How to Use a Heat Press on Polyester Bags

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.

Just keep swimming Finding Nemo svg file on a polyester swim bag.

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.

Just keep swimming Finding Nemo svg file on a polyester swim bag.

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.

Just keep swimming Finding Nemo svg file on a polyester swim bag.

What tools do you need to heat press on a polyester bag?

You’ll need:


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    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.

    Just keep swimming Finding Nemo svg file on a polyester swim bag.

    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.

    How to use a Cricut EasyPress 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?

    Yes! Find a small section of the fabric and use your heat press on it. If you notice the spot becomes discolored or burnt you most likely have your heat press too hot.

    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.

    Just keep swimming Finding Nemo svg file on a polyester swim bag.


    How to Use a Heat Press on Heat Sensitive Materials

    How to Use a Heat Press on Heat Sensitive Materials

    Yield: 1
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Active Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Difficulty: Easy
    Estimated Cost: $30
    Learn how to put iron on vinyl on heat sensitive items like polyester without burning the fabric!


    1. Download your SVG files and upload them into your software. I used the DORY file from here and the WHALE file from here.
    2. Cut and weed your designs and set them aside. (make sure you flip your designs in the software before hitting CUT).
    3. Heat up your Cricut Easypress to 315 degrees. Set it aside.
    4. Once your heat press is ready to go, spot test a small section of the bag to make sure it can stand up to the heat (I recommend using the bottom).
    5. If your bag is fine, put your design on the bag and then lay the teflon sheet on top of it.
    6. Lay your heat press on the teflon sheet and press for 30 seconds. Make sure you're using LIGHT PRESSURE, do not put your whole body weight down on the press, this can cause your fabric to burn.
    7. Pull the teflon sheet off your vinyl and then carefully remove the carrier sheet. If you notice your vinyl isn't stuck to the bag then repeat step 6. (SEE NOTE #3)
    8. Cricut recommends you to turn the polyester material over and press for an additional 15 seconds. I did not do this because mine is a bag and I couldn't fit my heat press in the compartments but if you can do this you should!


    1. Always check the care instructions on the tag inside the bag before pressing. This will tell you if it's a heat sensitive item or not!

    2. Test a small spot of the bag with your heat press before you press the design. I recommend the bottom of the bag.

    3. If your bag has pockets on the inside you may have an issue pressing your design because of the pocket seams. They'll stop your heat press from getting an even press and the vinyl that goes over the seams will not stick to your bag.

    To solve that particular problem do one of two things:

    • Turn your Cricut Easypress on the side (taking care not to burn yourself or drop it) and use the edge to heat the part of the vinyl that isn't sticking, OR
    • Use an iron to heat that section of vinyl.

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