For all the artistic types out there, you might feel like you’re on an endless quest to find the right supplies for your creative projects. If you want to transfer images, patterns, or your original designs to garments, you’ll need certain supplies. One of them is the best iron-on transfer paper that’s out there.
Not to mention, it’s gotta be available for delivery to our doors; ain’t nobody making extra trips!
Iron-on transfer paper is a miracle worker for artists who like to design this type of clothing. It’s also great for the people who end up wearing those clothes. This is why you want to make the right choice when you buy transfer paper.
The better the product that you purchase, the better the end result is likely to be. This is why you should take the time to learn about the best iron-on transfer paper options available.
Taking the time to find the right kind for your projects will ultimately make your work that much better! (If you already know what you need to know, and just need the paper recommendations, scroll on down!)
What’s Iron-on Transfer Paper?
In order to choose between the choices for best iron-on transfer paper, you should at least know what iron-on transfer paper is. Many people refer to it as “T-shirt paper.” It’s what people use to transfer images or text onto fabrics.
However, it’s not just T-shirts that you can alter with this paper. You can apply images to cotton bags, aprons, tablecloths, and pillowcases. In some cases, you can even transfer images onto hard surfaces, such as wood, with this paper.
A lot of people might be skeptical about the idea that they could use their inkjet printers to create the image they want to transfer on the iron-on transfer paper. However, there’s nothing to worry about here. Regular inks will work just fine, and you can use any inkjet printer. The ink isn’t important; it’s the paper that’s the key.
That’s why you need to make sure that you choose the best iron-on transfer paper for your particular project.
How to Use Iron-on Transfer Paper
So that you don’t waste your iron-on transfer paper, you want to make sure you know how to use it before making your first attempt.
Things to keep in mind
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when using this transfer paper. You also need to take a few things into account when looking for the best iron-on transfer paper for your purposes.
1. Choosing the right paper
Even among the best iron-on transfer paper options, not all of these papers are equal. You need to select the right paper, based on the color of the material where the image to end up. Typically, you can choose between light transfer paper and dark transfer paper.
If you print images on light transfer paper, you’ll get vibrant images on light or white-colored fabrics. The ink will be translucent. It won’t be visible unless you put it on a very light background.
Dark transfer paper works differently. It comes with a white background that will transfer to the material along with the ink. These will block the color of the underlying material (your t-shirt, bag, pants, etc.) from showing through the ink.
2. Practice makes perfect
It would be a good idea to use practice materials before actually attempting the real process. Print the pattern on regular paper first, and use scrap fabric material if you can. This way, you can be somewhat sure it’s going to work before actually trying your hand at it.
3. To reverse or not to reverse (the image)
A mistake that a lot of people make is not reversing the image before transferring it. This can be an expensive mistake due to the cost of the paper itself. Remember, what’s going to show up on your fabric is going to be a mirror image of what you’re printing out, not an identical image.
If you’re using light transfer paper, you need to reverse the image and print it in mirror mode. When you place the image face down on your fabric, it’ll transfer the image so that it appears the right way once the process is finished.
However — and this is important — you don’t need to reverse the image with dark transfer paper. This is because, with dark transfer paper, you’ll put the image face up on the shirt when you transfer it. Remember, the dark paper has that extra layer under your image, so that’s the side that goes on the material, not the side you printed on.
Also, always make sure that you use the right side of the paper. The nonprinting side will usually have stripes or some other design to give you a heads up.
4. Proper ironing
There are a few other mistakes you should avoid, mostly involving the ironing process. You want to make sure to iron the text or image on a completely solid and even surface without bumps. If you do it on a bumpy surface, the image might not come out correctly.
You also want to make sure that the iron is hot enough and that you iron for long enough. You need to iron with a good amount of pressure as well. If you don’t do it adequately, you might not transfer the image onto your fabric properly.
Basically, when you’re using iron-on transfer paper, you’re trying to impress an image onto fabric. One side will be the nonprinting part of the paper, and on the other, you can print the image. After you put the transfer paper, complete with image, onto the fabric and iron over the back of the paper, the heat will transfer the image to the fabric.
How We Came Up with the Following List
In order to come up with the following list of the best iron-on transfer paper options, we looked at different websites that reviewed this product. We chose the products that consistently received positive reviews and had high ratings on retail websites.
We also made sure to include a variety of choices. Of course, the people who use iron-on transfer paper have different needs when it comes to this product. We wanted to make sure there was something for everyone and every project.
The 9 Best Iron-on Transfer Paper Products
If you have an interest in finding good iron-on transfer paper, we got you covered. The following are some of the best iron-on transfer paper products you’ll find.
1. Avery Dark T-Shirt Transfers
This is perhaps the best iron-on transfer paper for dark-colored fabrics. You can use it on any dark material made of either cotton or a cotton/polyester blend. It produces bright and lasting images on any kind of darker fabric in this category.
