How to Use Transfer Paper for Shirts? A Detailed Guide

How to use transfer paper for shirts? How do you print on transfer paper for t-shirts? You can learn everything about transfer papers in this step-by-step guide.

You can use transfer paper not only for t-shirts but for cotton, aprons, tablecloths, bags, pillowcases, bedsheets, and other kinds of fabrics. Similarly, you can even print on wood and other hard surfaces using the transfer paper.

Learning to use a transfer paper is also a breeze. It only takes a few minutes and you will be able to print your images on a transfer paper with the utmost ease.

Keep in mind that this handy guide only explains the process of transferring your artwork on paper. We assume that you already have your images ready to be printed on the transfer paper.

The Right Type of Ink for Transfer Paper?

What type of ink you should use for transfer paper? This is the most common questions asked, especially by beginners. However, this concern is groundless because you can use any printer ink and it will do the job just fine. The type of ink does not matter at all. The only thing that matters is the type of transfer paper you are using.

However, try to use only inkjet printers for transfer papers and you will not face any problem while printing t-shirts.

Types of Transfer Papers

Transfer papers come in two main types, the dark and light papers. The choice of the paper depends on the color of the image and the type of fabric you are printing on.

Light Transfer Papers

Light transfer papers include light blue, white, baby pink, and other extremely light-colored papers. They produce more vibrant and accurate images on light fabrics, preferably of the same color. These papers usually are better off with translucent ink because it is easily visible on light-colored fabrics.

Dark Transfer Papers

These kinds of papers are used to transfer images on darker fabrics. Dark fabric tends to show through the images and therefore, the image should have a white background. It will prevent the fabric to gleam through the image.

How to Use Transfer Paper for T-Shirts?

Now you have everything ready including an inkjet printer, the right type of transfer paper, and the image. The next step is to print the image on paper.

Reverse Your Artwork

The first step in the process of transferring images on the paper is to reverse your artwork. It is especially important if the image has numbers or text otherwise you will simply ruin your image. You should never forget reversing the imaging and mirroring it on the transfer paper.

The image will appear correctly on the shirt only if you place it facing downwards. However, it should face up in the case of dark transfer paper before printing it on the shirts. Therefore, you don’t need to reverse your image as well.

You can easily reverse the image using photo editing software. Some printers also have settings to reverse the image.

How to Print on T-Shirt Transfer Paper?

Ensured that your print is 100% the way you want it to be on the t-shirt. It is also a good idea to print the image on standard paper to check how it will appear on the shirt. You can also see whether or not the image looks the same as it looks on the desktop.

If everything is correct, proceed to print the image on your transfer paper. You must always print on the marked side of the transfer paper or the coated side of the paper is not marked.

After printing the image on paper, you can use a heat press machine to transfer the image on your t-shirt. Make sure that you have correctly placed the garment on the heat machine before printing.

The following video by Amanda Love Santos also explains how to use transfer paper on a shirt.

How to Use Transfer Paper for shirts? Common Mistakes to Avoid

The following are the most common mistakes you should avoid when using transfer paper for t-shirts.

  • Not reversing the image before printing.
  • Printing on the wrong side of the transfer paper
  • Not buying the right paper according to the color of the fabric
  • Not printing a sample image to check how the image will look on the transfer paper and t-shirts

Final Thoughts

It is pretty easy to learn how to use transfer paper for shirts. All you need to have is a heat press machine, the right transfer paper, and artwork to publish. It will offer a lot of opportunities for you such as opening a very profitable business right from your home with little investment. Or, it can simply be a good hobby where you can give vent to your creativity and design some beautiful t-shirts for your family and friends.

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