So you’ve decided to try printing with heat transfer paper – or maybe you’re already an expert! Either way, you need to get the right type paper.
Printing your designs is a lot of fun, and using transfer paper for shirts is one of the easiest ways.
You can create unique clothes or even turn your hobby into a side hustle. It’s a great opportunity for creatives to use illustrations or digital art designs. It’s also an alternative to creating art prints as another source of income.
But there are all sorts of heat press transfer papers out there. So, here’s a guide to choosing the best thermal transfer paper for your needs.
Buying Guide for Heat Transfer Paper
There are a few things to consider when choosing which paper to buy. Here’s a quick summary to ensure you make the right decision!
Inkjet Paper vs. Laserjet Paper for T-shirts
You first need to consider what kind of printer you have. You can find heat transfer paper for inkjet and laser printers, but it’s not interchangeable.
That means if you buy the wrong kind of paper, it won’t work for you. Even worse, you could risk messing up your printer, which you don’t want to happen!
So if you already have a printer, double-check what kind it is. Then, you’ll know what type of paper you need to buy.
You have more options if you’re still in the market for a transfer paper printer. But you might wonder what kind of printer to use for paper.
In that case, I’ve reviewed some of the best printer options here. You’ll find both transfer paper laser printers and inkjet printers on the list. So, there’s something for everyone!
It comes down to more than the type of printer you have. If you want the best-printed designs, there’s more to consider. For example, what kind of fabric will you print on?
Will you print on white or color shirts?
Did you know that you must choose transfer paper according to the fabric you’ll print on?
It’s true – you can’t use the same transfer paper for white fabric as for darker colors or dark garments. That’s because regular toner and ink won’t appear in dark colors like black and navy.
Printing on white clothes (shirts, bags, etc.) is the easiest option. You can use regular paper or choose dark paper.
But if you want to print on a range of vibrant colors, you’ll need to buy different paper for your light vs. dark fabrics.
Can you use inkjet transfer paper in a laser printer?
As mentioned above, you can’t use inkjet transfer paper in a laser printer. That’s because laser and inkjet printers use different technologies to function.
Printing an image onto inkjet paper with a laser printer is possible. But the trouble comes when you transfer that image onto a shirt using a heat press.
The toner used in laser printers can melt when heat is applied, ruining your image (and the shirt too).
So can you use a laser printer for iron-on transfers?
With a few caveats, you can use a laser printer for iron-on transfers.
Laser printers don’t work so well if you want to print intricate, high-resolution photos. They can’t replicate the range of colors and small details as well. Only the top-range laser printers will provide a high print quality for your garments.
But they do fine with vector images, so long as you use the right type of transfer paper!
The Best Heatpress Transfer Paper
Printing your own designs is simple! All you need is a good heat transfer printer, a heat press machine, and transfer papers for shirts.
If you’re looking for a transfer paper printer, check out my reviews here.
Best Inkjet Transfer Paper for Light Fabrics
(Image credit: TransOurDream)
If you have an inkjet printer, then the TransOurDream paper makes an excellent choice. It’s ideal for light-colored fabrics such as white or pale shades of grey, pink, yellow, etc.
It’s super versatile, as you can use it with any kind of inkjet printer. So, you won’t need to worry about compatibility.
TransOurDream paper works on all sorts of cotton, poly-cotton, and nylon fabrics. You can print your designs on T-shirts, bags, hoodies, cushions, and more.
Most importantly, these designs come out flawless and won’t peel over time. They are breathable, and you get fantastic high-definition of colors and details.
This paper is also quick and simple to use with either a heat press machine or iron. It takes only ten seconds with a heat press (or five minutes with an iron).
This latest edition has been upgraded, and now it’s easy to cut with scissors or a Cricut machine. That gives you more flexibility and control over your designs.
- Great inkjet paper for light-colored fabrics
- It’s easy to cut and print
- You can use either an iron or heat press with this paper
- It takes less than 5 minutes
- You can’t use it with a laser printer or sublimation ink
Best Budget Inkjet Iron-On Transfer Paper
(Image credit: NuFun)
The NuFun transfer paper ticks all the right boxes if you’re on a budget. You can buy a set of 6 sheets to get started and try out your new hobby.
This transfer paper is designed for use with inkjet printers. With some brands, you can only apply the designs to cotton fabric.
