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Heat transfer papers also referred to as T-shirt transfer paper are extremely useful elements for designers and printers who work with the heat press. It has got multiple uses. You can create doodles, images, signatures, copies or use famous quotes and print them first on a heat transfer paper and then the pattern or image can be transferred to a canvas or a t-shirt using a heat press. This process uses the concept of heat printing. However, there is no doubt that modern transfer papers that are used for printing patterns on art works or personalizing garments are creating a healthy margin of profit for printing businesses.

Heat transfer machines are the best option because they offer greater control over color. Although heat transfer papers are very useful, you will need to have a perfect idea about the pressure, time or temperature needed for the perfect heat transfer. This would depend on the texture and coarseness of the fabric used in the garment as also on the type of transfer paper used. in order to get the perfect color without smudges or to see the proper transfer of the dye on the substrate, you will need to choose the perfect transfer paper.

Common mistakes that occur during heat transfer and their solutions

  1. Choosing the wrong side of the transfer paper to print: Arguably the most common mistake, it can be easily avoided. When printing, take time to find out the right side of the transfer paper and place it smoothly on the printer tray to get the right imprints.
  2. Not choosing the right transfer paper: Another common mistake, you will need to have a clear idea about color combinations and how certain colors fare against certain backgrounds. A light transfer paper will be needed to transfer the images or text imprints onto a light colored or almost white colored fabric. Dark transfer papers would better against darker backgrounds. For printer ink to be visible, it requires a white or light background. A dark transfer paper creates that on a dark colored fabric and the block images can be formed. Even if the white color spills outside the block, it won’t matter since it won’t be visible against the dark background.
  3. Printing without switching on the mirror mode: For printing on light backgrounds, you have to switch on the mirror mode of your printer because otherwise the imprints would be lined up in the wrong direction.
  4. Forgetting to iron the t-shirt transfer paper: If you don’t iron the transfer paper on a perfectly flat surface, the image won’t be transferred properly to the substrate. Also, choosing the right paper for the right fabric is important. Otherwise, the paper may fall off. Also, apply the right pressure and heat for the right time or else the impression won’t stay.
  5. Cutting and weeding the wrong way: If you face trouble cutting or weeding the transfer paper, it would mean that you have either over or undercut the paper. Also retention of adhesive could cause difficulty with weeding.
Heat transfer films or papers are easy to use and useful. They have revolutionized the printing industry and made heat printing effective. Heat presses can’t perform optimally without the right transfer papers. Hence, always be careful while handling them.


Heat press machineHeat transfer paper

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