How To Avoid Heat Press Marks on Polyester

Learn about the benefits of using a Flexible Application Pad to prevent heat press marks.

Ever wondered how to prevent those undesirable heat press marks when pressing on certain items? In addition to reducing the temperature of your heat press whenever possible, you may also benefit a heat printing accessory that we call a “Flexible Application Pad.”

[Related Content: Cool Down Your Heat Press Printing Temps]

In addition to lowering your heat printing temperatures, this video shows you how you can use a flexible application pad to help you prevent buttons, zippers and snaps from coming in direct contact with the heated upper platen of your heat press. Using a flexible application pad is a great way to avoid heat press marks on polyester garments that are more sensitive to heat. This is truly a versatile heat printing accessory that you should have on hand to ensure top quality, professional heat printing results every time. And don’t forget, you’ll probably need to increase your pressing time when using this pad, by approximately 10 seconds.


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  1. Diane says:

    Can this be used with sublimation 395 degrees for 45 seconds, and will it effect the heat?

  2. Ted says:

    Hi Diane, I inquired with Josh Ellsworth and here is his reply : Sure, the flexible application pad will not have an issue at those temperatures for that time, but it does take some heat out of the application and the user should allow for a 3-5 addition seconds for the heat to “work through” the pad. Having said this, another key consideration with heat press marks is the temperature in general. Although the pad will eliminate the direct heat, there is still 395 degrees with pressure on the performance fabric. This will often still create the heat press box if garments are prone to them. Sublimation is a unique animal due to its chemistry and required heat so you’re hands are kind of tied. But another corrective action can be taken with heat transfer films and other transfer styles that we should make mention of. For instance, most would look for a product with a low melt point adhesive to limit the exposure of heat and pressure in general (ie. Premium plus or Solutions Opaque at 280 degrees)

  3. Diane says:

    What is Premium plus or Solutions Opaque at 280 degrees?

    Thank you for the info on the pad at 395 degrees, I will also try that.

  4. Cherish says:

    I would like to buy one of your flexible application pads, however, I am getting an error message on your website and no response yet to the e-mail I sent. HELP… thanks

  5. Ted says:

    Thanks for reading. Someone has contacted you regarding the flexible application pad. Apologies for difficulties with the link. I will look into it.

  6. patti says:

    Im using a hat press to press embroidered logos on polyester caps but I get a somewhat shiny imprint 🙁 , can someone tell me how to avoid these marks? Help 🙁

  7. Ted says:

    Have you tried using a cover sheet or flexible application pad?

  8. Sebastien says:

    So what you are saying is that I can use this pad for any print on Poly and they will be no press marks?

    if so, I need two pads ASAP

  9. Ted says:

    Thanks for reading. Yes it should solve most problems, depending on the location of your print, the graphic and the type of press you are using. Please call Stahls’ customer service at 800-4-STAHLs and they can answer any questions you might have about using a print perfect pad. You will also have to call or go online to order. Thanks again for reading and good luck with your heat printing in 2014. Ted

  10. Marie says:

    Is dacron sailcloth appropriate for heat transfers. This fabric did damage using household iron. Please advise if possible and time and temperature.

  11. Ted says:

    Hi Marie,
    It’s hard to give a recommendation without knowing the specifics of the fabric. However, if you can heat the fabric to 275 degrees without damaging it, you can safely apply ElastiPrints. It’s hard to get exact temperatures with a household iron and if the temperature goes about a certain temp it could damage a sensitive material. With a heat press like the Hotronix you can set the press to a very precise temperature. If you would like to send me a sample of the material, we can test it here for you and see what would work. Let me know. Thanks for reading. Ted

  12. Joanne says:

    Using goof proof transfers on 100% moisture wicking black and forest green jackets and pants. Leaving shiny finish on area of garment being pressed along with the transfer outline. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.

  13. Joanne says:

    100 Polyester Moisture wicking garments.

  14. Ted says:

    Hi Joanne, GooFProof transfers apply at 365 degrees, so to avoid these results you can try another ink formula that applies at a lower temperature. Elastiprints from Transfer Express can be applied at approx 275 degrees, so that is much better for heat sensitive polyester and less likely to leave a mark. Let me know if that solves the problem. Thanks for reading.

  15. Joanne says:

    Thanks for the advise. I have ordered the Elastiprints and am hoping this will solve the problem. What type of transfer do you suggest for a 100% polyester gym bag?

