If you are just getting started, printing your own T-shirts using heat transfer ,can be a lot of fun and very rewarding.
Although this is by far not a professional way of printing T shirts, there are a few things you will need to know to get started.
The perfect print does require some practice and will need the following items:
Heat Transfer paper:
( Inkjet or Laser depending on your printer )
There are many types of heat transfer papers out there , but I am going to break it down to just 2 types.
Bare in mind that you will have to buy paper that is specific to your printer type.
Light Transfer Paper:
This transfer paper is for white and pastel color garments only, when I say pastel color I am referring to the following garment colors: Yellow, light blue, orange and basically all light colors
Light transfer paper is generally thinner than Dark transfer paper and will give you a much softer feel and look.
Another advantage is that once it is applied to your garment , it will be transparent and take on some of the background color of your garment.
Dark Transfer Paper:
This type of paper is only for dark garments, ie Black, Navy and royal blue ect.
This type of paper is not transparent.
A Printer to print your transfers on:
( Inkjet or laser?) which is the Best printers for the job
we recommend 2 types of iron on transfer papers available for both inkjet printers and Laser Printers , the only two factors to consider is cost and speed.
Laser printers are generally much faster to print than inkjet, so if you have a lot of T shirts to print, then you might want to consider laser transfers as ink jet iron on transfers are quite slow to print,and can be costly unless using compatible inks.
Printing your own DIY iron transfers:
Once you have your design ready to go, you will need to select the correct paper settings on your printer. Next load your DIY iron on transfers ( most good transfer paper come with instructions )
In general you will find that when printing on light transfer papers,
your image will have to be mirrored and dark transfers do not need to be mirrored.
Iron on transfers for t shirts with a household Iron or Heat Press:
Once you have printed your iron on transfers, you will need to apply them to your garment.
If this is not something that you would be doing long term,
you would not need to purchase a head press, and can use a normal household item
( Without the steam feature on )
What are the pros and Cons of printing your own Transfers
The pros: Iron on Transfers are definitely fun to make,also there are no setup fees if you have all of the right equipment and can also produce some nice prints!
The cons: Not as durable as screen prints or professionally printed transfers,
May also feel quite heavy on dark shirts, Limited to a paper background.