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Printing Instructions for T-Shirt Transfers

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Introduction

Use HP Iron-On T-shirt transfers to apply creative designs to T-shirts and other cotton fabrics. Simply print your design on the transfer paper, then use a household iron to transfer the design to your fabric. Please read all of the instructions before you start.

Getting started

Before you begin, make sure you have the following (see Figure 1):
Figure 1: View of items needed
1 - White or light-colored T-shirt
2 - Household iron
3 - Ironing surface
4 - Cotton pillowcase
5 - Clock
  1. White or light-colored T-shirt or other fabric to apply the transfer to. The fabric should be thick, high quality, 100% cotton (or a cotton/polyester blend). These T-shirt transfers are for use with white or light-colored fabrics, for dark fabrics use HP iron-on transfers for color fabrics.
  2. Household iron.
  3. Ironing surface. Use a hard, smooth, heat-resistant surface (such as a Formica countertop, laminated pressboard desktop, or heat-safe tabletop). Do not use a standard ironing board.
    NOTE: Important: You will need to press hard when you are ironing the transfer. Keep the ironing surface at hip level or below so you can use your arms and upper body to apply enough pressure.
  4. Pillowcase to place between the ironing surface and the fabric you are transferring to. The pillowcase should be 100% cotton (or a cotton/polyester blend).
  5. Clock with a second hand.
  6. Bathroom scale.
  7. HP White/Light Colored Iron-On T-shirt transfers (C6049A, C6050A, C6065A) or HP Iron-On T-shirt transfers with Disney Characters (Q5523A).

Step 1: Create your design and flip it horizontally

  1. After creating a design, use your graphics program or printer software to flip the design horizontally so that your printer prints a mirror image of your original design. This step is especially important if your design includes text.
  2. Print your design on plain paper to make sure the image is flipped correctly (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: View of original image and flipped image

Step 2: Print your design on an HP Iron-On T-shirt transfer

WARNING: Do not use HP Iron-On T-shirt transfers with laser printers or with the HP Deskjet 1200C, 1600C, or Business Inkjet 3000 series printer. The heating elements in these printers can melt the transfer paper, which could damage the printer.
  1. Load the HP Iron-On T-shirt Transfers in your printer so the design will print on the side without the HP Logo.
    If you have a front-loading printer (HP Deskjet Printer, HP Officejet Pro printer), load the transfer paper with the HP logo side facing up (see Figure 3).
    Figure 3: View of front load printer
    If you have a top-loading printer (HP Officejet printer), load the transfer paper with the HP logo side facing back or down (away from you) (see Figure 4).
    Figure 4: View of rear load printer
  2. In your graphics program, go to the Printer Setup dialog box. Select either “HP Premium Inkjet Paper,” “Special Paper,” or “Iron-On Transfer” as the Paper type. Select the best print quality. You can view the Printer Setup dialog box in most graphics programs by choosing File, Print, and Properties.
  3. Print your design on the transfer paper.
    NOTE: Important: After printing, check to make sure your design appears on the side of the transfer paper without the HP logo. If your design appears on the side with the HP logo, insert a new sheet of transfer paper in your printer and reprint your design on the correct side.

Step 3: Trim the transfer

  • Trim the transfer, if necessary (see Figure 5).
    Figure 5: View of trimming the transfer
NOTE: Tip: The entire HP Iron-On T-shirt transfer, including the unprinted (white) areas, transfers to your fabric. Cut away any unprinted areas that you do not want to transfer. Leave approximately 1/4 of an inch around the edge of your image. Do not cut into the printed image.

Before you iron, read this section

There are three elements required for a successful transfer: heat, pressure, and time (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: You need heat, pressure, and time
  1. Your iron must be as hot as possible. After you pre-heat your iron using the highest setting, do not reduce the temperature.
  2. You must press hard while you are ironing. To see how hard you need to press, place your bathroom scale on the ironing surface. Place both hands, one over the other, on the scale. Press down to generate 23 kilograms (50 pounds) of pressure. Use this same amount of pressure while you are ironing. Most people can achieve the required pressure by lowering the ironing surface and using their upper body for leverage.
  3. You must iron for the full recommended time. Make sure to iron the entire transfer evenly, paying special attention to the edges.
    NOTE: Important: If you do not use enough heat, pressure, and time, your transfer may crack or peel off the fabric.

Step 4: Prepare the iron, ironing surface, and fabric

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to obtain the best results. First time users may want to practice on an old garment.
  1. Preheat your iron on the hottest setting (cotton or linen) for five minutes or until the iron reaches its maximum temperature. Do not use steam.
  2. Place the pillowcase on the ironing surface, and iron it to remove any wrinkles. Make sure the pillowcase and ironing surface are completely smooth.
  3. Place the T-shirt or other fabric you are transferring to on the center of the pillowcase.
  4. Iron the T-shirt or fabric to remove any wrinkles. After the fabric is smooth, iron it for one additional minute to remove any moisture. The fabric must be completely smooth and dry to receive the transfer.
  5. Place the HP Iron-On T-shirt transfer on the warm fabric, design side down and HP logo side up. Position the transfer paper so that your design is exactly where you want it.
    NOTE: Important: Make sure the HP logo side of the transfer paper faces up. The HP logo side of the paper is the only side that should come in contact with the iron. Do not iron on the side of the transfer paper without the HP logo, as the transfer will stick to the iron.

Step 5: Iron the transfer

  • Use both hands and press hard--enough to generate 23 kilograms (50 pounds) of pressure. Keep your arms straight and use your upper body for leverage. Starting in one corner of the transfer paper, iron complete circles around the outer edge of the paper, making sure the iron completely overlaps the edges and corners. Keep the iron moving in large circles as you work your way toward the center of the transfer. Follow the recommended ironing method for your transfer size (below). Iron for the full recommended time.
Transfer sizeIroning timeRecommended ironing method
Full-sheet 3 minutes 1 minute around the outer edge, 1 minute around the center, 1 more minute around the outer edge
1/2-sheet 2 minutes 1 minute around the outer edge, 1 minute around the center
1/4-sheet 1 minute 1 minute around the entire transfer

Step 6: Remove the paper backing

  1. Allow the transfer to cool completely before removing the paper backing. Remove the fabric from the hot ironing surface to cool the transfer faster.
  2. Use your fingernail or a flat blade, such as a butter knife, to gently pick one corner of the transfer paper away from the fabric.
  3. Hold the fabric down with one hand and gently peel the transfer paper away from the fabric. If the paper starts to tear, stop and try pulling from the opposite corner.

Washing your fabric

To keep your transfer looking great, follow these instructions:
  • Turn the fabric inside out before washing.
  • Machine wash in cold water. Use detergent without bleach, if desired.
  • Remove the fabric from the washer and dry immediately. Leaving the wet fabric in the washer may cause the image to bleed.
  • Machine dry using a normal dryer setting.

Handling the transfer paper

  • Store the transfer paper in the original package.
  • Handle the transfer paper by the edges.
  • Do not write on either side of the transfer paper with ink.