Man Printing Image On T-Shirt In Workshop

Can You Use a Regular Printer for Transfer Paper?

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Whether you are trying to add a photo to wholesale white t-shirts to create special gifts for your loved ones, designing uniforms for your employees or creating custom apparel for an event, using transfer paper is one of the easiest ways to add a design to a piece of clothing. It is also one of the most cost-effective–especially if you are only creating one or a few pieces of apparel–and the most accessible option for most do-it-yourselfers. 

With transfer paper, you can print text and images on many types of fabric using little more than an iron. You don’t even need a special printer. With inkjet transfer paper, all you need is an ordinary inkjet printer. If you have a laser printer, there is also laser transfer paper. For this blog post, though, we will be focusing on inkjet transfer paper, inkjet printers and ink. Whichever option you choose, though, you don’t need a fancy printer to get the job done. You can print on transfer paper using a regular printer, and the process is easier than you might think. Keep reading to learn more. 

Wholesale White T-Shirts Are Easy to Print on Designs

What Type of Ink to Use for Transfer Paper

If you have an inkjet printer and ink, you likely already have everything you need to successfully print on transfer paper. Keep in mind, though, while any type of printer will work, you may get better results if you upgrade to a higher-quality printer. If you notice the photos you print aren’t crisp and clear or your designs appear blurry and you are using a low-end printer, it may not be capable of printing at a high enough resolution to ensure a crisp design. 

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Name-brand ink made for your printer helps ensure the best quality, too. While remanufactured and refilled ink cartridges may work fine, there is always a chance they won’t yield the results you are expecting. If your prints are coming out streaky or the colors don’t look quite right, you might need to replace your print cartridge. 

Wholesale Hooded Sweatshirts Are Easy to Print On, Too!

If you are thinking about purchasing a new printer specifically for this purpose, choosing one that uses pigmented ink rather than dye-based ink may offer one slight benefit. Pigmented ink is more resistant when exposed to UV rays which means your design–once applied to a garment–will be less likely to fade if worn in the sun. In most cases, though, this advantage is so slight that it isn’t worth going out and buying a new printer specifically for printing on transfer paper. This minor advantage is just worth noting if you are already in the market for a new printer. 

How It Works

When it comes to using transfer paper to print designs on wholesale hooded sweatshirts, t-shirts, sweat pants or other garments, the magic doesn’t lie in the printer or the ink. It lies in the transfer paper itself. As long as you follow the instructions and the process is completed properly, the result will be a transfer that, once applied to a garment, will be durable, washable and last for a long time. 

When you use inkjet transfer paper to customize apparel, you first need to print the design. If you’re using transfer paper for light-colored shirts, mirror the image before printing. When using transfer paper for dark shirts, print the image as-is without mirroring. After you cut out the design and position it on the garment, you essentially “print” it onto the fabric using heat, typically from a household iron. A heat press works, too, though. Heat is applied according to the product instructions which causes the design to transfer onto the fabric. When finished, the transfer should be fused to the fabric without any bumps, bubbles or edges sticking up. If the entire design hasn’t adhered to the shirt, you may need to press it again. 

As long as the instructions are followed closely, the resulting product will look great and last through several washings. Be sure to pay attention to the laundering instructions, though, to ensure you don’t damage your new creation in the washer or dryer. 

The Bottom Line

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Can you use a regular printer for transfer paper? Absolutely! While a higher-quality printer may result in a slightly crisper-looking image on the apparel, there is no reason why you can’t use just about any inkjet printer to customize t-shirts and other apparel. Be sure to check our blog for more DIY sweatshirt ideas and methods of customizing blank apparel!