Whenever you enter into a new community there are going to be words specific to that group. Sometimes you’ve heard the word used in other contexts, but you’re not sure what it means in this one.
Well, no need to worry about it, because we’ve got all the definitions to those freaky heat press words here. The links in this article will either take you to a relevant article or to Amazon, where you can view the product.
We’ll add more words and terms as we think of them!
Auto-Open Heat Press – This is a heat press that opens automatically when the timer runs out. Sometimes it is also called a semi-automatic heat press. Read our article on these machines here.
Clamshell Heat Press – This is a machine which opens and closes straight up and down – like a clamshell.
Continuous Ink Supply System – A CISS is a setup for your printer. It is a set of external ink tanks feeding into your printhead which is often cheaper to use than your standard cartridges. CIS systems are often used for printing dye sublimation transfers.
Craft Cutting Machines – Machines defined as ‘craft cutting’ are those which often serve multiple purposes. They not only cut vinyl, but they will also etch metal, and draw designs. Dedicated cutting machines primarily cut vinyl. There are a number of quality craft cutting machines which we’ve given a summary of here.
Draw Press – This is another style of heat press. With this, the lower platen pulls out towards you. This is always in combination with clamshell or swing-away style.
Dye Sublimation – A method of transferring images, designs and text onto all types of specially coated substrates. Sublimation transfers are made using a printer with sublimation ink. The transfer can only be transferred onto a polyester fabric or poly coated surface.
Flocked Vinyl – Also known as ‘vinyl flock‘. This is a vinyl which is slightly fluffy or furry on top. It feels a bit like suede or felt. It will add dimension and texture to your t-shirts.
Fully Automatic Heat Press – A fully auto heat press is one that automatically opens and closes. There will usually be a button or a foot pedal to close the machine (and it will then automatically set the pressure), and then the machine will open again once the time is complete.
Heat Tape – This is a special tape which can be used in a heat press to hold transfers in place. Ordinary tape would melt and ruin your transfer and garment. Heat tape can withstand temperatures over 450℉.
Industrial Heat Press Machine – Basically every heat press machine for sale on Amazon have these keywords. It does not mean much beyond, ‘useful for industry’.
Interchangeable Platens – Some heat press machines feature interchangeable platens. This means you can swap in and out different sized platens. This can assist you in pressing large vs small garments. The Hotronix Maxx 11 x 15 is an example of a press with this feature.
Multifunction Heat Press – This is a heat press that has more than simply flat platens for doing t-shirts or labels. A multifunction press often has attachments for pressing hats, mugs and plates. See our article on multifunction heat presses.
Platen – The term for the top and bottom plates of the heat press machine. Typically, only one of the platens will heat up – this is the heat platen. Some presses, such as a rosin press, will have two heat platens.
Rosin Press – A heat press with dual heat platens, designed to extract the oil from plant matter using heat and pressure. Here is an example.
Semi-Automatic Heat Press – A heat press that has an auto-opening function when the set time expires. You must manually close the press.
Siser EasyWeed Vinyl – This is a brand of vinyl for heat transfer. Siser are the biggest and best known vinyl producer. Their line of EasyWeed vinyl is easier to weed than other varieties – especially if you lay the vinyl down on a warm surface while weeding.
Substrate – The industry term for surface. The substrate is whatever you are pressing or printing onto. For example, a ceramic mug, a wooden plaque, or a t-shirt.
Swing-Away Heat Press – This is a machine that, when opened, has a top platen that swings totally out of the way. They can often have a 360° turning radius.
Teflon Sheet – Teflon sheets are non-stick sheets which are placed on top of the garment and transfer to protect the platens from any accidents. They are a necessary addition to any heat press.
Threadable Platen – A threadable platen is one where you can slip your garment over the lower plate. This means you are only pressing the side of the garment that is receiving the transfer.
Weeding – This is the process of removing excess vinyl after a design has been cut. You need to pull or pick off anything that you do not want to end up on your t-shirt.
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