Basic Introduction To Heat Transfer Papers

Basic Introduction To Heat Transfer Papers - GetWin Industrial Co.,LTD

Heat Transfer Papers

If you are thinking about starting a business using heat transfers, please read this article first:Get started A Custom Printed Apparel Business With Heat Transfers?
You may also want to read:The way to Print Digital Heat Transfers For T-Shirts
This article covers heat transfers made for white garments. Although there are transfer papers made for black shirts, they tend to be very thick due to a white base layer made of a rubbery or cloth material backing.
Heat transfer papers come in many different types. Some are designed for home use with an iron and others are meant to be used by professional garment printers and require particular equipment.
Transfer papers require the artwork to be printed in reverse. This is due to the mirroring effect when you lay the transfer paper down with the printed side facing the shirt. If you were to print it normally and place the printed side down onto the shirt the design would be backwards. Most heat transfer papers will be made for laser or ink jet printers and will fall under two categories regardless if they are professional grade or not. They will either be a cold or hot peel. This simply means that the backing will be peeled either while hot or cold.

Heat Transfer Papers
One of the biggest and most notorious problems with consumer grade heat transfers is that they leave adhesive in all the areas where the paper is present and the image is not. This means that any white or negative areas without toner or ink will leave transfer adhesive on the shirt. The adhesive put down on the shirt without toner or ink will change the appearance of the fabric. It will have a haze or a ghost like look the shape of the area of the adhesive. This type of paper is not good for use with text alone. Solid shaped designs with white areas locked within the solid shape work best.
Inkjet transfer paper has good coverage but may have a tendency to bleed when washed. It is important to allow extra water when you wash inkjet-transferred shirts for the first time. Never get any stray water or liquid, including Scorch Out, on a freshly transferred shirt. It is best to wash this type of transferred shirt before wearing. This will soften the transfer area and wash out extra ink that would bleed if it were to get wet. The softened transfer will also wear better.
There are some very cool color laser transfer papers that are "self weeding". This type of paper has a two part pressing process in which adhesive is only present where toner has been laid down on the paper. First the transfer paper is printed. It is then pressed with the adhesive paper. The adhesive transfers to the paper only where toner is present. This type of paper is designed for use with a pneumatic heat pressing. It applies 60 pounds of pressure or more during pressing.
You can use an iron with many consumer grade heat transfers and achieve good results. Use the highest heat settings and press firmly down on the iron as you move it around. Heat it well and uniform while keeping good pressure on the iron.
If you are able to use a heat press it will improve the results of any paper greatly. Instant, uniform, consistent heat applied with the pressure of the heat press will work best. The heat press will be able to maintain high heat settings of 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit while pushing the transfer into the knit of the garment fabric. You can produce some really nice quality garments with a heat press using transfers.
There are also transfer papers that are used with screen printed designs. The design is printed in reverse, just as computer generated transfers. They are also printed in reverse with respect to printing directly on a garment. For instance, the white under base would be printed last. An adhesive, in powder form, is applied to the wet plastisol transfer ink and is then semi cured. The ink will set with the adhesive powder and be fully cured when pressed onto the garment in the heat press.
There are literally hundreds of heat transfer paper suppliers online. Just Google "heat transfer papers" and you will have to research which supplier is best for you. Be aware there are many companies trying to sell you an entire business or set up. Just remember it takes more than a kit to be successful at selling customized garments.

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