But you can use this heat transfer paper on a wider range, including burlap and canvas. It’s even compatible with tissue paper and ribbon. That opens up more options for getting creative with your designs!
Plus, you can cut this paper with scissors or cutting machines without problems. It feels quality in hand, with a nice weight and texture.
You do need to take a little care when heating and peeling the paper. But if you follow the instructions, it should come out looking great!
The NuFun paper is manufactured in the USA to the highest standards. As a result, you’ll produce superb designs when you use this paper. There’s no bleed, and your images look bright and fresh!
- It comes in a small affordable package to get started
- High-quality paper that feels nice
- Designs come out bright and crisp without any blurring
- You need to be careful when applying the design to your fabric to prevent creases or ripping
PPD Inkjet PREMIUM Paper
(Image credit: PPD)
The PPD Premium paper is another fantastic option for inkjet printers. As with the other brands, this version is for use on light-colored fabrics. But PPD also has a different paper specifically for darker fabrics, so you can take your pick.
This transfer paper is of premium quality. Your printed fabrics should come out clear and detailed and last a long time. They won’t peel off or crack and are hand/machine washable.
You can cut this paper with regular scissors – aim to get as close to the design as possible. However, it’s not compatible with a cutting machine as you need to make a rough cut.
PPD is so confident with their products that they offer a 100% money-back guarantee. So, you can be sure that you’ll get an excellent result – or they’ll refund the cost of the paper. That way, you won’t need to worry about wasting money or getting lower-quality prints.
- Great value for money
- Quick, versatile, and easy to use with an iron or heat press
- You’ll get high-quality, durable prints and hand/machine washable
- It comes with a money-back guarantee
- You can’t use a cutting machine with this paper
Jacquard Cotton and Silk Inkjet Fabric
Best Inkjet Fabric (Inkjet Paper Alternative)
(Image credit: Jaquard)
Grab this high-quality inkjet fabric if you want to print directly onto the fabric. You can run it through your printer to get your unique design right onto the fabric.
Then, you’ll need to sew or glue it onto your final piece of clothing. It also makes a great option for tablecloths, placemats, cushions, quilts, etc.
Inkjet fabric is an excellent alternative to using inkjet transfer paper. It’s more permanent and won’t peel with time.
You don’t need to use a heat press or iron to transfer your image onto fabric, as it’s already done for you. But you will need to think about what you’ll do with the fabric once it’s printed.
This fabric is more expensive than regular inkjet paper. But it’s reasonably priced compared to other inkjet fabric brands, so you still get a good deal for your money.
If you’re a crafter, this inkjet fabric is for you! It’s easy to use and produces high-quality custom images. You can then use them for all sorts of crafty gifts and more.
- Best inkjet fabric
- Images come out clear, crisp, and with bright colors
- A little complicated – need to sew or glue it to your items
- More expensive than other brands
Best for Laser Printer
(Image credit: Lazertran)
If you’re looking for heat transfer laser paper, consider Lazertran paper instead. It works a little differently, as it’s a waterslide transfer paper.
That means you need to print your design on your laser printer. Next, you soak the design in water, and the decal will slide off. Then, you can apply it to almost any material.
These waterslide decals are super versatile. You can use them on wood, fabric, glass, walls, candles, stone, and more. That gives you more options for selling products or decorating your home!
And although it’s not cheap, you won’t need to invest in a heat press or any extra equipment. For the ease of use and versatile nature, it’s well worth the money.
Lazertran is one of the best laserjet transfer papers for t-shirts. You don’t need to worry about heating the design and risking it smudging. If you use this simple method, your designs will appear detailed and defined.
- Fantastic transfer paper for laser printers
- No heat involved – soak in water
- Easy and versatile – can use on stone, glass, walls, etc
- It makes for amazing custom designs and products with more options
- A little expensive
The Wrap Up
Now, you know everything there is to know about heat transfer paper! And you’re probably itching to start printing your designs on clothes and fabric already.
It’s a great way to stretch your creativity, start a new hobby, or even launch a side hustle. With the right materials, you can create amazing high-quality clothes and accessories. All with your unique designs, as well as free downloadable templates or free clip art!
Before you go, make sure to give me a follow on Pinterest. That way, you’ll stay up to date on all the latest tips, trends, and reviews for creatives!
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