A common question amongst many customers is which photographic paper finish is most suitable for their photo printing. In this infographic we compare the three common finish options: Glossy, Semi-Glossy (Satin, Pearl & Luster) and Matt.
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A customised Babygrow makes a lovely present for the special little one in your life. Plain Babygrows are cheap and serve as the perfect canvas for your cute (and funny) images and messages. Here’s a really easy way to customise a Babygrow using Photo Paper Direct Transfer Paper.
Silicon fixing paper (This comes with your pack of Photo Paper Direct Transfer Paper.)
Our easy step-by-step guide:
First, choose an image for your Babygrow. You can design your own and upload it to your computer, or find plenty of images online for free. I’m using my own design for this tutorial, which I scanned and uploaded to Photoshop.
Edit your image and check that the dimensions are right for your Babygrow. If you’re using some text to go with your image, make sure to flip the text horizontally. You can do this easily in an image editing program such as Photoshop. If you’re using MS Word, just set your text in WordArt and choose ‘Flip horizontal’ from the ‘Rotate’ options.
You can print your design once you’re completely happy with it. I would recommend doing a test print on plain paper first, just to make sure that it is the right size for your Babygrow. You can then print your design on your sheet of transfer paper, making sure to print on the plain side of the paper, and not the reverse one with the grid.
Cut around your printed design, leaving a little space (around 3-4 mm) around the edges.
Now you’re ready to transfer your design to your Babygrow! Make sure to follow the instructions for this part carefully so you can make a perfect image transfer. First, get a flat wooden surface ready to do your ironing on. You can use a chopping board or a tabletop as long as it’s flat and heat-resistant. Don’t use an ironing board because the foam and mesh in the ironing board makes it too soft and uneven, which could give dismal results. You can wrap a piece of fabric (a pillowcase or a T-shirt will do) around your wooden board to cushion it a bit.
Heat up your iron to the highest setting and make sure to turn the steam off. Your iron should be 1600w and up.
Lay your Babygrow on the wooden board, making sure to get rid of any creases. You’ll need it to be as flat as possible to ensure a clean image transfer.
Put your image on top of the Babygrow, printed side down. (This is why reversing your text is essential.)
Start ironing the paper, using a small circular motion to press every area of the image down. You’ll need to apply firm and constant pressure with your iron to push the image right into the fabric of the Babygrow. Iron for about 90 seconds. (Ironing time depends on the size of the image: 3 minutes for A4, 90 seconds for A5 and 45 seconds for A6 images.)
Depending on the finish you want for your Babygrow, you can either peel off the paper straight away or wait until it has cooled down. Peeling it off while hot will leave you with a matt finish; doing it after the paper has cooled down will give you a glossy finish. In this case, I peeled off the paper while it was still hot as I wanted a matt finish for the Babygrow, which will make it more durable enough to withstand heavy washes.
You now have your printed Babygrow. There’s just one more step to ensure that your image won’t fade or rub off when you wash your Babygrow. You’ll need your silicon fixing paper for this step (comes with the Photo Paper Direct transfer paper, but can be purchases separately here)
Heat up your iron using the same settings as before. Once it’s ready, put the silicon sheet over your printed image and iron it, making sure once again that you press every little bit of the surface thoroughly.
Take off the silicon sheet and voila, you now have your very own customised Babygrow! Don’t throw away your silicon paper as it is reusable, and make sure to wait at least 24 hours before you wash your Babygrow.
In recent years, the use of printable vinyl sheets has grown significantly, which also brought about an influx of questions from new users. One of the more common questions we get revolves around the difference between the glossy, matt and clear Inkjet vinyl.
What Is Inkjet Vinyl Self Adhesive?
These are inkjet printer compatible vinyl or film (in the case of the clear option) with a sticky back. The printable surface area can be printed with any Inkjet printer, while the sticky back makes it possible to apply the print to many smooth non-porous surfaces such as glass. You can print text, graphics and photos on the printable area at maximum DPI. Common uses include car sticker, window sticker, even model airplanes and trains, the list is long.
