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FAQ – Desktop Digital Media

Inkjet FAQ / Support

General Tips:

  • Protect the paper in its original wrapper for as long as possible. This will help keep it from losing or picking up moisture
  • Do not load the paper tray with more paper than will be immediately used
  • The orientation of paper is important. To determine, mark one-side of plain paper and run it through printer, noting which side it prints on

Printing Tips:

  • Choose the best quality image setting on the computer and print
    - Most inkjet printers default settings are programmed to apply less
      ink which does not make for a good transfer
    - Some inkjet inks can sublimate and color the transfer block
  • Our inkjet Heat Transfer Papers are designed for; dye, pigment, sublimation, solvent and eco-solvent inks
  • Sublimation inks may be used on inkjet heat transfer papers, but are more expensive and not required
  • Good quality bulk ink systems for inkjet printers help ensure the color of the first print matches the last print in a longer run
Almost all the printers on the market are compatible, but the colors they produce are dependent on the software and ink used. Some printers are designed to reduce the amount of ink consumed and will not provide vibrant colors. Check your printer specifications for more information.

The following inks on the market are compatible, but the colors they produce are dependent on the printer and software. Some printers are designed to reduce the amount of ink consumed and will not provide vibrant details.  Inks for inkjet can include: 

  • Pigment based (usually the black ink)
  • Dye based
  • Mixture of Pigment and Dye
  • Solvent
  • Eco-solvent
  • Sublimation      

While sublimation inks may be used on inkjet heat transfer papers, they are more expensive and not required.

When you have printed images that look feathered around the edges, you are laying down too much inkjet ink. Try reducing the quality option or paper media setting. Usually, choosing the medium or medium-high quality option and plain paper media setting will work fine. However, each printer is different so test each print first before transferring to your substrate.

Laser FAQ / Support

General Tips:

  • Protect the paper in its original wrapper for as long as possible. This will help keep it from losing or picking up moisture
  • Use the bypass tray and not the paper tray for laser copiers or printers. And if possible, allow the paper to be discharged out the back door and not the top of the printer or copier. This will improve the print appearance and reduce the likelihood of paper jamming
  • The orientation of paper is important. To determine, mark one-side of plain paper and run it through printer, noting which side it prints on.
  • JET-OPAQUE II and 3G JET-OPAQUE may be used on a laser printer

Printing Tips:

  1. Run inexpensive copier paper through the printer prior to printing the heat transfer paper. This will help remove any dust or debris
  2. Begin with standard paper setting and print the heat transfer paper
  3. Using a tissue, lightly rub the printed area. If color rubs off on the tissue, it is not fused. If not fused, go to next higher setting, which slows down the paper and increases the time heat is applied to the paper
  4. Repeat step 3 until tissue wipes clean
    *Thicker laser heat transfer papers and larger sizes (i.e., 11x17) require printers with more heat and slower settings in order to fuse the entire area
Our Products are designed to work with most printers and copiers on the market. The printers & copiers we and our mills currently test our products most often on are:
  • OKI: 8800, 6050, 5150, 610n
  • HP: 4600, 3600
  • Lexmark: 782, 540N, 934
  • Xerox Phaser 6180
  • Minolta Magicolor 2300DL

We offer laser heat transfer papers certified for use on Indigo printers and other heat transfer paper specifically for fuser oil laser color printers and copiers. 

Please note the above printers are printers that we and our mills use on some or all of our products, therefore compatibility varies by product.

As a general rule of thumb, when using a laser printer, the printer will need to be able to handle the thickness of the paper for fusing purposes.

If there are only small spots, try running plain paper through the printer or copier to remove them. 

If much of the paper has melted, then the fuser roll must be accessed and thoroughly cleaned. Refer to the printer or copier manufacturer for additional information.

