Add vinyl decals to polyester bags easily and without burning the fabric! These tips will help you learn how to use a heat press on polyester bags and other heat sensitive materials.
If you’ve ever experimented with your Cricut EasyPress (or a traditional heat press) you’ve probably burned materials. It happens as we learn, especially if we’re using delicate or heat sensitive materials.
What is a heat sensitive material? Things like polyester, silk, wool or faux leather all need lower heat settings so that you don’t burn the material while pressing a design onto it.
The best way to find what temperature to use is by referencing a heat settings guide. Cricut has one that I use a lot and it’s very accurate.
When using a Cricut EasyPress you need to be very careful with the amount of pressure you’re using. Pressure can make or break a project and you need to make sure that you are using consistent pressure to stop the vinyl from lifting.
What do I mean by vinyl lifting? You can see what happened to this t-shirt after I washed it. The vinyl lifted and came right off the shirt because of uneven pressure with my EasyPress.
Because the swim bag I used has zippers and seams everywhere, I had to be very careful to get an even press on my vinyl. Using a heat pressing pillow will help prop up the part of the bag you want to press on and will make it easier to get an even press on your material.
A pressing pillow is a must-have tool if you like using heat transfer vinyl for your projects.
Tips for using a Cricut Easypress on polyester bags.
What heat settings do you use for a polyester bag?
Because I own the Cricut Easypress I like to reference their user guide for all of my projects.
You can put in the type of heat transfer vinyl you’re using, the material you’re putting your decal on, and whether you’re using a pressing pillow (I recommend using one!) or a towel.
For a Polyester Bag it’s recommended you use these settings:
- Temperature: 315 degrees
- Time: 30 seconds
- Pressure: Light
- Peel: Warm
- Additional Tips: Flip material and press for an extra 15 seconds
What happens if I press the design for too long or use too much heat?
The short answer is that you will burn your fabric. You can also melt the fabric or discolor it depending on what it is. That’s why it’s really important to check what heat settings you should use with your heat press.
What if the bag has pockets on the inside and the seams cause the heat press to not lay flat on the bag. How do I get an even press?
I had this problem on my bag and it was frustrating to pull up the carrier sheet on top of my vinyl time and time again to find that certain spots still hadn’t stuck to the bag.
Whenever you are pressing near a seam or zippers you should be using a pressing pillow. This will elevate the section of the bag so that the zippers, buttons or seams won’t get in the way.
I highly suggest getting a bundle with different sized pressing pillows (like this one from Heat Press Nation) so that you can use them for all kinds of projects.
FAQ’S FOR USING A HEAT PRESS ON A POLYESTER BAG
How do you know if an item is heat sensitive?
All items should come with a tag inside for care/wash instructions.
Find it and read to see what it says about heat. If you see the words “dry clean only” or “dry on low heat” it means you need to use lower temperatures if you’re going to heat press them.
Sensitive fabrics will not hold up to high heat or prolonged exposure to heat.
Do you need to preheat the polyester bag before pressing your design on it!
Yes! Preheat your bag for 5 seconds then press your design like you normally would.
Should I test the fabric before pressing a large design on it?
Double check the settings against the Cricut Easypress heat guide. If you used the right heat settings try testing in a small spot again but for a shorter amount of time.
OTHER HEAT TRANSFER PROJECTS TO TRY!
- How to use heat transfer vinyl on t-shirts
- Beginners guide to craft vinyl: adhesive vinyl vs heat transfer vinyl
- How to put heat transfer vinyl on wood
- How to use heat transfer vinyl on napkins
- Why heat transfer vinyl bubbles when using a heat press