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.