Heat Shrink Bags

Heat shrink bags are one of the most exciting innovations in transfer printing and sublimation in recent years and are a major step up from the heat clamps of old.

There are some hard surface products (like bowls, unevenly shaped and large items) which range from difficult to impossible to decorate with a traditional heat press. There is often a need to decorate large volumes of products, a task that can also take an extensive amount of time with a heat press

Heat shrink bags completely blow away clamps as they are merely a type of plastic bag which, when heated, shrinks to keep the transfer paper tight onto the product and allow the transfer process to complete in an oven. They are very cheap, can be cut into practically any size you need, and work extremely well.

A Very Easy Process

Affix the printed image to the item securely using heat tape. Put the bag over the item. Heat the bag with a heat gun to make it shrink until it’s tightly wrapped around the product. Pop the item into the oven, and when it comes out cut the bag with a knife or blade to release the product (each bag can only be used once).

With heat shrink bags you can decorate a mug, for example edge to edge (top to bottom and ear to ear as seen in the image). If the handle of the mug is coated, you can decorate this too. You can also print on a much larger surface area than would be possible with a press.

Consider this: if you have an order for 200 mugs, it would typically take 14-17 hours in a mug press. However, by using heat shrink bags, you can place as many in the oven as it allows, dramatically cutting down the production time.

The bags are available in different widths and heights, but for maximum versatility we also sell the material in 5 meter lengths. The advantage here is that you don’t need to keep a whole lot of different bags in stock. You can just purchase the 5 meter length roll and cut it as you need to. We have these 5 meter lengths in widths of 165mm and 200mm.

Should you wish to make a narrower bag out of this material you can invest in a heat sealing machine (you can buy them online for under R 500) and use the heat sealer to “cut and seal” the plastic to any size you need for your project.

Bowls are simple to do with the heat shrink bags, as are the polymer utensils, and pretty much any hard surface item.

What you will need

  • A Craft Express Mini Oven (it’s a small oven made specifically for this process). You can fit up to six 11oz mugs at a time in this oven.
  • A heat gun and a heat shrink bag.

General instructions

  • Slip your product with the print into the heat shrink bag.
  • Shrink with the heat gun.
  • Bake in the oven.
  • Remove and cut open the bag to remove your item - each bag is used only once.

This unique product is very easy to use!

The print quality is the same and often better than you would get with a press. Wash durability is the same.