Heat Press Temperature Chart [The Ultimate Guide]

A heat press machine has three basic principles that enable you to print your artwork on garments. You must be aware of the settings needed for the time, pressure, and temperature to get the best performance.

The three aspects need to be synchronized to their accurate values before the printing process starts. Any slight mistake means you get a T-shirt with a wrong or crooked print design.

It is a good practice if the configurations are set to give an ideal performance of the machine so that you can get a good design with unmatched quality.

The heat transfer process can be quite a challenge than it looks because you have to decide what temperatures to set, the amount of pressure to apply, and whether the peeling of layers should take place when the fabric or film is still hot or cold.

The good news is that we have a new chat and guide to help you get the right settings every time you need to use the heat press on different types of materials and fabrics.

Heat Press Temperature Chart

Commonly Used Temperature and Pressure for Vinyl in Heat Press Process

Vinyl is available in 2 forms, which are Heat Transfer Vinyl and Adhesive. HTV requires heat activation by using heating equipment like a heat-press machine or an iron box. Vinyl has diverse varieties for you to choose from, and they have their own ideal temperatures.

They include the following:


  • Temperature: 285-315 degrees F
  • Time: 3-12 seconds
  • Pressure: medium
  • Peel: cold or hot


If you admire the metallic look of fabric, then the following instructions belong to you.

  • Temperature: 285-315 degrees F
  • Time: 10-15 seconds
  • Pressure: medium
  • Peel: cold


  • Temperature: 305-315 degrees F
  • Time: 10-15 seconds
  • Pressure: medium
  • Peel: cold


If you want an added texture that comes with glitter, then use the heat press method by following the following instructions.

  • Temperature: 315-350 degrees F
  • Time: 12-15 seconds
  • Pressure: medium
  • Peel: hot or cold

Digital Prints

There are some prints that are digitally done on transfer paper. If you want the graphic to be of very high quality, you can use these guidelines:

  • Temperature: 305 degrees F
  • Time: 5 seconds
  • Peel: hot
  • Pressure: medium

Multipurpose materials have special temperature settings of 350 degrees F, while the time limit is 10-12 seconds.

Glow in the Dark Garments

For a more unique and outstanding look that glows in the dark, use these guidelines:

  • Temperature: 350 degrees F
  • Time: 10-12 seconds
  • Pressure: firm
  • Peel: hot


If you are printing artwork on swimwear or materials with many stretches, you can also use the heat transfer method and stick to the following instructions for the best outcome.

  • A temperature of 168 degrees Celsius or 335 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 12 to 14 seconds should be the timeline for heat press
  • Press using medium force
  • Peel unwanted areas when the fabric is cold

On White Background

Photo transfer on the white fabric means the following instructions will give you the best outcome.

  • Set temperature at 196 degrees Celsius or 385 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 25 – 30 seconds is what you need
  • Press firmly
  • Peeling should take place when the material is hot

Full-Color Finish

For a great finish in full color, use the instructions given below strictly or else the full color may not be visible on the garment. Get the best output by strictly adhering to the following settings

  • The temperature should be 176 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The appropriate time limit is 10 to 12 seconds
  • Apply medium pressure
  • Remove the peels when it is still hot


This setting is the most popular and gives the most marketable material, and multi-purpose setting can handle most designs and materials. If you are searching for temperature settings and times that can work with different materials and designs, then the multipurpose settings are fine.

  • The temperature should be 176 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heat press time should be 10-12 seconds long
  • Use medium press
  • Peel unwanted areas when it is hot

Vintage Look

For those who love the faded and old kind of look in T-shirts, then this attractive otherwise known as the vintage look is good for them. To get that look, follow these instructions for the best antique you will ever have.

  • The temperature should be reading at 176 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Give 10 to 12 seconds for heat press
  • Press the fabric firmly
  • Peel unwanted pieces when in hot condition

Heat Press Temperature, Time, Pressure and Peel Chart Based On Garments Materials

For High-Quality T-Shirt

If the client wants a high-definition T-shirt, the temperatures have to be set according to the following criteria.

  • 151 degrees Celsius or 305 degrees Fahrenheit is the requirement
  • To get the best high-quality print use 5 seconds
  • Use medium pressure
  • Peel out when it is still hot


Changing the normal sweater have a print to use heat transfer which needs the following specifications when applying heat and pressure.

