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HP Iron-On Transfers - Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction
This document addresses commonly asked questions about using HP iron-on transfers.
Frequently asked questions
How can I get a good transfer?
Since everyone who does a transfer will have a unique combination of irons and strength we suggest practicing on an old garment of the same fabric type first to get the hang of it. Make sure you also wash your garment after applying the transfer if appropriate since some problems do not turn up until after washing.
The three variables that matter when ironing are time, temperature, and pressure.
  • Temperature: The iron must be hot. Use the Cotton setting and make sure iron preheats to get to the highest temperature possible.
  • Pressure: Press hard when ironing. Use two hands and press as hard as you can without causing the transfer to move. You may want to lower your ironing surface so that you can get more pressure from your body weight.
  • Time: For a full sheet transfer, iron for a total of three minutes. For a partial sheet transfer that fits completely under the surface of the iron, one minute is enough. Too much or too little ironing time can cause problems so the recommended ironing times should be followed. Too much ironing time can cause the fabric fibers to come through the image because the image is melted too far into the fabric. If the ironing time is too little, the transfer will only be on the surface of the fabric and it will peel off or crack.
Make sure the edges of the transfer are ironed thoroughly. The final ironing steps should be circular motions around the edge of the transfer. The iron should be kept in motion the entire time.
The recommended ironing process is optimized for a full size sheet and tested on thick, 100% cotton, high quality T-shirts. If you are using different types of fabric you will have to modify and test time, temperature and heat for other types of fabrics.
Can I transfer to black or dark colored T-shirts?
 note:
DO NOT use transfers on dark colored fabrics. Transfers to dark colors may not show up well.
Transfers look best on white or light colored garments. Transfers to dark colors may not show up well. Also, unprinted areas of the transfer show up more on dark colored fabric. We suggest that you try it first on an old garment to see if the colors in your design will show up. Make sure that you cut away any unprinted areas around the design to get rid of the excess transfer paper before transferring. Do not cut directly into the artwork, as the ink will bleed when the garment is washed.
How many times can I wash my shirt before it fades?
The transfer will fade up to the fifth wash. After the fifth washing we have not noticed much more additional loss of color from the image.
What kind of fabric works best for transfers?
 note:
DO NOT use transfers on dark colored fabrics. Transfers to dark colors may not show up well.
We recommend light colored 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend. Our instructions have been optimized for thick, 100% cotton, high quality T-shirts. Buy the best quality T-shirt you can get. Other fabrics will also work but you should practice and modify the ironing parameters of heat, pressure and time to get a successful transfer on different types of fabrics.
Can I use transfers in my laser printer?
No. The heat in laser printers will melt the transfer coating and stick to the heating element in the printer. HP Iron-on transfers are designed for use in Inkjet printers only.
HP Deskjet 1200, 1600, and Business Inkjet 3000 series printers also have a heater and should not be used for printing transfers.
Do not use HP Iron-on transfer paper with the following printers:
  • Laser printers
  • HP Deskjet 1200 and 1600 series printers
  • HP Business Inkjet 3000 series printers
Do I need to pre-wash my garment before applying the transfer?
No, there is no need to prewash the garment.
How can I transfer on both sides of my shirt?
You can iron transfers to both sides of a shirt if you take steps to avoid heating the first transfer again. Depending on what type of ironing surface you are using you can place the shirt over the surface so that the first side hangs so it is not heated again. If your ironing surface is small enough, you can slip it inside the shirt. Do not remove the backing from the first transfer until after you have ironed the second. Let the second one cool, then remove both backings.
Can I use an ironing board?
Regular ironing boards are too soft and disperse heat. You must have a hard, flat surface that can not be damaged by heat. Some suggestions are smooth plywood, Formica countertop, heat safe tabletop, or a smooth workbench.

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