March 15

Best Heat Transfer Paper – Which one Can You Use for Iron, Laser Printers and T shirts?

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Have you ever had a t-shirt crackle in the design? Not only does this make the shirt look old, but it is not that appealing to wear, much less to look at! The crackle is most likely the result of using a cheap heat transfer paper. This could have been completely avoided had a high-quality printing paper for t shirts been used.

Whether you are making a shirt for your best friend or decorating a pillowcase for your bedroom, it is important to use the best heat transfer paper possible. Using a high-quality transfer paper will ensure that whenever the item is washed, it comes out looking as good as it originally did. In this article, you will find a list of the best heat transfer papers that are currently on the market this year.

We looked through various heat transfer papers and have selected the top 8 best heat transfer papers on the market.  At the top of the list, you will find YRYM HT Clear Vinyl Transfer Paper Tape Roll which works well by not leaving a residue and releasing easy.  Keep reading to find the best heat transfer paper for you!

When determining the best heat transfer paper to use, we took into consideration many elements. We looked at which printers the paper could be used with, as well as how durable and versatile it was. We took price, sheet size, and ease of use into consideration, too.

If you are ready to start using the best heat transfer papers, let’s start reviewing them!

Top 8 Best Heat Transfer Paper

1. YRYM HT Clear Vinyl Transfer Paper Tape Roll

712GbF91L%2BL. SL1500

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10

If you are looking for a no-mess option, the  YRYM HT Clear Vinyl Transfer Paper Tape Roll might be the best heat transfer paper for you. We found that this heat transfer paper goes on straight, will not rip, and won’t leave a residue. The see-through red grid lines are spaced ½ inch apart, allowing for easy measuring and cutting. The roll measures 12” x 50”, giving users ample paper to work with.

We tested this paper and made a coffee mug. The design was more complicated, but the transfer paper did an amazing job of going on straight. We appreciate that the paper was sticky enough to transfer the design, but not so sticky that it ruined the image. There was no residue on the mug once we were done, which is a huge benefit of a quality roll of transfer paper.

Another benefit of this heat transfer paper is that it can be used with so many types of adhesive heat transfer vinyl. We tested Cricut, Pazzles, and Cameo. All crafts came out looking amazing. Other types of heat transfer vinyl that it works well with include Provo Craft, Silhouette, and Oracal vinyl.

PROS:

  • Amazing value
  • Works great with various machines (both inkjet and laser printers)
  • 100% money-back guarantee

CONS:

  • Does not work with glitter or textured vinyl

2. YRYM HT Reusable Heat Transfer Paper

OVERALL RATING: 9.9 out of 10

Best known for its ability to be used over and over again, the YRYM HT Reusable Heat Transfer Paper pack comes with three sheets. Each sheet measures 16” x 20” and may be cut down to size. These sheets were made to be wiped off easily, even with messy materials like glue, wax, or clay.

We like the fact that each of these sheets is heat resistant up to 600 degrees so they can be used with various types of irons or a heat press. They are also on the thick side, which makes them tear resistant too. The sheets are FDA compliant, allowing them to be used for a good variety of projects. Their superior quality allows craft projects to turn out wonderfully. They have been used for baking, cooking, pressing, and ironing. They will even work great in the oven for catching spills!

This transfer paper works great, especially with the Cricut easy press. We made a few t-shirts and the design transferred beautifully. You will just want to make sure that the sheets are flat, otherwise, your design may be affected. We believe this paper would work well for ironing patches onto a vest or for messy projects such as resin.

PROS:

  • Super-versatile
  • Waterproof
  • Reusable
  • Inexpensive
  • High-quality and durable

CONS:

  • Scorch marks may appear when using the heat press

3. Avery Printable T-shirt Transfer Paper

918hn%2BWsI%2BL. SL1500

OVERALL RATING: 9.9 out of 10

Taking the number 3 spot, the Avery Printable T-shirt Transfer Paper comes from a trusted brand in the transfer paper industry. This transfer paper is for dark fabrics that are 100% cotton or a cotton poly blend fabric. Avery states that anything made with this heat transfer paper will look good for at least 20 washes, if not more.