  • The temperature should read 187 degrees Celsius or 370 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heat pressure should be for 10 to 12 Seconds
  • Use a firm press
  • Peel out unwanted areas when still hot

Also read: How Much Does a T-shirt Weigh?

For Polyester Fabric Based Garments

Polyester is a fabric not designed for high temperatures, and therefore you cannot press them for a long time. Handling them also means no high-temperature settings because you can also lower the temperature settings, which is highly recommended.

  • The temperature settings should not go above 132 degrees Celsius or 270 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You should not exceed 10 seconds
  • Make sure you make the pressing firm
  • Peel the unwanted areas when the fabric is cool

For Cotton Based

Materials made from cotton are the most popular among men and from the fact that most clothes we have today are cotton materials. High temperature suits the cotton materials. Therefore, the best settings to get the best of your artwork on cotton are as given below.

  • Temperature settings of 193 degrees Celsius or 380 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 15 Seconds
  • A medium press is applicable
  • Peel unwanted areas while still hot

Stubborn Materials

Some materials are not easy to lay a print on, and some even have specific instructions on what needs to be done to get your artwork on the fabric. Are you facing the same problem now? Follow the instructions below.

  • Set the temperature at 165 degrees Celsius or 330 degrees for height
  • 15 Seconds is the time you need
  • Apply medium pressure
  • When it is still hot, peel off unwanted materials

Reflective Materials

Materials that are used in emergency services or safety gear also need to be highly visible when printing designs on them. For the best outcome, use the CAD-Cutter vinyl machine to get what you want.

  • 151 degrees Celsius or 305 degrees for height
  • Use 10 to 12 seconds of your time
  • Press firmly
  • Wait for the material to cool to peel off unwanted materials

Stretchy Materials

If the fabric that you are heat pressing has a lot of stretching components, like swimming costumes, you should set the temperature at 335 degrees F. The heat press should be applied at 12-14 seconds. Peel the transfer when cold.

However, if you want to print full-colour designs, here are the guidelines that you should follow:

  • Temperature: 350 degrees F
  • Time: 10-12 seconds
  • Peel: hot

Reflective Material

When you are printing reflectors and safety gear that need to be reflective, use these guidelines:

  • Temperature: 305 degrees F
  • Time: 10-12 seconds
  • Pressure: firm
  • Peel: cold

If you have ever thought the best for your T-shirt customers, then you have your business interest in mind. The truth of the matter is that you may not be able to follow the same instructions for different types of materials, but you have to follow specific instructions given for every fabric when using the Heat press temperature chart.

If following the same instruction was the case it would be very easy for printers and printing companies to carry out their work using a simple guide. However, every individual or company involved in printing needs to follow their printing guidelines to get the best out of the heat press machine.

What Next after Heat Transfer

You are not yet done after the heat transfer process until you are aware of the kind of care every material that is printed deserves. Material care depends on the fabric used during transfer, but the most important thing to follow for almost every material is as explained in the following paragraphs

Always wait for at least 24 hours before you initiate the first wash when the heat transfer is complete. Washing it earlier may damage the material and consequently permanent damage. The worst thing that you can do is to jump from heat transfer to wash cycle.

Wash all products or materials with mild washing detergents and bleach (if necessary). Powerful washing agents may cause long-term damage to the design.


On many occasions, the heat transfer press comes with all the instructions needed for every material. The instructions include a chart or an informative manual that has all the details on temperature, time, and pressure settings and includes when to peel cold or hot. Other relevant information is available online, and it is crucial to avoid guesswork so that you can save on time and materials.

Make heat press a fun and enjoyable activity by creating your designs and experimenting until you find the best result. When practicing, these mistakes are part of the creation process; you can never tell if that ink spill defines a new dimension that you never knew before. Use this guide to run your machine properly.

The list we have should at least have almost all designs that a printer would encounter or would wish to work with. New printers would want to use a heat press giving them an opportunity to work with new designs and fabric when working with different materials.

If at any given time, you come across materials that are not on our list kindly let us know through the comments sections and we will be glad to add them.

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7 thoughts on “Heat Press Temperature Chart [The Ultimate Guide]”

  1. how can I tell if the temp is Celsius or Fahrenheit because our brand new heat transfer say p5 250 and that is as hot as it can get. I didn’t think about checking when buying it. I just new it was 15 x 15 inch. And what can we press for 250 degreases

  2. Curious–is it minutes or seconds? For cotton, 380 degrees for 15 minutes? Only asking because I’m learning and everywhere else says seconds.


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