Table of Contents
- 1 Make Your Wardrobe Your Own
- 1.1 What is iron on printer paper?
- 1.2 Printers compatible with iron on printer paper
- 1.3 Different types of ink to use with iron-on printer paper
- 1.4 What type of iron on printer paper should you use?
- 1.5 How to transfer an image to fabric with iron on printer paper
Make Your Wardrobe Your Own
Iron on printer paper allows you to create custom prints on fabric items like T-shirts and other garments. The process is relatively easy; you simply print a design, image, or photo on iron on paper (also known as heat transfer paper). Then, place the paper on the garment and apply pressure and heat to transfer the image from the paper to the fabric.
What is iron on printer paper?
Iron on printer paper is special sheets of paper that you can print on. These prints can then be transferred (with your regular handheld iron) to fabric and, in some cases, even wood. The prints sit on the fabric instead of blending with the material.
It may also not be the same quality that manufacturers can achieve with specialized equipment like printable vinyl, sublimation printing, or plastisol ink (a PVC-based ink). Still, it is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to customize everything from T-shirts to bags, caps, and even masks.
Printers compatible with iron on printer paper
You could use either an inkjet or laser printer to print your design onto your iron on paper. However, different types of iron on printer paper are designed to use with either an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Therefore, you cannot use iron on printer paper meant for an inkjet printer in a laser printer, and vice versa.
You can establish what kind of printer you have by looking for the model name on the printer’s label. The name of your printer will often indicate what type of printer it is. If it does not, a quick online search for the printer’s name will be able to get you to that information.
Alternatively, you can open your printer and see what is inside. Inkjet printers have several ink cartridges, which are small boxes that contain ink. There should be four cartridges in total. Each one holds a different ink color: black, yellow, magenta (a shade of red), and cyan (a shade of blue). You may see the ink at the bottom of the ink cartridge. Also, they usually have colored stickers on the side to indicate what color ink they contain. Simply put, an inkjet printer uses the ink to “paint” images and text onto paper.
Laser printers have large toner cartridges. The toner cartridge is longer and bigger than ink cartridges and holds toner powder. A simple explanation of how a laser printer works is that the toner powder gets melted and fused into the paper to produce text or images. This heating process could cause iron on printer paper designed for inkjet printers to jam up if it is used in a laser printer. Therefore, it is crucial to use the correct paper for your printer.
Also, keep in mind that not all laser printers can produce color prints. So if you want to print colored designs on your iron on printer paper for laser printers, you will need a printer that can produce colored prints.
If you are still uncertain about what type of printer you have, contact the printer manufacturer or the place where you purchased it. They will tell you what type of printer you have and could even give you advice on the best iron on paper to use with your printer.
Different types of ink to use with iron-on printer paper
You will use different kinds of inks (or toners) with different printers. Always remember to confirm whether any specific type of ink is compatible with your printer before purchasing and using it.
Pigment-based inks are used in inkjet printers. They are more expensive but produce better quality and longer-lasting prints. They are also less likely to bleed and stand up better in humid weather.
Dye-based inks are the inks that come in standard inkjet cartridges. These inks are water-based and thus may bleed when you wash a garment that has a print with dye-based inks. They are also less resistant to UV light and could fade over time.
Sublimation ink can be used with sublimation paper. The combination of these two produces sharp, high-quality prints. Having said that, sublimation ink can only produce good-quality prints on light-colored fabrics. However, some products claim to work well on dark-colored fabrics. Keep in mind that prints created with sublimation ink and paper on your printer at home will likely not be the same as you would get from commercial-scale sublimation printers.
While pigment-based inks are best for transfers printed on inkjet transfer paper, you can also use eco-solvent inks, solvent inks, UV inks, sublimation inks, and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OED) inks.
Suppose you are using a laser printer to create designs on iron on transfer paper. In that case, you will need a special cartridge that enables this. These cartridges include a white toner that allows for proper color transfer.
Other things to consider
You could use a regular handheld clothing iron. However, a good quality heat press will give you better and more consistent results. In addition, images transferred with a heat press may last longer and stand up to washing better.
What type of iron on printer paper should you use?
You need to consider what type of garment or fabric you want to transfer your design or image to. You will need a different type of paper to transfer designs to white or light fabrics than you would for dark or black fabrics.
Your printer, regardless of whether it is an inkjet or laser printer, usually prints on white paper. This is because the ink or toner could become translucent and difficult to see if you don’t use the correct paper. Sheets of printable iron on paper that are used for dark garments have a white backing. This backing transfers onto the fabric along with your design and makes your prints more noticeable with accurate and vivid colors.
Iron on paper for use on light or white fabrics doesn’t have this backing. It only has a clear transfer layer that transfers the design onto the fabric. The price per sheet of iron on printer paper ranges between just under a dollar to slightly over two dollars, depending on the type of paper.
How to transfer an image to fabric with iron on printer paper
The first step in transferring an image to fabric with iron on printer paper is to choose the correct paper and garment or item.
When you have this ready, you can create and edit your design until it is exactly as you want it. Remember that for some papers, you will need to mirror your image before printing them. You can get this information from the iron on paper manufacturer. This information should also be printed on the box or included in the instruction guidelines. You could do a trial print or two on regular printer paper to ensure that you didn’t miss any details. Once you are happy with your design, you can print it onto iron on printer paper.
Place the item on a flat surface like a tabletop and ensure there are no folds or wrinkles. You could even give it a quick iron to ensure that it is flat.
Trim the transfer sheet as close to the image as possible. The space between the edge that you cut and the image should be a quarter of an inch or narrower. This will give you a better finish as you will only transfer the image. You will also be able to position the image precisely.
Place cardboard to separate the print from any other fabric that may come in contact with the heat. So if you want the print on the front, place cardboard inside the shirt so the design doesn’t leak.
Next, lay your transfer down on the item where you want the print to be. Place it with the image side down. You can immediately transfer your image once it is printed. However, it is recommended that you wait 10 to 15 minutes before transferring your design onto fabric when you use inkjet iron on printer paper. Once you have the image in place, cover it with another cardboard.
Use a hot iron to apply pressure and heat over the cardboard that is covering the transfer paper. Press down while moving the iron around in circles. You can use a fair amount of pressure and keep ironing for two to three minutes. After this is done, you can remove the iron and cardboard to reveal your transferred design.
If you are using a heat press machine, you will lay the item on the press, add the two pieces of cardboard, and transfer as you would if you were using a handheld iron. You will then apply heat and pressure by simply closing the heat press. In this case, you will need to set the temperature and time on the press.
Creating and transferring designs with iron on printer paper is a great way to produce personalized items. Armed with a regular printer, some special ink, and paper, you can add your own creative flair to everything from beach bags to aprons and T-shirts. What will you create next?
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- The Differences Between Printer Toner Vs Ink | HP® Tech Takes
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- How to Make Plastisol Heat Transfers | by ScreenPrinting.com
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