How to Get Rid of Heat Press Marks on Fabrics?

How to Get Rid of Heat Press Marks on Fabrics?

How to avoid head press marks on fabrics? Many of us have experienced it at one point or another in t-shirts, or fleece garments/clothing/fabrics, and more. A lot of people name it box mark, impression mark, discoloration, scorch mark, bruising, etc. So, we are going to cover all that coming under heat press marks today.

Table of Contents

Top 6 Ways to Get Rid of Heat Press Marks on Fabrics:

To prevent heat press marks and lines on fabrics due to heat press in sublimation printing, follow the steps below:

1. Choose the right fabric for Heat Press:

Choosing the suitable fabric for a heat press is an essential element. When starting with heat transfers, a lot of people don’t understand and mess with fabric compatibility.

Choosing the suitable fabric ensures that you have selected the suitable heat transfer vinyl, digital heat transfer, screen printed heat transfer for your fabric.

Not all heat transfer types or heat transfer vinyl is compatible with the fabric that you have selected. For instance, popular technical fabrics such as heat-sensitive performance polyester, anti-microbial fabrics, moisture-wicking fabrics, UV-protected fabrics, etc are susceptible to heat.

So, you need to make sure that you are picking a fabric that has a low enough temperature threshold to work on those fabrics. You can’t choose a product like a transfer express goof-proof screen printed transfer. It is a great product, but it applies at 365F degrees, which is too high of a temperature for these technical heat-sensitive fabrics.

Another popular type of fabric is tri-blends. Tri-blend fabric is a combination of cotton, polyester, and rayon. You may hear it from Bella+ Canvas, District clothing, etc. All of these newer fabrics contain tri-blend. These fabrics are sensitive to heat press. Most importantly, you need to make sure you are picking a vinyl or a heat transfer type that is compatible with that type of heat-sensitive fabric.

2. Test in the Unnoticeable area of Fabric:

If you are buying a cheaper GildanHanes, or Jiffy shirt, you can probably buy an extra $1 blank shirt and test it.

Take a bit small, unnoticed area on that shirt like the back, at the bottom, or inside the shirt and test it on the corner of the heat press and engage it at the time and temperature of your product. Don’t test it with heat transfer. Just test the shirt directly under the press if you get any discoloration or scorching.

3. Proper Loading of Garment onto Platen:

If you improperly load your garment onto the bottom platen, it can cause glossing, heat press marks, discoloration, etc.

Often people just starting with the heat transfer technology within a less budget. You might buy a cheaper press from Amazon or a no-name press that doesn’t offer threadability. Threadability in sublimation printing is the improper loading of garments onto the heat press platen.

Therefore, you must get a good heat press that facilitates proper loading of garments and prevents the seams, zippers, buttons, handles on the bag that gets into the way during heat press.

4. Choose the Right Platen Size:

Platen size plays a huge factor that helps you to diminish or eliminate scorch marks. Choosing the right platen size for your product can be a game-changer, especially when decorating bags, tote bags, drawstring bags, shoes, women racerback tops, youth apparel, onesies, etc.

It is challenging to lay those items on a larger press like a 15 x 15 or a 16 x 20 heat press. That is where interchangeable platens are required.

You must have multiple-size platens so that you will be able to decorate and lay off the seams so that the seams fall off the platen or buttons, zippers, etc. You can’t lay a quarter-zip pullover on a 16 x 20 platen. It is going to melt or cause scorching. So, interchangeable platens are useful in helping that.

5. Right Heat Printing Accessories for Substrates:

Heat press accessories are some of the important tools to help reduce or eliminate heat press marks. Some of the popular heat press accessories are:

5.1. Heat Press pillows and cover sheets:

These are reusable foam core pillows with a coated non-stick finish. It is basically sewn a non-stick finish. You slide them into your garments, and that helps absorb the shock of the buttons, zippers, and seams. So, you don’t get them ruined or damaged, and then it helps to soften the edges so that you don’t get those scorch marks.

5.2. Flexible application pad:

A silicon rubber & stretchable pad is slightly thicker than craft paper, butcher paper, or non-stick cover sheets. You pre-press it for about 30 seconds to get it nice and hot, so you stick it under your press with no garment and no transfer.

You only need to do that on your first press because once you have started pressing your garments, it retains that heat and stays nice and hot. further, you lay your shirt & transfer paper down or whatever item you are pressing. Lay the flexible application pad over the top and press. It helps to prevent or eliminate heat press lines and scorch marks.

As a thumb rule, keep the same temperature for whatever vinyl you are using or digital transfers while keeping the temperature as recommended. Most importantly, double the dwell time(10 seconds(now) -> 20 seconds(then)) because the application pad is a thicker item and acting as a barrier for the heat to get through it.

6. Use Power Platens:

Powe platens are compatible with most of the clamp shell presses. It comes in various sizes. It is especially an interchangeable platen with a built-in heater.

You use it by plugging it on. It has a separate control box to regulate the temperature. Using power platens, you can press or sandwich your heat transfer top and bottom heat technology.

For instance, there are some fabrics that you can apply at 265 F degrees. However, certain fabrics like performance polyester, rayons, etc. will even at 265 F. You can use a flexible application pad or power platen at his temperature.


If you come across a fabric that can’t take heat press even at 250 degrees Fahrenheit under the lightest amount of pressure, it causes discoloration, heat press lines, and scorching. These types of fabrics you are either need to embroider or direct screen print. They can’t take heat transfers.

However, it is rare and found in technical fabrics. Most of the fabrics you purchase from Sanmar, S&S Activewear, Alphabroder, all the most popular blank apparel distributors, can take 250 degrees in power platens.

Related Questions:

Can I use any color glitter heat transfer vinyl?

Yes, you can use any color glitter heat transfer vinyl. However, it is better to use white glitter htv because it shows the based colors. In comparison, the other colors will make the image look shaded.

Written by Davis Brown

Hi! I'm Davis Brown, Head of Editorial Team of HowNest. We are team of researchers, writers and veterans. We publish articles, whitepapers, journals and blogs with full-proof research and proper analysis. We focus on various areas such as eCommerce, industrial operations, corporate management, technologies, and DIY solutions.

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