  16. Jay Craig says:

    I have a order for 24 baseball shirts and i have ordered the shirts and they are 100% sublimated polyester, I have to apply the names and number of the player on the back with the logo of the team on the front. I have never done this before and was wondering what would be the best way to do this. Thanks

  17. Ted says:

    Hi Jay,
    I forwarded your comment to Stahls’ ID so someone can contact you asap and help you select the correct solution for printing on sublimated baseball jerseys. You will want to consider using Thermo-FILM(R) because it is one of the best lettering products for blocking sublimation dye migration that I know. If you want to have us print full color logos for you, CAD-COLOR Solutions Sub Block is a full color digital print media specifically designed for blocking dye migration. It can be applied to a variety of fabrics, including nylon and polyester. Thermo-FILM is most likely your easiest and most affordable option! Let me know how it works out!

  18. Dominique says:


    I’m printing on 100% polyester windbreaker jackets. I have thermo film to cut with but I am wondering how hot and how long the press should be. Also will it leave a dark spot on the jackets. I don’t want it to burn under the press. Any advice would help! Thank you

  19. Ted says:

    Hi Dominique, Please check the tag and try to get as much information as you can on the type of fabric on which you are printing. Windbreakers are normally made of nylon, so I’m concerned that you choose the right heat transfer film and follow the heat printing instructions. If you could please call customer service at 800-4-STAHLS they will be more than happy to make the best recommendation for your specific job. I don’t mean to be vague but I don’t want to suggest a time and temperature without being able to see the fabric tag. It would be great if you have an extra jacket to use as a tester, but I know these garments are usually expensive so that is probably not an option. Good luck and please call Stahls’. Thanks for reading.

  20. Ben says:

    I print on transfer paper using sub dye ink then heat press to make hockey jerseys.
    Sometimes I get ghosting on images and numbers but I’ve tried adjusting the pressure.
    Any ideas?
    Also I found out when I print white jerseys my piece that I press gets ruined due to unknown ink marks or small ink marks in areas that have zero ink on transfer paper. Eg. An area that is to be clean and white gets contaminated with ink. I check the transfer paper and it looks clean. If my platen is contacted can it pass through the transfer paper and get on fabric? Also my pad is not rubber it’s hard sponge material any ideas where to buy large silicon pads as it ay be the cause for my ghosting. Sorry for lengthy message any help would be appreciated.

  21. Ibad says:

    This flexible sublimation pad leaves a faint imprint of whatever you previously printed onto the next shirt. Any way to clean this pad so it doesn’t re-sublimate shirts?

  22. Ted says:

    According to Josh Ellsworth, there is currently not a method known to us that allows you to clean the flexible pad. However, he suggests trying a thin silicone sheet beneath the flexible application pad to clean/and or discard after each use.

  23. Vanessa says:

    I am printing on 100% polyester shirts. the print looks great but the bottom of the shirts look stretched out and has a square press mark. I have several pads. If i place one under the shirt this will prevent that?

  24. JEFF BEACHLEY says:

    what temperature should I press polyester shirts when I am using Athletic plastisol inks? And for how many seconds should I press them for?

  25. Ted says:

    Hi Jeff, thanks for reading and good question. It’s best to check with the manufacturer of the transfer. Transfer Express makes a variety of different plastisol ink transfers designed for use on polyester. GOOF PROOF transfers apply at 360 degrees for 3-5 seconds. Elasti-Prints, which are designed for performance wear, apply for 15 seconds at 275 degrees. PolyTrans transfers apply at 340 degrees fro 10 seconds. So you see there is a wide range of recommended applications and you need to check with the manufacturer of your transfer and let them know that you are printing on polyester.

  26. Brenda says:

    We are a school business and have a huge order with a local company. We ordered 100% polyester shirts through Custom Express. We first ordered goof proof transfers as the paperwork said they would work. They left the scorch mark on the shirts. We then spent additional money after wasting several shirts and got the Elasti-prints. Those did the same thing and we have adjusted the heat down to 275 degrees. We are now going to purchase a Flexible Application Pad. We are hoping this will help as we have over $2,000 in apparel. Any other suggestions? We have a Stahls Hotronix Fusion Heat Press. Is this pad placed over the shirt?

  27. Ted says:

    Brenda. Please call Transfer Express and explain the problem. Your shirts are apparently super sensitive to heat OR your press is too hot. Let them know which type of shirt you have. Have you tried going under 275°. You might be able to lower the temperature by another 10 degrees and see if that helps.

  28. Pam says:

    We have pressed a 100% polyester shirt at the 275º setting to see if it still left the scorch marks and it does. If we can find a lower temperature setting that works, how long will the elastiprints stay on? I’ve tested our presses temperature for accuracy as well. It read 267º and still left the marks. I can keep lowering the temperature but wonder if the transfers will stay on.

  29. louie lagon says:


    I encountered problems with fabrics getting ballpoint-like marks after being exposed to heat press. What do you think was the problem?


  30. Ted says:

    Thanks for reading. That is something I haven’t heard before. Perhaps the upper heat platen is not clean or has residue on it from a previous print job? Using a cover sheet may prevent this in the future or please call Stahls’ or Transfer Express and let them know of this problem so they can help you troubleshoot. THanks for reading.

