Have you seen the June copy of Images magazine?

Where Andy Rogers demonstrates how to decorate face masks, quickly and profitably.

How To Decorate Face Masks With Heat Printing

How To Decorate Face Masks

To get started, you’ll need a heat press, some screen printed heat transfers or HTV, and blank face masks. With a professional setup costing just £600-1,350. It’s the most affordable professional decorating setup available on the market.

Over the last few months, we have been working with our customers in the UK and the US (through Stahls’) to meet the need of custom and branded face masks. We expect demand for this product to increase considerably for the foreseeable future.

One of the most important considerations for decorating face masks is, how will the embellishment feel for the person wearing it. Wearing a mask will be strange enough for most, so the thinner and softer the embellishment can be the better.

What To Decorate With

To decorate face masks both individually and at scale, we would recommend Heat Printing. For the best finish on the mask we would suggest using either a thin, soft heat transfer vinyl such as Premium Plus for single colour. Or a screen printed heat transfer for spot and full colour decorating. These embellishments once applied will feel like part of the garment and un-intrusive for the user.

With Custom Heat Transfers, all you need to do is provide artwork. Once you are happy with your design, send it to your supplier and they will bring it to life. Then in your own time you just need to fuse it under a Heat Press.

Our screen printed transfers are manufactured in Braintree (Essex). If you have a mask that with dyed fabric, or the material needs to stretch. The heat transfer can be made bespoke to match this criteria.

Both a Heat Transfer and Heat Transfer Vinyl will last the lifetime of the face mask.

*Please note this is for cloth masks, not surgical.

The Heat Press

Choosing the right Heat Press is essential. A heat press that delivers accurate time, temperature, and pressure will ensure a durable print every time, and repeat customers.

A quick check list should include:

  • Over Centre Pressure.

  • Digital readout of time, temperature, and pressure.

  • Long warranty (at least 5 years on framework and 30 on the heating element).

Hotronix® heat presses feature the world’s most innovative technology. Featuring Auto Open and over-the-centre pressure adjustment, all machines are made in the USA.

Blank mask

For this example we used the lightweight daily face cover made from a cotton and polyester blend (not intended for surgical use).

Step 1 Artwork

Now you need to create print ready artwork. Get your design, create your text outlines and re-size appropriately for adults and kids. The recommended artwork size is 10.9 x 6.7cm for adults, and 9.9 x 5.9cm for youth masks.

Save the file as either ai, eps or pdf.

Once the artwork is ready, it’s now time to get it produced. So get the artwork to your transfer manufacturer or send it to your vinyl cutting machine.

Step 2 Pre-Press

Choose the right Heat Press for the job. Because of the shape of cotton masks, they fit perfectly on our Hotronix cap press. But you could get many done at once if you have a 40x50cm bottom platen.

Unless you are using a Heat Press with a lower heated platen, it is important to always pre-press your material. This will remove any moisture and get the material smooth for application.

decorated face mask

Step 3 Fusing

Now place your transfer or vinyl in place. We recommend using heat tape here to keep the design in place. Fuse your transfer for 10 seconds at 160c, and then peel cold. Make sure you wait 24 hours before washing.

custom decorated face mask

Recommended Machines

Hotronix Auto Open Cap Press for one at a time or Hotronix Fusion IQ for many at once.

Screen printed Heat Transfer from Target Transfers or Premium Plus HTV

Stahls’ Heat Tape

Who Are Stahls’ and Target Transfers

The Stahls’ brand and Target started life small, like the family garage Stahls originated in 85 years ago. We are now the number one single source supplier of heat transfers, heat presses and HTV in the UK & worldwide. Target Transfers is the UK Division of Stahls' and Hotronix.