Iron-on Transfer Paper

If you want to use your creativity to design your t-shirts, jeans, and just about any fabric, it can be easily done using Iron-on transfer paper. Iron on Transfer Paper is also known as t-shirt paper and is used to print designs and texts on fabrics.
Printer Ink to Use

If you’re unsure as to which printer or ink is ideal to use with iron-on transfer paper, then rest assured because any type of business or home inkjet printer will work well with it. There are two types of iron-on transfer papers: Light Transfer Paper and Dark Transfer Paper, which are used on light-colored and dark fabrics, respectively for best results.

The secret to getting the best result lies in the quality and kind of paper in use but not the ink since any regular printer ink is ideal for the process.

Light Transfer Paper Vs. Dark Transfer Paper

The result of the image transfer completely relies on the combination of the color of the fabric and the color combination of the image/design to be transferred. As mentioned above, Light and Dark Transfer papers are used for light and dark fabrics, respectively, save a few exceptions.

If the right transfer paper is not used, the results can be different from what was anticipated, and the print on the fabric also may look different than the image you wanted to print.

The primary difference between the two transfer papers is their ability to transfer the image exactly as desired on the fabric of the corresponding color strengths.

Don’t Forget to Reverse the Image

Make sure you do not forget reversing the image before you print the iron-on transfer paper. It is the same concept why the Ambulances have a mirror image printed on them, which is to ensure that other cars can read it accurately on their side and rear-view mirrors to give them passage.

Most of the photo editors and image software have the reverse feature to ensure that the resulting image is in fact, mirrored and the printed image when transferred on to the fabric is the right way round. To avoid any confusions or mistakes, you can first print the desired image or design on a normal paper before using it for a final print.

Washing Instructions

It’s recommended that the fabric should be allowed to remain undisturbed for 24 hours before being washed. The fabric, whether it is a cushion cover, t-shirt, apron, or anything else, has to be washed inside out which would ensure that the printed image, text, or design is not rubbed against harshly, which can disturb or interfere with its integrity.

Also, the washing detergent to be used must not contain bleach as it is known to fade the print over time, thus reducing its longevity.

Common Mistakes People Make While Using Iron-on Transfer Paper

One should keep a note of several common mistakes that most people make while using iron-on transfer paper to print images, texts, or their combination on fabric. Here are a few mistakes that are usually made –
  • Mirroring image is essential, and forgetting it before printing can prove to be a costly mistake.
  • Make sure to check the side on which the text/design to be printed. The iron-on transfer paper should be put in the printer in such a way that the coated side is printed.
  • The fabric should be placed on an even and flat surface for ironing. Ironing the fabric on an uneven surface may lead to the final image being improperly printed and disfigured.
  • The iron should be very hot and set at the highest temperate setting when ironing the iron-on transfer paper.
  • One should iron the surface for a minimum of five to six minutes, depending on the size of the image and the fabric, to ensure the best results. If you do not use the iron long enough, the results may be dissatisfactory.
Along with ironing, do not forget to apply pressure on the iron-on transfer paper because it helps in transferring the ink to the fabric optimally and ensures longevity.

Step by Step Instruction on Using the Iron On Transfer Paper

Let’s go through the process of using the iron-on transfer paper briefly through this step-by-step guide:
  1. First of all, decide the size of the image and the fabric you want to use the iron-on transfer paper. In case of large sizes, heat press machines are needed, and for smaller sizes, household irons are sufficient.
  2. Choose the right fabric since not all fabrics are suitable such as synthetic materials which are known to get damaged easily when ironed for a prolonged period, which is a necessity of the process. The fabrics that are known to fare well in this process are cotton, Lycra, nylon, spandex, and polyester.
  3. Selecting the right kind of transfer paper is also essential to get the desired results. It should be versatile, affordable, reliable, and offer long-lasting results.
  4. Once the fabric and the transfer paper are selected and ready, the next process is to choose the right artwork. It can be a design or text or even, its combination. For smaller prints, home or business printers (inkjet or laser) can be used.
  5. Do not go ahead with the printing immediately but instead, test it first on standard paper. It would help you get the idea of the size, image representation, color reproduction, and other aspects of the print before you move ahead with the final printing on the fabric.
  6. In case of texts and certain images, it is essential to reverse or mirror them which can be easily done with the help of image editing and media software, such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw, and various other mobile applications.
  7. Make sure that the coated surface of the iron-on transfer paper is printed.
  8. Place it firmly on the part of the fabric that you want to get printed, and iron it well along the boundaries and the core for a good five to six minutes. The duration of ironing can be judged based on the size of the fabric and the print design in question. Always use an even surface for ironing to get the best results.
  9. Remove the fabric after ironing and allow it to remain undisturbed for a while before stretching to get the best results.
Iron-on transfer paper can be easily bought online nowadays. Kits are available in the market that contains all the necessary perquisites for conducting the process from scratch, including the t-shirt. Whether you are doing it professionally or for fun, rest assured that it can be done perfectly when the process is followed accurately.