What Is The Difference Between The Three?
The most obvious difference is the appearance of the print, whether glossy, matt or neutral in the case of the clear option. Beyond the finish, the most significant difference is the water resistant properties of the vinyl. Both the glossy and matt options are water resistant and instant dry, while the clear vinyl is also instant dry, but is not water resistant in any way.
Can The Vinyl Be Made Waterproof?
The Glossy and Matt Self Adhesive vinyl can be made waterproof to defend the image against liquid damage and UV light by applying a layer of fixative spray. The spray is designed specifically for use with Inkjet prints and will not affect the print.
The Clear Self Adhesive film cannot be made water proof and is suitable for internal use only.
So today we are talking about the watercolor paper on our site, its part of the new range of art papers that we have introduced in the last 12 months or so. The main benefit of the art paper is apart from the fact that they are different textures and finishes is that they are all 100% acid free, they are super professional products, the acid free part of the formula means that the paper will never in time yellow or discolor so they are great for archival purposes, great for images, but have real keepsake value, they come in a white box with an insert, full printing instructions on the back, this is the water color paper as the name suggests, it has a watercolor paper texture, this is the same paper that if you were a water color artist you would use to make your drawings on except in our, in this occasion there is an inkjet coating allowing you to print on an inkjet printer.
So 100% acid free, common question we are often asked, how do you know which sides to print on these products, because they are both white and both textured and the easiest way of doing it, of figuring it out, apart from making a mark with a felt tip pen to see which side runs or not, you ruin a paper that way, you take two sheets so over here, you take two sheets of paper you will find that one of them has got a slightly more texture than the other, you are trying to print on the smoother whiter side, not very apparent on the video, but that’s one way of figuring out, so you always print on the smoother side of the paper. So that is the paper on one side, we are using an ordinary inkjet domestic printer with ordinary inks, and this is suitable for photographs, it’s suitable for art reproduction, we are going to print a couple of different images for you to show you what the effect is, the main benefit though is that it’s a keep sake product, it’s a keep sake product you put the most precious photograph or image on it, frame it and it will be there forever and ever, the paper will not discolor, there is no acid in it to react with oxygen so it will not go brittle or yellow with time. If you use UV stable inks then the image will be archival and will be there forever.
So here we have used the 240 gram watercolor paper to print an artistic photograph as well as a watercolor reproduction, remember this is a 100% acid free product made from the same base as watercolor artists would use when they paint on it with an inkjet coating allowing you to print these sort of images or anything else that you might think of using an ordinary inkjet printer with ordinary inks.
So in this video we are going to talk about the differences between the light and the dark transfer paper, most of the calls about transfer paper we get in the office is with people who don’t understand why you have two different products and what product you should use for which color garment or substrate on which you are printing. So we have two products, we have a light transfer paper which is used for light garments, mainly white t-shirts or whiter substrates and the dark transfer paper which is printed on any substrate or surface which is not white, the darker the garment, the more you need to use the dark transfer paper, there are some colors of t-shirts or surface onto which you would get away with the light, the main difference between them and that becomes apparent when you print it that one need to be printed with a mirror image and the other doesn’t.
When you are printing light transfer paper and you will see the reason why, you are printing it in mirror image, you can see this is the same image, this is mirrored, you can tell by the text but also by the orientation of the girl here, and on the dark transfer paper we print it normally, we do not mirror the image and you will see why, what we are going to do it pint the light transfer paper and show you the process quickly, this is not the main instruction video, you’ll find a full intricate video on our channel talking specifically about the light transfer paper, so we are just talking about the comparison here, quite a large white area around the image, unlike the dark transfer paper I do need to trim it but I don’t need to worry too much about going all the way to the image, I can leave an edge, the reason I’m trimming it is mainly to shorten the process and also the white area which is unprinted here will to a small extent show on the surface that you are printing, so it’s a better practice to just trim it.