We loved that we could make so many different projects with this paper. We used it on t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, and even a hat. All came out wonderful! We were grateful that each project only took a matter of minutes using an iron.

Within the package, you will find 5 sheets of transfer paper that measure 8.5” x 11”. You will also be able to get free templates, fonts, and clip art from Avery’s website. This transfer paper for t shirts and other fabrics will easily feed through almost all inkjet printers. The transfer papers will stick out on the darker materials due to a special white layer. Avery also has a special color shield formula that allows bright and bold colors in the images to last through the wash and wear.

PROS:

  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed
  • Exceptional print quality
  • Online software is easy to use

CONS:

  • The backing is hard to remove
  • On the expensive side for how much product you receive

4. A-SUB Sublimation Paper

61OR9F3jjlL. SL1500

OVERALL RATING: 9.8 out of 10

Best known for not fracturing, the A-SUB sublimation paper has a transfer rate of ≥98%. The paper comes in various sizes. The 8.5” x 11”, 11” x 17”, and 13” x 19” packages that weigh 125 grams all have 110 sheets in them that have an ultra-high transfer rate. Packages that come in these same sizes but weigh 105 grams instead have a high transfer rate but contain 150 sheets. All of these packages are instant dry, work with a micro-porous structure, and must use an inkjet printer with sublimation ink. Unfortunately, they do not work with laser printers.

In case you are not familiar with sublimation printing, this has become a popular choice. This paper will work for a variety of projects. We appreciated that it dried fast, thus cutting our project time down.

Sublimation paper can be used on a variety of surfaces, where normal heat transfer paper can be used on 100% cotton fabric. Some surfaces to consider trying it out on include mouse pads, ceramic coffee mugs, ceramic tiles, and polyester. We were pleased with how it turned out on the ceramic tiles we made as a gift for coworkers. We also tested it out on a banner, and the colors turned out very nicely.

PROS:

  • Provides rich colors
  • Paper is flat and does not catch on the printer
  • There is a lot of product for the price
  • Contains a print on the backside so you do not load the paper into the printer the wrong way

CONS:

  • Can only be used on light fabric
  • Will not work in laser printers (only in inkjet printers)

5. PPD Inkjet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers Paper

71blj0GFU6L. SL1500

OVERALL RATING: 9.7 out of 10

From Photo Paper Direct, this 8.5” x 11” transfer paper comes in a package of 20 sheets. This transfer paper can be used with Epson, HP, Brother, Canon and many more that use normal regular ink as long as they are an inkjet printer. The process of transferring images, text, and pictures onto dark-colored and black fabric will be made using your home iron or a heat press machine.

Those that are skeptical may love how easy this paper is to use. Step-by-step printed transfer instructions are included along with the printer settings. A reusable silicone sheet helps to make the transfer incredibly durable.

We were very happy with our end results. We found that we were able to use this transfer paper on a variety of surfaces. First, we made a baby onesie and then an apron. This is one of the best options for t-shirt transfers, as well as pillowcases, sweatshirts, towels…you decide as the list could go on and on.

We did notice that in order for your projects to turn out great, you need to press on the iron in a firm manner. You must also be consistent with this or you may have trouble getting it to stick right.

PROS:

  • Colors turn out vibrant
  • Washes up well
  • Compatible with most inkjet printers

CONS:

  • Difficult to peel
  • The background color is white, not clear like many transfer papers are

6. PPD LTR 8.5” x 11” Inkjet Transfer Paper for Light T-Shirt

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OVERALL RATING: 9.6 out of 10

Best known for being crackle-free, this transfer paper from Photo Paper Direct is compatible with many inkjet printers. It works well with a variety of materials as long as they are able to be ironed, such as shirts, sweatshirts, towels, aprons, pillowcases, and much more. You will be transferring images and text onto light colors and white fabric using your home iron or a heat press machine. We tested both ways and they turned out great. 

