Iron vs. HappyPress Heat Press

As you may know we have released our Brand New HappyPress 4 which is full of amazing features, perfect to heat press HTV onto a variety of projects. But what is the difference between using a heat press to using an iron when applying HTV? And when is the best time to invest in upgrading to a heat press?

Well we are here to explain all the tips and tricks for using an iron or heat press and what they are best used for.

An iron

The beginners household iron

  • An iron is an easily accessible house hold item, perfect for crafting small projects and getting to grips with using HTV for the first time.
  • You can create projects from personalised t-shirts to wall hangings. If you are creating projects every so often it's a great way of decorating and up-cycling items you have at home.
  • An iron is also great for pressing HTV onto small areas such as canvas trainers.
  • It is also easy to travel around with if needed.

Tips for fusing HTV with an iron:

  • Always pre-press your project before adding HTV.
  • Press on a hard, even and flat surface.
  • Use even pressure when pressing.
  • Use greaseproof paper on top of your design to protect your iron and project.
  • Every iron will vary very slightly in heat, make sure every part of the vinyl gets heat. E.g. 10 second press in sections across your vinyl design. Pay particular attention to the corners of the vinyl.
  • 150 degrees is the 2 dot setting on an iron and 165 degrees slightly higher.
  • We often give our project a final press after peeling the carrier away by adding greaseproof paper on top and giving it an all over press.

When would you need to start thinking about getting a Heat press?

A4 HappyPress 2.1- Pink, White or Turquoise

The go-to craft press

  • If you are creating lots of projects from gifts to everyday items, you may find a press like our HappyPress 2.1 a massive help, as this will save time and applying as much pressure to the project you are working on.
  • The HappyPress 2.1 has a timer and temperature function which means you can make sure the settings are staying at a constant temperature and you no longer need to count how long you are pressing for. This is because the timer will chime when it is ready for you to lift the handle of the press.
  • This press is compact and great to travel with and even fits into an Ikea Kallax storage unit, BONUS!
  • In the long term your vinyl will last even longer as it has been pressed with a large heated plate with pressure, embedding the vinyl into the fabric.

Tips on using a HappyPress 2.1:

  • Always pre-press your project before applying HTV.
  • Use greaseproof paper on top of your design to protect your vinyl when layering.
  • Lift the handle of the heat press to rest the top platen at a 90 degree angle.
  • Set your time and temperature on the light touch buttons (there's no need to press hard or firm at all as they are just like touch screen).
  • Place your project onto the lower platen and pull the handle down to close the press.
  • Hold and apply even pressure when pressing.
  • Once you have pressed your project lift the handle to it's 90 degree resting position.
  • Once the press has cooled completely, you can lower the top platen down to meet the bottom one and secure with the clasp.

A4 OR A3 HappyPress 4- Pink, White or Turquoise

The ultimate pro-craft press

  • If you are thinking of starting up your own business, selling items or creating lots of projects and need to create designs at a faster pace, then the HappyPress 4 is the one for you.
  • With a time and temperature function you will be able to check and change the settings easily to suit projects and no longer have to count, the same as the HappyPress 2.1.
  • The HappyPress 4 has an adjustable knob to adjust and control the pressure, which means you can control this according to the thickness of your project. This means you do not have to apply any pressure yourself.
  • With a sliding lower platen draw function this means you can add your projects easily with lots of space around to adjust your vinyl design on your fabric. You can simply pull the handle on the lower platen and slide it out to create extra work space.
  • An optional feature for this press is the Auto-open function which is AMAZING! This means you can pull the lever down to press your projects and once the timer has chimed the press will automatically release all by itself. This means you can prepare for other projects without the worry of needing to get to your press to release it.
  • This press also comes in an A4 or A3 size which means if you need to press larger items there is an option for a larger size!
  • In the long term your vinyl will last even longer as it has been pressed with a large heated plate with pressure, embedding the vinyl into the fabric.

Tips on using the HappyPress 4:

  • Always pre-press your project before applying HTV.
  • Use greaseproof paper on top of your design to protect your vinyl when layering.
  • Change your temperature and time settings by using the press buttons on top of the press.
  • If you have pulled out the lower platen draw make sure this has been clicked back into place before pressing a project.
  • If you have chosen the optional Auto-open feature for your press make sure there is a bit of pressure on your project. This can be applied by turning the screw knob on top, only turn slightly. This will allow the auto-open to lever up when the timer has chimed. Make sure you are standing away from the press when the timer is about to chime as this means it is about to release and open up.

Check out our full range of heat presses here.

Check out our Heat Transfer vinyl colours and effects online.

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