How To Make - Iron On Transfers for White Fabrics

Iron on Transfer Paper

Transferring your iron on transfer image is as easy as four easy steps:
1. Using an ink jet printer, print your image.
2. Let the ink printed on the iron-on transfer dry thoroughly before handling.
3. Trim away any un-printed paper around your image that you do not want to transfer.
4. Transfer image onto your fabric using either a hand iron or commercial heat press.

What You'll Need to make iron on transfers:
An image in a digital format scanned or downloaded from a camera
Pre-washed and dried 50/50 blend or 100% white or light color cotton fabric, T-shirt etc.
Iron-On Inkjet Transfer Paper
A color inkjet ( bubble jet ) printer
Hand iron or a commercial heat press
Flat, hard, smooth, non-porous ironing surface
Clean soft cloth

Printing your image - Printing Instructions for Iron On Transfers
When you are ready to print your image, follow these steps:
Make sure that you have selected 'Mirror', 'Flip', 'Reverse' or a similar setting in your application, if it is required, so that the image will be printed backwards.
If there is no text in your image, you may not have to reverse your image.
Test by printing your image on a sheet of plain paper.
If you are satisfied with how your image looks, insert a single sheet of iron on transfer paper in your printer. It is easy to tell which side to print on, as one side is blank (to print on), and one side has the line. Make sure that the iron on transfer paper is not creased or curled.

In your printer driver, select the highest dpi setting and the correct paper setting for your type of printer.

Bellow are suggested printer settings. For the best results check your printer manual or with your printer's manufacture.

CANON: T-shirt transfers.
EPSON: High quality glossy paper or special coated paper, depending on the model.
HEWLETT-PACKARD: High quality glossy paper.
Lexmark: T-shirt transfers.

Set the paper thickness lever on your printer for standard paper.
Print your iron on transfer image.

Remove your printed iron on transfer sheet from your printer and allow the ink to dry. Do not handle the iron on transfer paper while the ink is drying.


Preheat the heat press to 325° Fahrenheit. To remove any moisture from the fabric, press for a few seconds and allow to cool. This aids in better adhesion of the image to the fabric. Place the transfer face down in the desired position and press using light to medium pressure for 10 seconds. Gently rub the transfer for a couple of seconds with a soft cloth and peel the transfer backing.

Preheat the iron on its highest temperature setting for at least 8 minutes. The iron must be very hot! Do not use steam.

Do not use an ironing board, bare wood, glass, or metal surface for ironing. Place the pillowcase on the ironing surface with the open end hanging over the edge and smooth it flat so that there are no wrinkles.

Place the article on the pillowcase (i.e. T-shirt, sweatshirt, apron, etc.) so that the area that you want the image to be transferred to is centered on the pillowcase surface. Smooth out the fabric so that there are no wrinkles.

TIP: You may want to iron the pillowcase and the fabric so that they are both smooth before ironing on the transfer. Be sure to let both of them cool completely before placing the transfer on the fabric.

Preheat the garment for a few seconds to remove any excess moisture from the fabric and allow the fabric to cool. This will aid in the adhesion of the image to the fabric

Place the image to be transferred face down on the garment in the desired position.

The image now needs to be 'set' on the fabric so that it does not move while being transferred. To do this, press the iron firmly over the transfer for 15-20 seconds in several areas, making sure to cover the entire transfer in this process. It is important that you press straight down for this step and lift up the iron completely when repositioning to do another area. Using a circular motion and light pressure, evenly heat the transfer for another 15-20 seconds. Put the iron down and gently rub the hot transfer with your soft, clean cloth for 5-10 seconds.

Always turn your garment inside out. This will minimize the amount of abrasion that the transfer will encounter with other garments in the wash.

Wash the garment in cold water using a mild detergent. DO NOT USE BLEACH.

Remove the garment from the wash immediately and allow to air dry. If you are going to tumble dry, use the air only setting. By doing this over the life of the garment, you will be ensuring that your image stays clear and bright.

Store in a cool, dry place. After opening the shrink wrapped packages, put the paper into the resalable plastic bag, and if available, include one silica gel (desiccant) package. This will keep the paper from picking up excess moisture on high humidity days.


Iron on Transfer looks yellow:
Heat may be too high and is scorching the surface of the transfer. Confirm temperature setting is 325 degrees or cotton setting. The heat generated by irons may vary greatly by brand and model.

Iron on Transfer is not adhering to surface:
Make sure the backing has been removed before transferring. Check temperature setting is 325 degrees or cotton setting. If temperature is too low, the transfer will not react sufficiently to bond to shirt. Increase pressure. Increasing pressure on the iron allows the transfer to be pushed in the fabric pattern

Iron on Transfer has bonded with the bottom of the iron:
Make sure that the ironing sheet was used between the iron and the transfer

Iron on Transfer is cracking after being washed or dried :
Pre-wash shirt before applying transfer. This eliminates some possibility of shrinkage that may stress the transferred image. Increase pressure when transferring image. If insufficient pressure is used, the transfer will not bond properly with the shirt. The resulting slack may crack in the wash.
Heat was used when tumble dried.

The edges of the iron on transfer are not adhering:
When hand ironing it is vital that the edges are ironed extremely well; apply the most heat and pressure to the edges of the transfer.

Image is reversed on shirt:
Set the printer for T-shirt, Flip or Mirror Image. Consult your printer manual or check with your printer's manufacture.

Do not use Iron-On T-shirt transfers with laser printers, photo copiers or with printers that have a heat dry process such as the HP Desk Jet 1200C or HP Desk Jet 1600C printer. The heating elements in these printers can melt the transfer paper, which could damage the printer. If you are not sure about your printer's printing and drying process consult your manual or call the manufacture.