We appreciate the transfer paper bonding well with the t-shirt. The texture proved to be soft and flexible. We washed the first shirt we made five times, and it looked as great as it originally did.

We also noticed this transfer paper is very stretchable. Due to this feature, we feel it would work best in a variety of crafts. Image quality always turned out well when we printed out designs. We imagine it could work great for family reunion t-shirts or charity events.

PROS:

  • Images turn out as photo quality
  • Inexpensive
  • Clear instructions
  • You can peel the transfer it if is hot or cold

CONS:

  • The paper may have a smell to it
  • May leave a slight yellowish tinge to a white shirt
  • Larger designs for t-shirt transfers are harder to manage than the small ones

7.  PPD Inkjet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers Paper

61cV4YCcSQL. SL1280

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

Manufactured specifically for dark colors, this inkjet iron-on transfer paper comes in a package of 10. Each sheet measures 8.5” x 11”. A beautiful finish is provided once the design has been transferred to a dark fabric. A wide variety of projects can be completed with this iron transfer paper from shirts to aprons to fabric family ornaments. Types of fabric that can be used include 100% cotton, silk, viscose, or anything else that will not melt from the heat source (iron or heat press).

You may be astonished to know that how you peel the design will result in a different finish. Peeling it when it is hot will result in a matte finish while peeling it cold (room temperature) will result in a glossy finish.

We started off making totes with family images on them. We were delighted that a flawless transfer took place. The colors turned out bright and vibrant.

If you have never used dark iron on tshirt transfer paper before, but have used light ones, please take the time to read the instructions. The instructions will be different due to the background color.

PROS:

  • Compatible with all inkjet printers
  • 100% money-back guarantee

CONS:

  • May have a tendency to get jammed in printers
  • The background is white, not clear

8. Sublimation Paper Heat Transfer Paper by Printers Jack

6103ZrLRTsL. SL1100

OVERALL RATING: 9.4 out of 10

This transfer pack by Printers Jack comes in 100 sheet packages. Each sheet measures 8.3” x 11.7”. This sublimation printer paper is compatible with all inkjet printers with sublimation ink: ​Epson, HP, Canon, Ricoh, Sawgrass, and many more. It will work with light-colored material (polyester) or polyester-coated materials.

This high-quality paper has a 98% transfer rate with no fading or fracturing. It is fast drying with bright and vibrant colors. This paper can be used to make canvas totes, shirts, coffee mugs, phone cases, mouse pads, and much more.

One feature that we love is that you can reduce your cost of the ink as we found that we did not use as much as other projects. We found the ink transfer was smooth and the end product was durable.

PROS:

  • Designs turn out crisp and clear
  • Easy to use
  • Good value for the money
  • Great customer support
  • Lots of product for the money

CONS:

  • Does not work with laser printers
  • Transfer papers are on the thin side
  • May be hard to peel

Best Heat Transfer Buying Guide

When looking for the best heat transfer paper, you should take into consideration the features that each brand provides. Consider the following features when picking heat transfer papers.

Durability:

You want to evaluate how durable your heat transfer paper is. Check how vibrant the colors are, if they crackle or fade, how well the final product washes up, and how it feels on the material.

Versatility:

Certain types of heat transfer papers are compatible with various kinds of transfer vinyl. Look for one that is versatile like this, as you will be able to create more projects. Some of these papers even work with both wet and dry applications.

Ease of use:

You should also look at how easy the transfer paper is to use. Is the paper easily positioned? Does it align how you want it to? Is there a grid pattern on the paper to help make this process easier? All of these questions will help you decide if a transfer paper will be easy for you to use.

