How to Tell the Difference Between Iron-On and Heat Transfers

At a glance, iron-on t-shirt transfers and t shirt heat transfers look like the same thing, but there are major differences between these methods for printing t-shirts. Let’s take a closer look at each t-shirt printing technique and how they differ from each other.

1. Iron-On T Shirt Transfers

To use these sheets, you first print a mirrored version of your image onto the transfer paper using whatever printer you have at home. Then, you place the transfer sheet on top of your chosen t-shirt. Lastly, you use a clothes iron to disperse heat as evenly as possible to slowly transfer the image onto the garment.

Although this method is relatively easy to do, it can often result in a design that feels rubbery and uneven. The design also easily comes off if you do not wash your t-shirt with care, and you may need to take several steps in order to ensure the best quality output, according to PCMag.

2. T Shirt Heat Transfers

Instead of using a clothes iron to transfer the printed image to the t-shirt, this method requires the use of a clamshell heat press. If you use this equipment, you will be able to apply the design evenly to the t-shirt, resulting in a much smoother design with little to no bumps in the fabric.

While clamshell heat presses may initially cost a lot of money, they are a great investment if you want to start printing t-shirt designs as a main source of income. You can even print several designs onto one big heat transfer sheet, potentially saving you a lot of money for the same amount of materials, according to How to Start a Clothing Company.

If you are still unsure about which method you should use, it all comes down to one factor you have to account for: are you making t-shirts in order to create a large profit, or are you creating t-shirts just for personal use?

If you are aiming to sell a lot of your designs to make good money, then it is in your best interests to invest in a clamshell heat press so that you can take advantage of t shirt heat transfers. Otherwise, iron on transfers should suit your needs just fine. Once you have decided on the best technique for your goals, you can get started making t-shirts by investing in the right materials and equipment.

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