26 October 2009

8 Steps for Successful Iron-On T-Shirt Transfers

Iron-on t-shirt transfers are easy and economical. Follow these steps to make them a success: Print a preview copy of the image; flip, mirror, or reverse the image in your computer; use the appropriate type of transfer paper; make sure to print on the right side of the transfer paper; remember that white colors don’t print; do a trial on a scrap fabric; set your flat iron or heat press to its hottest setting; and carry out the iron-on transfer on a hard surface.

What better way to own the perfect t-shirt than to make one yourself. Iron-on t-shirt transfers are the best options for t-shirt enthusiasts. You’ll need a commercial heat press or a hand iron to do the transfer, a hard surface, a printer, and any bold-colored t-shirt. Black or white work well, and you can experiment best on these colors. You’ll also need white paper, transfer paper, and a pair of scissors. You may also want to check out Sublime t-shirts to see some products of iron-on transfer.

Print a preview copy of the image

Begin this project with an image on your computer,n one that you’ve decided to put on the t-shirt. You may want to add text. Transfer this image on any blank document and make sure to resize it to your desired dimensions. Note that you should not overlap onto the margin edges of the page. One reason why you should print a preview on an ordinary paper is because the on-screen view can sometimes be deceiving. This preview will also show how the colors will come out and if your image suits the color of t-shirt that you’ll be printing it on. When all is set, print a preview copy onto white, ordinary paper.

Flip, mirror, reverse the image on your computer

If you are satisfied with the preview copy, continue with this next step. Reverse, mirror, or flip the image on your computer so it will be printed backwards. This can be optional, especially when your image has no text on it. Make sure to check out the on-screen preview if your image is mirrored before you print.

Use the appropriate type of transfer paper

Transfer paper comes in two varieties. One is for laser printers and the other for ink jet printers. Make sure that you purchase the right one for your kind of printer. Note that transfer paper for light-colored fabric and dark ones are different. Be careful in picking out the right kind for your fabric and printer.

Make sure to print on the right side of your transfer paper

Note that the non-printing side of the transfer paper has stripes or other notable designs. Make sure that you feed the paper properly so the image will print on the white, clean side. If you are in doubt, mark an ordinary paper and run it through so you’ll see which side is being printed on.

White colors don’t print-out

Remember that the image will show through on white spots. For instance, you want a white cloud printed on a plaid shirt. What comes out will be a plaid cloud! While making your artwork or design, do it while having the background color in mind.

Do a trial on a scrap fabric

This is advisable most especially for first-timers. Do this trial on a scrap fabric or shirt. Try to wear it and wash it and see if the image stays clear, bright, and plastered. Remember that there are other fabrics that need more ironing heat compared to others. Some images will also not show off as well as you expected on some types of fabric.

Set your flat iron or heat press to its hottest setting

When using a commercial heat press, preheat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Before transferring the image, press the shirt for a few seconds to remove the moisture. Now press the transfer face down in your desired position using light to medium pressure for about 10 seconds or so. Allow it to cool down and then peel off. If you are using a flat iron, preheat it to its hottest temperature for 8 minutes at the very least. Note that you need a very, very hot iron and to disable the steam function. Iron the paper starting at the edges of the drawing and make your way to the center. Allow the paper to to cool down and before peeling off the transfer backing.

Carry out the transfer on a hard surface

Never do the transfer on an ironing board, glass, bare wood, or any metal surface because it doesn’t hold the heat. It is advised to carry out the transfer on a plain hard surface, such as Formica, because it doesn’t disperse the heat.

Don’t expect a perfect output on your first try. Just practice and have fun.

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