Thursday, 4 April 2013

Using inkjet transfer paper

This is a little side project I've been involved with ... Ages ago I purchased inkjet transfer paper, for a Save the Date idea. This never come to fruition but the paper has found a use in the production of personalised T-shirts for a stag do my brother was helping to organise.

We designed a picture, based on Pac Man, which showed the bride and groom in the holding pen the ghosts come from, with the slogan 'Game Over'.

Pac man in beard and ghost in bridal wear

The process was as follows:

  • Design something. Probably the hardest part ...
  • Reverse the design as it will display backwards.
  • Print on to the transfer paper using an inkjet printer.
  • Position on fabric. I used masking tape at the corners which I removed after ironing the centre of the image.
  • Iron thoroughly from the centre outwards. The instructions said 90-120 seconds for an A4 size image, but it took longer than that.
  • Carefully peel off the paper.
  • Voila - a decorated T-shirt!

Here are my observations from using the inkjet transfer paper:

  • The paper I used was for printing on light coloured fabrics only because it wasn't opaque. If ironed on to on a coloured background the colour showed through, as confirmed by a test print on yellow fabric! I think opaque paper is also available.
  • Don't iron the masking tape if you've used it to secure the corners. It makes it VERY sticky. And not terribly removable.
  • The instructions tell you to press down hard using the iron. This is essential as the transfer doesn't stick otherwise. But it makes whatever surface you're ironing on REALLY hot so it needs protecting e.g. a couple of tea towels. Ironing boards are no good as they're too padded.

Aside from the issues above, it was relatively easy to do. The end result looked good and everyone had a good time at the stag do :-) .