  31. Lindsey says:

    Hi. I was wondering if I could use ThermoFlex on a 100%polyester rain jacket? Also is polyester safe for a heatpress machine. Thanks

  32. Ted says:

    Lindsey, Thanks for reading and for your question. A heat printing specialist has sent you an email to help you solve your printing challenge. Here is a summary of what he wrote:

    Without seeing the jacket, for a polyester rain jacket, we would recommend CAD-CUT Fashion Film, Thermo-Film, or Premium Plus to name a few. The larger concern is the water coating that is on the jacket. You would want to test heat applying to the jacket first, and if you cannot get the vinyl to apply, then the water coating will need to be removed in that area.
    Most customers use either our Solvent, or rubbing alcohol for this.
    Please let me know if you have any questions. Nick


  33. Jillan says:


    Can vinyl be heat pressed onto viscose and if it can, which type of vinyl would be the best to use? Also would the flexible application pad be good to use when pressing viscose.

    Thanks 🙂

  34. James says:

    I too have had issues with pressure marks on 100% poly garments. I’m going to try using your flexible application pad, but I was wondering do you know the lowest temp settings that can be used to apply screen printed plastisol transfers? We make the transfers here ourself, out of plastisol with 20% stretch additive.

  35. Ted says:

    James, thanks for reading. Transfer Express has Elasti-Prints transfers available that apply as low as 275 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are printing the transfers yourself you would have to consult your ink manufacturer.

  36. Ted says:

    It also helps if the Flexible Pad is warm for the application process.

  37. vasanthi says:

    Hi Ted,

    We are facing fusing mark in 100% polyester garment and we are using temperature is 180 Degrees with 5 sec. Please let me know how to avoid this fusing mark.

  38. senthil says:

    Hai Ted

    we are garment manufacture from india we are doing 100%poly garments we using heat transfer logo label main label we are facing permenant heat press mark on the garment can you suggest how to avoid the same is there any pad to avoid the same

    If any pad used to avoid the heat pressure mark were we can get the same how to use the same if you help on this it will be great helpful for me

  39. Ted says:

    Try using a rubberized silicone sheet, attached to your upper heat platen. Using heat transfers that require lower temperatures for permanent application should also help. Good luck.

  40. vasanthi says:

    Dear Ted,


  41. senthil says:

    Dear Ted

    Thanks for your suggestion where can i get the Rubberized silicone sheet At what temperature,pressure&seconds i want to follow for Polyester garments by using Rubberized silicone sheet cau you give me contact telephone no & address to get this material help me on this

    Thank you

  42. Ted says:

    Thank you for reading. They are available on our website. You will probably want to experiment with the recommended time and temperature depending on your graphic and your fabric. You will get better results if your cover sheet is warmed up. Always run a test sample if possible first.

  43. vasanthi says:

    Dear Ted,

    Thanks for your information.We will buy on your website and take an experiment. if any query will come back to you.


  44. Rebecca says:

    I’m pressing 100%polyester sport Tek shirts with elasti prints. I Keep getting the heat press rectangle marks. I’ve tried removing Teflon top sheet. I don’t want to ruin anymore ahirts. Any suggestions?

  45. Ted says:

    Hi Rebecca,
    Thanks for reading. Someone from Transfer Express will be contacting you to help troubleshoot. Have you tried reducing the application temperature to 275? Hopefully we can help you find a solution.

  46. Melissa says:

    I have a 100% polyester sublimated camo print shirt. I have already purchased the express names and numbers from transfer express. Can you tell me how I can prevent the dye from coming through? I am limited for time and did not realize this would happen. I told the rep the material I have and I did purchase the front logos subliblock but now have the express names and numbers to add. Any feedback please. Thank you

  47. Ted says:

    Hi Melissa, I asked someone from Stahls’ to contact you to see how to troubleshoot this problem. You can try lowering the temperature and extending the dwell time but you most likely require a sub-blocking material for the names and numbers as well. Thermo-FILM resists dye migration and may be a better choice. You can call Stahls’ directly at (800.478.2457)
    Today: 8:00 AM-7:00 PM EST.

  48. Julianna Powell says:

    Hi, it there a problem when one can see the sponge like material showing on a pink craft press in the upper platen area. I just bought this heat press so I am not certain if this is how it should look. Kindly assist. Thanks.

  49. Ted says:

    Hi Julianna,
    Thank you for reading and for your question. It sounds like you are seeing insulation material. If you contact the company where you purchased the press they should be able to provide you with more information after you send them a photo. The press should be under warranty if you purchased it new and it’s less than one year old.

  50. Marie says:

    We have the flexible application pad…..Stahl’s Hotronix Fusion machine…..thermo-film…..issue with film staying on fabrics (both 100% poly and performance ball shirts). Any suggestions?

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