So roughly trimming it, leaving a little edge around the image, I’m going to line my desk with a t-shirt, this is not the t-shirt I’m printing, this is just like as a cushioning and a bit of protection for the table below, you need to make sure that the surface on which you are printing is heat resistant and will not be damaged or affected by the heat, anything flat, table top, worktop, cutting board, as long as it’s flat never ever use a, an ironing board or anything with, which gives, which is not solid. So here is our transfer, we printed it in mirror image and you’ll understand now why, we’re putting it face down on the garment, you’ll find in a minute when you see the dark process, in the dark process we put it face up, so the light transfer paper is placed face down that’s why the mirror image is printed on the paper and once we iron it, it will become sure again.
I’m using as you can see a simple iron, this one is 1400 watts, we recommend you use at least 1400 watt iron, if it’s hotter it’s better and I am very systematically covering every are of the transfer. So that’s about right, I’m going to put the iron to one side, little stretch of the corner I’m peeling it away. When you read the instructions you will see that there is another process that we ask you to do which is fixing process, excuse the noise, and the paper is supplied with the silicone sheet that we ask you to put back on top of the exposed image to give the image a quick additional press just to make sure in case you haven’t gone over everything if you missed a bit, if an area hasn’t been properly suck on, this is a fail proof stage, you peel that away here is the ready image, quite stretchable, soft and ready, as you can see the text has gone back to normal and the text has gone back to normal and the image is as was taken originally.
Now let’s talk about the dark transfer paper, very similar process, we still line the surface on to which we are working with, another shirt just to give it a bit of cushioning and protection, here is my favorite black shirt which we are sacrificing for this video, doesn’t need to be new, this is a well worn one, and here is the dark transfer paper. Unlike the white remember when we printed the white we roughly trimmed the white edges, with a dark transfer paper you have to remove all the white areas of the print that you do not want visible, if I leave an edge, the white edge on this image, the white edge will be visible on the garment, the reason behind it, I’ll explain while I’m cutting these away, the reason behind this is that there is no white ink in your printer. When you remove the white from the background of an inkjet print, the inks are translucent, they are see through, so if you print a darker garment using a light transfer paper, the image will be see through, you will not see anything and so what this paper does is introduce a white background to the image because we are going to take the white background away by printing it onto a black shirt.
So this white edge, if it print it like this, this white edge will be visible on a dark garment using the dark transfer paper, unlike in the light if you remember where we left a white edge around the image, I’ll show you quickly, and that white edge is not visible, it doesn’t discolor or change anything in the shirt. So I’m going to carry on and remove this last white edge that I left here, and here is the ready image, almost ready to go, you can see that the image has been printed normally, so there is no mirror image and we are going to place this transfer face up on the garment, but before we do that we have to separate it from the carrier, it’s a little bit fiddly especially if you got big thumbs like I do, okay so we are now separating, this is the carrier, the one, the paper with the blue grids on the back, just holding everything together, peel off the corner and just separate it.
Now you don’t need to panic at this stage because this is not sticky, you can position it, reposition it, decide where you want to have it, change your mind, move around, do whatever you want, okay once you decide on the position, say we want to put it center of the garment, I got a bit of a crease of the bottom there, if I take my iron and iron directly on top of this, the unprotected ink is going to jump onto the iron and the transfer will be ruined, so what we need to do before we iron it, remember in the light transfer paper we did it after the ironing, on this occasion before we iron it, we need to protect it with a silicone paper, this paper is included in the pack, you don’t need to buy it separately, you get it ready in the pack and they are reusable, so we positioned the transfer, we peeled off the backing, it’s not sticky so you can do this at leisure, no panic, then we cover it with the silicone paper and you notice that the image is face up and with the iron directly on top using the same systematic method we did before up and down and making sure the whole transfer is covered, putting as much pressure as we can, obviously don’t damage yourself with the iron, but don’t just lightly iron it, that’s not enough, you need to actually press the transfer into the fabric as much as you can.
