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Heat press, heat gun, or both

4881 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  KhaoticAngel
So I got my ink today and am going to start screen printing this weekend. My only question is about curing water based ink.

What is the best method?

A. Heat gun until shirt stops steaming( water evaporates )
B. Heat gun until shirt stops steaming then heat press
C. Leave outside on 85 degree day in sunlight
D. Leave out on 85 degree day under sun then heat press
E. Leave Hang drying inside for days on end
F. Leave hang drying inside for days then heat press


I have read everywhere that all methods will work. Time is not a concern. I will not be buying a flash dryer or a belt dryer as I cant afford that. All of my prints will be 1 color prints black ink on white cotton shirt or white ink on black cotton shirt(keeping it simple) Can anyone who has done any of these methods tell me there outcome after wash test and time.



My issues.

I have a heat press but I have no stand for it so every time I want to use it I have to find someone to help me pick up the 200 pound heat press to get it out of the garage and onto a table and then put it away again.

So... a heat gun alone would be so easy and preferred. BUTTTTTTT if it is going to sacrifice quality and longevity of the shirts.. I'm more then willing to break out the heat press when I want to make a new shirt for myself.

Also, I don't have a heat gun yet.. $20 is not a big deal to buy one from walmart but if I would be better without it I'd like to save the $20, but I'd rather just use the heat gun if that's good without loosing quality and longevity so I'd buy it happily.

Should I just leave them to dry for a week and call it a day?






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@riddick93

did you ever get an answer to your question?

I too have a heat press (had intended to start with plastisol transfers, but circumstances won't allow me at the moment) and water based inks, and I was really hoping there was an alternative to waiting a WEEK for the ink to 'cure' before I can test my shirts to see if they hold up properly in the wash!

I don't even know what temperature I'm supposed to have my heat press set to... it wasn't in the instructions I received with the ink... just IRON instructions with a side note that a heat press could be used instead! :(
@riddick93

did you ever get an answer to your question?

I too have a heat press (had intended to start with plastisol transfers, but circumstances won't allow me at the moment) and water based inks, and I was really hoping there was an alternative to waiting a WEEK for the ink to 'cure' before I can test my shirts to see if they hold up properly in the wash!

I don't even know what temperature I'm supposed to have my heat press set to... it wasn't in the instructions I received with the ink... just IRON instructions with a side note that a heat press could be used instead! :(
If your ink has "ironing" instructions, it is not professional screenprinting ink. It may work for what you are doing, but you would probably have better results, and lower costs, with pro ink.

Most waterbase ink cures between 320 and 340. Set your heatpress to 350 and test a shirt to see if that cures the ink. I would let the shirts air dry a bit before using the heatpress to cure them. Most of the moisture should be gone in an hour or two, then the press just needs to get the ink up to curing temp, which should only take about 20 seconds on a dry shirt.
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Thank you for the reply... I'm using Speedball Waterbase ink. The instructions for the iron were to iron it 3-5 minutes on each side then let it sit for a week, with only a little side note that heat presses could be used, but no instructions for time or temperature. I'd messaged the company that sent the ink to me asking if the shirts still needed to hang for a week if I used a heat press to cure the ink and they told me YES! I was about to order different ink, when I decided to message Speedball themselves, and they told me that as soon as the ink was dry on the shirts, I could cure it at 350F in my heat press (he said for 1 minute, though) and they were washable right away.

I tested some shirts today and they all were washfast with these instructions.
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