Iron on transfers for T-shirts and other garments should really be considered a thing of the past. When they first hit the shops with a fairly wide selection of designs and words on the transfer; they were a fun gimmick to show-off to your friends; but, they had two fatal flaws. One: too many people had access to the designs; so, there was no allowance for design originality; the only customization was in what you ironed it onto. Two: often, the design did not completely transfer onto the garment; or it creased during transfer; and even when you achieved a complete transfer it was often only a short time before the design started to crack or peel off. That was back then; when computers were literally giant calculating machines and graphic artists worked with paint brushes and the like.
Then, Along Came PC’s
And after their arrival; the first computer graphics programs quickly arrived and anyone with imagination and some basic computer skills could produce “artwork”. At first, getting soft copies of anything out of a computer was not only tedious; but the results did not look very good; that too soon changed. Inexpensive ink jet and laser printers became available, even for use with a home PC and anyone could use their graphics program to design a great, personalized picture, complete with a written slogan; then, at the click of a mouse; they could print their design out onto a sheet of paper.
Amateur VS Professional
The PC revolution spread to many different fields and techniques like graphic design came to be taught in colleges – as with most things artistic; a gifted amateur could produce better designs for printing on T-shirts from his home computer and printer than a professional working from a studio with high powered computers and superior printers. But, for most of us; if the design is intended for a special shirt, maybe we should tell a trained graphic artist our concept and let him turn it into reality. We still get something uniquely ours; but it looks better.
If printing at home on an occasional basis; we probably buy relatively cheap commercial transfer paper to print our design on (in mirror image form). If we buy the transfer ready printed (to our design); it will likely be on better quality professional release paper and, almost certainly, using higher quality inks than those generally sold in retail stores.
An amateur is likely to stick with Custom Iron On Transfers and this is where most of the bad results come from; the domestic clothes iron does not have the fine control of heat and pressure that is needed for a perfect transfer print onto a textile material. This should always be done using a heat transfer press; they are not expensive; but, if you don’t want to buy one; get a professional to effect the design’s transfer for you. Do all this, and the design should last longer than the T-shirt.
Never try to do your own Custom Iron On Transfers using the domestic iron in your home; always use a heat press and for the really great results; take a look at having Gulfside Heat Transfers prepare the transfers for you (they even provide design assistance). For full details, browse their website at http://gulfsideheattransfers.com/.