Differences of Laser & Inkjet Heat Transfer Papers
There are several differences between inkjet and laser heat transfer papers. When starting to make
heat transferred shirts for the first time it is important to consider the pros and cons of each style of
First it is always important to follow the vendor's instructions and test your transfer paper thoroughly
before you distribute any product. When heat transfers are applied properly, they can look great and
last a long time. The trick is to know how to work with them.
Inkjet transfer paper is generally easier to work with and will have brighter colors as well as better
coverage. This is simply due to the way inkjet printers work and how much ink they actually lay
down on the transfer paper. Another advantage is that you normally have more control over the
quality of the print with an inkjet printer. Because inkjet printers lay down more ink it is not always
necessary to use RIP software to get nice colors and good results. Many inkjet heat transfer papers
can be used with an iron achieving acceptable results. And of course color inkjet printers cost less
than color laser printers.
Laser transfer paper can be a little more difficult to work with and generally needs a more professional
application. Better results are achieved at higher temperatures and with more pressure during transferring.
Also because laser printers lay down less toner compared to ink with an inkjet printer, the colors may
appear less brilliant and/or have less coverage on the fabric. It is not recommended using laser heat
transfers without a heat press. A pneumatic press with 60 psi pressure is ideal.
It is also important to note some laser heat transfer papers are not compatible with laser toners containing
oils. Be sure to check with the vendor of the transfer paper for specifications.
The benefits of laser heat transfer paper are that they do not bleed at any time and when applied properly,
they are more durable and less prone to fading. The most obvious con is that a color laser printer cost
more money than an inkjet printer. But in the long run toner is cheaper than inkjet cartridges.
All heat transferred shirts tend to fade with the first wash and will continue to fade over time as they
are washed. It is important to notify your customer of the limitations of the product you are offering
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