Just peel this away and it’s done. That’s the dark transfer paper and the light. Now I know a lot of you are wondering what would happen if I used the light transfer paper onto a darker garment and you know what, we will show you. So this is not the intended use for this product, this is unlikely to work or it will not work, but what we are going to do is print a light transfer paper, so this is the one with the red grid, this is a paper designed for light garments only, white and light garments only, we are going to trim it like we trimmed the other one, very roughly, leaving al small white edge around the image, remember there is no white ink in your printer, so the white that you see on this transfer paper is the white of the paper and what we are going to do is put this light transfer paper onto a dark garment just so show you what happens, because a lot of you asked the question and it’s a bit difficult to, you know if you haven’t used transfer paper before, it’s a bit difficult to get the concept of this.
Right that’s enough for this paper, again a little stretch, a little peel, as you can see the image has gone from here, so it has been transferred onto the surface and what we have is the invisible image, because we have taken the white surface, the white background away from the image, the inks are translucent, they are near invisible and you can’t see anything, that’s why you can use a light transfer paper onto a dark garment, that’s why the dark transfer paper which we used on this side has got a white background throughout and your transfer the white background together with the ink, so the inks remain visible.
Just as a recap and a summary, you use the dark transfer on any dark colored garments, blacks, navy blues, dark greens, anything where you need the full gamete of color to be visible, remember that all the white edges will be visible, so it works best with block, square block images that, or images that you can cut around all the white edges easily, doesn’t work when there’s a lot of intricate graphics or if you have to cut out letters it’s less suitable for that. the light transfer paper obviously works on white garments, but generally on anything where the image is significantly darker than the surface, so if we are printing on very light yellows or light pastoral greens and your image is dark black text it will work, if it’s an image like this the yellows will be lost, the whites will become yellow, then you need to use the dark transfer paper.
Okay this is a brand new product we have with Photo Paper Direct, these are photo frames, the glass block ones and they are, we think they are amazing, really versatile, all you need to do is print an image, for example this is a 4×6 borderless on a 260 gram satin, but you know gloss will work, matt paper will work as long as it’s a nice high resolution image, you take one of these blocks, they come blank, put the image on it and there’s a little clever magnet and there it is ready to go on a mantel piece, on the side of a bed side cabinet, give it to grandma, keep a selection of them around the house and they are so easy to use, we’ll do, this one is 7×5. Again take off the back, put in the image, back goes on, done, quite stable. You go to a professional photographer you will pay a lot of money for these, they are not very expensive on our website, if you don’t have that size paper, no problem, you take the same image, you can print it on an A4 sheet if you have some A4 paper lying around, I know it’s a waste but you know sometimes if you have paper lying around no point buying a whole packet of the right size paper, just print it, set your printer to print a 13×18 or a 7×5 which is that or a 4×6 also known as a 10×15 centimeters, 4×6 inches, and the metal plate with a magnet, done.
So these are our photo block frames and they can stand portrait or landscape, comes in 4×6, 7×5, the same as 10×15 centimeters and 13×18.
Whether your Inkjet printer is old or new, in extremely rare cases it might struggle to print on printable glossy vinyl paper. The printer has a light sensor which detects the size and location of the paper that has been fed into it. If this sensor is too sensitive, the glossy coating on the vinyl reflects the light beam back, the printer cannot detect the start of the paper and thinks that there is nothing going through.
Manufacturer’s recommendations are to first adhere by the setup requirements and ensure that you have selected the appropriate settings that came with the vinyl. Secondly, your printer must have sufficient amount of ink to cover the entire printing surface, otherwise it might roll out the vinyl. Failing that, you might be able to “fool” the printer by placing a couple of ordinary sheets under the vinyl in the tray (rather than feed it individually as instructed). Lastly, switching the printer off and back on may help recalibrate the sensor.
In the handful of time users have reported this problem, one of the steps mentioned above has helped remedy the satiation.
