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.Transfer paper 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.
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. 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.
Heat Transfer presses can vary enormously in price and range from a few hundred pounds for the most basic machine up to a couple of thousand pounds for the most sophisticated computer controlled pneumatic machines. But remember what I said at the beginning of this article – you do really get what you pay for. Buying a reputable brand from a reputable dealer should ensure that you get a better product, with a genuine warranty. Keep in mind that you are investing in your long term business future. Buy wisely, and your heat transfer press will be a valued, long serving member of your successful team!