Tips and Tricks For Heat Transfer Paper

The following tips and tricks can help you make the perfect project with your heat transfer paper. By following these tips, you can make sure your project goes smoothly.

  • Using inkjet printers (or a laser printer, if it is compatible), do a test print first for the image you will be using. This will allow you to see how big the image is. You will also be able to see if the print quality is good and if the colors are how you want them.
  • Never transfer onto seams, hems, or variegated surfaces.
  • Always pre-wash the item to shrink it beforehand. Make sure it is completely dry before transferring your design.
  • Before you touch the transfer, be certain it is dry. If not, it will smear.
  • In order to avoid an outlined look, cut around the design as close as you can get to it.
  • Do not use a padded ironing board when transferring the design. Instead, opt for a hard surface.
  • Consider preheating the fabric before you place the design on it. This will make the transfer stick better.
  • Iron the design in small sections. Take about 30 to 40 seconds per section. Take your time and be patient. You will have the best luck if you go left to right on the section and then up and down.
  • When ironing the transfer, use a lot of pressure on the iron.
  • When washing items that have transfers on them, it’s best to wash them inside out. This will make them last longer. Don’t let them sit in a lot of water either as this will prevent them from lasting as long.
  • Never use bleach on your project. This will ruin the colors in the design and can also break it down.

FAQ

What kind of printers do you use for heat transfer paper?

Any inkjet printer can be used for heat transfer paper. You should think about the type of ink too. An inkjet printer has two types of ink: pigment ink and dye. Pigment ink is more water-fast, therefore making it a more suitable choice. Dye will typically bleed when being washed. Make sure you know the specs of the inkjet printers you are using.

What is the best iron on transfer paper?

There are many great selections on the market for the best iron on transfer paper. If you are looking for one that has a website with helpful instructions, consider Avery Printable T-shirt Transfer Paper. If you want one that provides a clear and crisp design, consider purchasing Sublimation Paper Heat Transfer Paper by Printers Jack. PPD Inkjet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers Paper would be an excellent choice if you needed transfers placed on a dark fabric.

How do you use heat transfer paper?

Heat transfer paper is used to place a design on transfer paper with the use of an inkjet or laser printer. The design will be thermally transferred from the paper to the fabric you have selected using a heat source and pressure.

You will first need to print out your design on the heat transfer paper you have picked. Depending on what you are making, you will need to decide if you want to use a paper for inkjet, pigment ink, or sublimation ink.

Cut out your design if you need to trim it, then get your heat source ready (iron or heat press). Most applications will take well to the heat set between 350 and 375 degrees.

The pressure is important when making these projects. If a thicker fabric is used, less pressure will be needed.

Different times are needed for different kinds of ink. Follow this chart to determine the correct time:

  • Inkjet Transfer Paper: 14 – 18 seconds
  • Dye Sublimation Transfer: 25 – 30 seconds
  • Digital Appliqué Transfer: 20 – 30 seconds
  • Vinyl Transfer: 45 – 60 seconds

Place the transfer paper on your project, making sure it is face up. If you are using Appliqué or Vinyl transfer, be sure to cover the transfer paper with a thin cloth.

If you’re using a press, close it and press the start button. If you’re using an iron, watch the clock for the times listed above. Once the correct time has elapsed, you may remove the film while the product is still hot in order to print on the fabric.

Is heat transfer paper washable?

Yes, once heat transfer paper has been applied to a product, it may be washed. However, the design will need to be cured for at least 24 hours.

Conclusion

With various heat transfer papers on the market, it can be confusing to know which ones are the best to purchase. Our number one choice, YRYM HT Clear Vinyl Transfer Paper Tape Roll, is easy to measure and cut. Our second best pick, YRYM HT Reusable Heat Transfer Paper, is perfect for those who love to save money since you can reuse it over and over. And finally, our third choice, Avery Printable T-shirt Transfer Paper, has exceptional print quality and online software that is easy to use.

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