One great thing about Avery products is its website, which is very user-friendly and helpful. It gives you access to downloadable clipart and templates. You can also create your own art on their site.
2. PD Inkjet Iron-On Light T-Shirt Transfers Paper
This is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to transfer an image onto light fabrics. You can use either your iron or heat press machine to do this. The paper will bond with your material and make it so that the final image is soft and not readily susceptible to damage from stretching.
You can use regular ink with this paper, and it’s compatible with all sorts of inkjet printers. These include Epson, HP, Brother, and Canon printers, among others. It one of the best iron-on transfer paper options, but you need to remember that it’ll only work on light fabrics.
3. PPD Inkjet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers Paper
Much like its opposite, PPD gives you this tremendous iron-on transfer paper for dark fabrics. You can use either your home iron or heat press machine to transfer images, text, and other pictures onto black T-shirts, aprons, pillowcases, and more.
This is a uniquely formulated transfer paper. It bonds with your fabric, leaving the image on your fabric soft and flexible. You can stretch it out without fear of it cracking, and you can wash it afterward.
Also, like the light transfer paper from PPD, this product is compatible with any inkjet printer. This includes HP, Canon, Brother, and Epson printers, and you can use regular ink.
This product is available via many online retailers. This includes Amazon, where it has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.
4. Siser NA EasyWeed Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle
This set comes with 12 heat transfer papers of different colors, all 12 by 15 inches in size. It’s considered to be a starter bundle set, giving you several different options. The material is quite a bit thinner than other products from competitors.
These sheets are durable and can typically be used more than one time, as long as you wash away any remaining ink from your project. You can use the same sheet for multi-layer designs as well, applying one layer after washing away the color of the previous one. These sheets are very compatible with cotton, polyester, and any blend of the two; they’re also the perfect size for the surface of a heat press machine.
You can cut these sheets into any shapes you wish with your scissors. They’re made of polyethylene, and the material is very sensitive. You can use them to transfer even very small and detailed designs onto fabric.
5. Primology Glitter Heat Transfer Sheets
This is a bundle of 10 polyurethane material sheets of all different colors: Rainbow White, Space Black, Blue, Sapphire, Red, Green, Purple, Pink, Gold, Silver. They are durable, and easier to weed, and compatible with about all die-cutting machines.
They offer cold and hot peeling, as well as ability to apply with an iron or heat press.
6. JET-PRO SS Jetpro Softstretch Heat Transfer Paper
This is an excellent option for anyone who has an inkjet printer. This paper works best on lighter surfaces, but it can work on all sorts of surfaces, whether you want to make coasters, puzzles, or patterned clothing.
The images don’t disappear even after repeated washes. This paper also allows room for stretching. It’s very useful in this way since a lot of iron-on pictures end up cracking once the fabric is stretched, and this one doesn’t present that problem.
7. Inkjet Heat Transfer Paper for Light Fabric
This is a heat transfer paper for light fabric. It’s optimal if you’re using an inkjet printer and fabrics that are made of cotton or blends of cotton and polyester. The manufacturer employs thorough quality control procedures so that you only get the strongest and most durable sheets.
This paper is of very high quality. It comes with grid markings that help you precisely cut it when necessary and position it properly for heat transfer.
8. HTV Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle
This is a bundle of vinyl sheets that come in a variety of vibrant colors. The sheets are 12 by 10 inches in size and can be used on most types of fabric.
The sheets are unique in that you can use them on athletic mesh fabrics, in addition to the standard cotton and polyester fabrics for which most heat transfer papers are suited. This material is eco-friendly and easy to cut and wash.
9. Bright Idea Clear Heat Transfer Vinyl Application Paper
With this heat transfer paper, you won’t have to deal with wrinkled or ruined products. This is a high-tech polyester mask that remains on the image while you’re applying heat, and you can remove it after the pressing process.
You can use this heat mask roll up to five times. It can endure high heat and is actually clear so that you can align it easily.
More than Just an Image…
When you’re looking for the best iron-on transfer paper, you need to know a little bit about the project you’re doing. Only then can you choose the type of paper you need. You want to know that the kind of paper you’re choosing will get you the best result possible.
Of course, you should educate yourself on how to use this paper before trying it out. Because it’s so expensive, you don’t want to end up wasting it. You should make sure that everything is in order before you actually use the paper and try to transfer the image.
Once you’re familiar with everything that you need to do, then you can choose the best iron-on transfer paper for your purposes. Ultimately, if you know what you’re doing, you’ll create a great work of art. And that’s worth a little bit of legwork!
Have you used this method to create wearable art or other textile projects? If so, which do you think is the best iron-on transfer paper available? Share your experiences in the comments section.