How To Heat Press a Hat? A Definitive Guideline For Newbies

Have you ever wondered how a design is transferred to a hat? Or are you trying to come up with customized hats but don’t have a clue on how to go about it?

If yes, this post is for you.

Below, we’ll look at the two MAIN ways you can easily transfer your preferred designs to your hats—using a hat press and using a regular heat press (without a hat press).

Let’s get into more details right away…

How To Heat Press a Hat Without A Hat Press:

Our first method for heat pressing a hat involves using just a regular heat press machine. We recommend this method to people who want to make custom hats just for fun or occasionally.

Follow the steps below to heat press your hat with a standard heat press:

What you’ll need:

  • Heat press
  • Hat to be printed on
  • Teflon sheets
  • Heat tape
  • Magnets
  • Flocked or glitter heat transfer paper (avoid using the standard transfer paper as it’s too think and can wrinkle easily)
  • Heat protection gloves
  • Rubber band


1. Begin by sticking the Teflon sheet on the upper platen with the help of magnets

2. Plug in your heat press machine and switch it on to heat it up.

3. Now put on the heat protection gloves (oven mitts or a thick fabric like towel can also work) to keep your hands safe when pressing and rolling the hat against the hot platen.

4. Grab your trimmed transfer design, fold it in half, and mark the center of the mask.

5. With the help of heat tape, stick the design to the center of the hat or where you want to transfer the design.

6. With your heatproof gloves on, press the hat against the upper platen for approx. 5-10 seconds. Then, carefully remove the hat and examine it to see if there are other sections that need to be pressed.

7. When you’re satisfied that the design has properly adhered, you can start peeling off the paper. Be sure to keep an eye on sections that might not have been well pressed.

NOTE: In case you spot any design coming off your hat, you can fix this by laying down transfer tape and repeating the pressing process until the mask can come out easily.

8. That’s it! You’ve successfully heat pressed a hat with just a standard heat press machine. The process will make the hat look flatter than normal. You can easily fix this by wrapping a rubber band around the cap to help it regain its shape as it cools down.

How To Heat Press A Hat With A Hat Press:

What if you plan to print on hats on a regular basis, say for your customers? In that case, you’ll need to invest in a special hat press that enables you to easily and quickly print on any hats.

This special attachment makes heat pressing your hats even easier and faster.

Heat presses usually come with a number of interchangeable curved platens and they’re able to cover the entire surface of a design at once, eliminating the need for manual maneuvering.

You can press both soft and hard caps (with or without seams) with this attachment.

To heat press with a hat press, you simply need to tighten your cap around the right platen, pull down the press, and wait for the recommended amount of time for design transfer.

When you’re done transferring the design, you can then take off the heat tape and your new hat design will be left in place.

Check the quick video below on how to heat press a hat using a hat press attachment.

Final Verdict

So, that’s how you make custom hats using a heat press machine. As you can see, the process is pretty easy to follow, even for anyone who has never done it before.

If you’re planning to heat press hats for fun, then you can use the first method which involves using the heat press only.

If you’re heat pressing hats for your customers, that means you’ll be handling large numbers and on a regular basis. In this case, we advise you to invest in the hat press attachment to make the job easier and quicker for you.

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