One of the most creative uses of an Inkjet printer is printing on transfer paper. This transfer paper allows text, graphic design, photos and of course a combination of all three, to be transferred onto a wide range of suitable garments and surfaces with an aid of a domestic Iron.
At time, we hear users complaining that the transfer has cracked, typically after the first wash. Whether the transfer was bought at Photo Paper Direct or elsewhere, the culprits are ultimately the same. This can occur due to:
Not Enough Heat – Heat is the single crucial element that directly affects the result. It is essential that a good iron (at least 1600w or preferably higher) is used, having been pre heated for 4-5 minutes with steam switched off. Although the image will move from the transfer to the garment with lower capacity irons, the longevity and wash ability will be significantly reduced.
Not enough pressure – It is absolutely essential to iron the design using substantial force together with ensuring that the iron has passed over each and every part of the design. It is essential that the garment printed is placed on a SOLID surface such as a table top, cutting board or anything else which is flat and sturdy. It is a good idea to line the surface with a pillow case or another old shirt in order to protect the surface from heat damage.
Using an ironing board – Despite the name, never use an ironing board. We already stressed that pressure is essential and lack of it is often the cause for the poor washing result. An Ironing board often has a mesh surface covered with cloth which will dissipate the heat from below, providing insufficient temperature to the transfer itself. Also, most ironing boards will simply collapse if you use the required pressure, therefore a solid surface such as a table is recommended.
Not using silicon sheet – Each pack comes with a reusable silicon sheet. Once you have ironed the image and peeled off the paper, the sheet is used to further embed or push the design onto the garment. Skipping this stage may result in a loosely applied transfer, which may crack after the first wash or shortly after.
Incorrect washing – Simply follow our guidelines for correct washing. Pay attention to whether the transfer is exposed, to the temperature, cycle etc. Unlike common perception, it is strictly forbidden to wash an inkjet transferred image by hand or as a delicates cycle in a washing machine.
Incorrect clothing item – Your choice of suitable clothing is wide, though it excludes stretchable items such as socks and garments containing lycra or elastine . By their nature, their overly stretchable properties will cause the transfer to crack. Transfer paper can give or take to a degree, but really stretchable items are unsuitable.
If your transfer has already cracked, there isn’t much you can do to rectify the situation. Simply pay attention to the above recommendation next time. In 99% of cases, it will remain smooth and flat.
Customer spotlight this week features the work of Michael Fields. Using the Photo Paper Direct glossy magnetic photo paper in A5 size, Michael creates cherished greeting and invitation cards for his clients, that will adhere to many surfaces such as the fridge and other metal surfaces. The work as you can judge for yourself is fantastically looking mainly due to Michael’s caricature drawing skills. Couples send him head and shoulder shots and he then creates full colour caricature to appear on the magnetic card. Quick and easy process with outstanding results. We know from customers that the magnetic greeting cards (A5 in this case) are not discarded and kept for many years. For more on his work and maybe to order your very own work, visit his site. In the meantime, here are a few samples sent by Michael (all names, addresses and phone numbers have been changed).
If you are a photographer, a budding new business, craft maker or just a creative person who is interested to show off your work, you can do so on our blog and also receive full credit of your work. Just get in touch with us.
Customer project sport light today features the work of Chris Todd. Using the Photo Paper Direct matt 170g photo paper, Chris creates wonderful greetings card using his own graphic work. In his words “This paper (170gsm matt coated in A4 size) is perfect for obtaining really perfect coloured images. I use it all the time.” At Photo Paper Direct we are not surprised to hear this. The matt finish photo paper often helps produce an authentic print when the glare from glossy finish (or to a lesser extent from satin or pearl finish) may come across too shiny for the job.
For more information and to view more of his work, visit the Chris4Cards site. For now, here are a number of images sent by Chris.
If you are a photographer, a budding new business, craft maker or just a creative person who is interested to show off your work, you can do so on our blog and also receive full credit of your work. Just get in touch with us.