Use the Right Iron-On Transfer Paper

Getting Better Iron-On Transfers

Epson Iron-On Transfer Paper
Epson

Designing your own illustrations for eventual iron-on transfer to a T-shirt or other garment is a lot of fun as long as you follow the manufacturer's guidance and use the right transfer paper. The process is simple: You design in your favorite software and print the image using your home printer onto special paper that is designed specifically for iron-on transfers to garments.

Buy the Right Transfer Paper for Your Printer

Don't use iron-on transfer paper made for inkjet printers in your laser printer.

The heat can cause the paper to melt all over the inside of the printer, possibly resulting in a hefty repair bill or the need for a new printer. Most transfer paper is made for inkjet printers, but a few are made for laser printers.

Check the box or label carefully to be sure you are getting inkjet transfer paper for your inkjet printer or laser transfer paper for your laser printer.

Choose the Right Special-Purpose Transfer Paper

Most transfer papers are for white or light-colored fabrics. However, iron-on transfer papers also come in a version specifically for dark-colored T-shirts. If you are creating a design for a black or dark blue T-shirt, buy transfer paper specifically meant for dark T-shirt transfers. 

While a lot of transfer papers need to be peeled off soon after ironing, transfers with cool-peel backing papers are specifically created to be peeled off after the transfer cools.

No scorched fingertips.

Tips for Transfer Preparation

Iron-on transfers sit on top of the fabric, adhered to it by heat. They can leave a bit of a plastic-like feel where the transfer is on the garment. When you use iron-on transfer paper, take the time to trim the excess paper around your design before ironing it on the garment.

You'll avoid ending up with a large unprinted plastic-like section on your t-shirt that can look and feel a little odd. So, for the best appearance, trim close to the design before applying the paper to fabric.

Shopping for Iron-On Transfer Paper

When shopping, keep in mind that some papers are for use on light garments and some for use on dark garments. Other than that, know if you are purchasing paper for an inkjet printer or a color laser printer. Iron-On Transfer Paper products include the following: