Using a Manual Heat Press


As one might expect, the textiles industry is one of the biggest in the entire world, and this is true in the United States, too. All sorts of clothing, from shirts and pants to gowns and coats, are manufactured and sold every day of the year, and the styles and fabrics come in an impressive variety. There’s clothing for everyone out there, but sometimes, interested customers choose to add some new visuals or other elements of their clothes for some more customization. This is a common practice, and adding logos, decals, or graphics on a shirt, hat, or jeans is both easy and stylish. To do this, manual heat presses, a type of custom heat transfer machine, is used. Heat presses apply heat and pressure, hence the name, to fuse graphics onto textiles with ease. A cap heat press, for example, specializes in hats, while other manual heat presses may work for shirts and jeans, too. When using manual heat presses, what should a customer keep in mind?

Clothing Today

A large share of the world’s textiles industry belongs to the United States in particular. As of 2016, the American clothing industry had a total value close to $315 billion, and experts predict that by 2025, its value may reach $385 billion or so. All of these clothes range from graphic logo tees (popular among men) to more formal wear such as gowns, dress shirts, tailor-made coats and shoes, and much more. Americans are buying plenty to keep their wardrobes up to date; it has been found that the average American consumer spends $1,700 per year on apparel and related services. Today, an American consumer buys nearly twice as many clothes as they did just 20 years ago, and the average American woman has an outfit for each day of the month (compare this to just nine in the 1930s). This means that the United States employs not only many retailers at clothing outlets, but also a number of specialized jobs related to clothing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that around 7,880 custom sewers, tailors, and dress makers are at work across the country, customizing and revising clothes as customers want. Today, manual heat presses are one such way to modify clothes for style and fun.

A Custom Heat Press

An interested customer needs only a decal and the item of clothing to modify when they visit a custom graphics shop. There in the shop, there will be one or more manual heat presses available, and a first-time user can be shown by store associates how they are operated. Manual heat presses are fairly straightforward to use; the consumer places the article of clothing and the desired decal inside, then closes the two plates. The user may adjust the machine’s setting, and once activated, the plates heat up and press together. With enough heat and pressure, the custom heat press will fuse the graphic onto the article of clothing (no glues or sewing needed), and after a minute or two, the process is done.

It should be noted that incorrect settings might lead to the graphic getting melted or the clothing getting burnt, so the user may want guidance on using the right settings. Store associates can help with this. Also, some heat transfer machines may be more specialized for certain clothing types, so that should be checked ahead of time as well. But if used correctly, these convenient machines can fuse any graphic onto a shirt or jeans without any mess. An interested customer can search “specialty heat presses near me” and find local shops that offer this service.

This contrasts with hand embroidery, which involves hand sewing. A tailor can do this, adding fabric to a shirt, coat, or more as desired. A popular practice is to put one’s initials in a monogram on a suit coat or sleeve. These monograms were large and showy in the 1980s, but the current fashion is to use small, subdued monograms that don’t call a lot of attention to themselves. A single monogram on a suit, for example, can be subtly stylish and marks the outfit as belonging to its owner. Or, the vest or even pants may have the monogram sewed on.

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