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How to Use Dark/Opaque Inkjet Heat Transfer Paper

Using opaque inkjet heat transfer paper is a great and affordable way of bringing full color images onto black or dark-colored garments. The white backing of the specially-formulated paper provides the perfect base layer for your printed graphics. This offers bold, vivid, and high resolution results in full color! They’re ideal for virtually any dark garments, whether cotton, polyester, or blends.

Inkjet transfer papers are designed to work with most home or office inkjet printers (We like the Canon Pixma iX6820). You can print the full page, if you like. If not, any un-printed areas will have to be trimmed away. This can be done with scissors or an Xacto knife, but is most easily and precisely done with a  vinyl cutter that has a contour cut feature (sometimes called "print & cut"). Due to the nature of dark heat transfer paper, mirroring the image before printing will not be necessary.

For tutorials on how to contour cut an image with your vinyl cutter, please check out this video playlist on our HPN YouTube channel.

After cutting the printed transfer, we can begin setting up the heat press. We recommend the HPN Signature Series 15" x 15" Auto-Open Heat Press. Firm pressure is ideal for most inkjet transfer papers. However, all settings - including time and temperature - should be set to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Before pressing your transfer, preheat the garment to smooth out any wrinkles and remove any moisture in the garment. Peel the transfer off of the backing and place it image-side-up on the garment. Cover the transfer with a cover sheet (either a Pro Grade Non-Stick Sheet or Parchment Paper), and press. When the press is done, remove the cover sheet and your transfer is complete! For best results, allow the transfer to completely cool on a flat surface, as the transfer is still pliable when warm.

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