURE. I want to talk about how vital proper pressure is when applying Siser heat transfer vinyl.

All Siser HTV requires a time, temperature, and pressure when you’re applying them. This is a requirement if you are using a heat press or if you’re using a home iron for application. You can refer to either our website or the Siser North America App for the application instructions we suggest for each Siser material. With the correct information at your fingertips, you’ll know how you need to set up your heat press or iron.

I know it’ll be more difficult judging the level of pressure you’re applying when using a home iron because that will depend on the force from the person applying it. Pressure is part of the application process that often gets overlooked. This usually results in the transfer not staying on when peeling the carrier or falling off during the laundering process. So, don’t skip gym day, get those muscle ready to go!

With a heat press, it’s easier to dial in the pressure that you’re going to need, and a press will be able to keep it consistent throughout the whole area being pressed……..usually….

This is what I want to talk about, because we’ve heard from some very concerned customers that their vinyl is not adhering properly, and we don’t have to play sleuth very long before we find out it is a pressure issue.

Let me just list off some of the most common contributors to uneven pressure: seams, collars, zippers, pockets, hoods, buttons, strings…

..see what I mean?

These are all things to consider when you’re pressing Siser HTV around or close to them.

It’s a great thing we have remedies for this: HEAT TRANSFER PILLOWS!! #Yay

Siser North America heat transfer pillow size 16 inches by 20 inches

An example of a 16” x 20” Heat Press Pillow

The Heat Transfer Pillows are simply a foam core covered in a Heat Transfer Cover Sheet. The pillows come in 5 different dimensions, and will work for essentially any type of textile. This allows you to get the flat even pressure on the concentrated area of the garment that you want to apply to.

“Well, Joe, I don’t have a heat transfer pillow and I need to get this job fixed RIGHT NOW!”

Do you have a mouse pad laying around? …You do?! Well, that’ll work! A mouse pad is a very common household item that you can use to achieve the pressure you need.

Siser mouse pad

A perfect example of when you would want to use a Heat Transfer Pillow on a heat press would be when you’re applying on a baby Onesie. This garment contains two very common enemies of inaccurate pressure: seams and buttons. These both prevent you from having that flat surface you need.

Onesie showing problem areas for proper pressure

Red arrows are pointing to areas you will want to be cautious about.

A perfect Heat Transfer Pillow size for Onesies is the 5” x 18”.

Onesie before Siser heat transfer pillow is inserted

I threaded the Onesie around the Heat Transfer Pillow.

Onesie after Siser heat transfer pillow has been inserted.

If you notice in the above image, I placed the Onesie with the buttons off of the heat press platen. This is another option you can implement to avoid uneven pressure, as long as you’re able to cover the transfer with the upper platen.

Pressure problem areas of a onesie fixed with a heat transfer pillow

The bottom line is this- you’re not going to have a successful application without sufficient pressure on your Siser vinyl!

Before you press your next garment, look it over to see if the area you’re applying to will be affected by uneven pressure! “Pressure…pushing down on me….pressing down on you.”-Queen