  • Make sure you are using laser heat transfer paper in a laser printer
  • If your printer uses "fuser oil" as opposed to a fuser unit, make sure your paper is approved for use in "fuser oil" laser printers
  • You may be clogging the fuser. This can be caused by the toner not fusing completely on the paper. Try using a heavier paper media weight setting like Label or Label2. Heavier settings slow down the speed of the paper and will allow more time for the toner to fuse to the paper
  • Use the Multi-Purpose or Bypass door to feed the paper into the laser printer. When printing transfer paper with a laser printer, you should never use the normal paper tray
  • Not all laser printers can handle printing on transfer paper. Some manufactures plainly state they do not support transfer papers. Our papers is designed to work on most fuser-oil and/or oil-less laser printers. Contact the printer manufacturer if you are unsure if your laser printer will work using transfer paper
  • Make sure you are feeding the paper into the printer portrait and not landscape. If you have cut an 11 x 17 paper to 8.5 x 11, you must feed the 8.5 x 11 in landscape and not portrait. Otherwise, the paper will curl-up inside your printer and jam
One of the most common errors when using using laser paper is the toner not fusing correctly to the transfer paper. Remember that laser printers can only adjust the speed the paper is moving through the printer (you can not adjust fuser temperature). This is controlled through the paper media setting on your printer. The heavier the paper setting (like Transparency or Labels) the slower the paper will run through the printer, thereby increasing how much heat the transfer paper receives and how completely the fuser toner fuses with the paper. Finding the correct media setting requires trial and error, printing the image and testing with a tissue for rub-off. When no rub-off occurs and the print looks good, you have reached the correct paper media setting. Before you begin, it is a good idea to run plain copier/printer paper through the machine to remove any dust or debris.

Gneral FAQ / Support

Visit our matrix AW Desktop Product Applications under Digital Desktop Media for a list of available instructions on each product.
  • For best results choose fabric that have tighter weaves
  • For a softer/smoother feel ("hand") on light fabric transfers and for longer lasting color, stretch shirts upon completion of transferring images
    - On some inkjet images the image can be further smoothed/softened by
      applying parchment paper on the final product and repressing for a few
      seconds
  • Keep permanent markers handy to touch up spots where there is a 'miss' in the ink application on the garment
  • If the transfer appears to be coming off after the first wash, correct the rest of the batch by repressing. Use an ironing sheet to protect the image
If you have white in the image and are transferring onto a dark garment, you will need to use an opaque heat transfer paper for the white to transfer. For a selection of opaque transfer papers, refer to our matrix AW Desktop Product Applications under Digital Desktop Media.
Time, temperature and pressure are key to making good transfers. Using too much of any of them will prevent a good transfer. For example, too much pressure will "force" the image and stick the paper to the garment. Too much heat will "bond" the paper to the substrate and possibly burn your garment. Too much time can have both of these affects together. Always refer to the instructions for proper transfer paper settings.
A garment bleeds when washed because there is too much ink on the transfer. Generally, using a medium or medium-high quality is enough to print a good image that will transfer well. Using a higher setting will not typically result in a better looking transfer. While the paper may be able to carry this extra ink, the garment can not and will bleed or wash out this extra ink on the first wash. It is suggested that you wait about 10-15 minutes after you print your image before transferring it to allow the ink to correctly dry. Once transferred, you should wait overnight before you attempt your first wash to allow the ink to completely penetrate the garment. Refer to the transfer instructions of your paper for more information.
There are several reasons why an image is cracking. Many transfer papers do not have great elasticity. Using a shirt that stretches will cause cracks if the right transfer paper is not used. It is very important that you match the appropriate transfer paper to the type of garment you want to transfer to such as cotton, polyester and stretchy synthetic. Always refer to the instructions for the proper time, temperature and pressure to use when transferring. Anyone of these set incorrectly can cause the image to transfer poorly, possibly causing it to crack. One common way to minimize cracking is to stretch the garment immediately after transferring and peeling while still hot or repress for about 7 seconds after cold and stretch. This will provide a longer lasting transfer (minimal cracking) and a softer hand.
If you believe the image looks faded on the printed transfer paper, transfer the image to your garment. It is there that you should be reviewing the colors. Your true colors do not completely develop until it is transferred. Also remember that it is nearly impossible to match the color on your monitor to the color on the printed transfer paper to the color on the transferred garment. There is always some loss due to reproducing the color three times in three different ways. It is always best to create/work your images in RGB color mode. Using CMYK creates some major difficulties in achieving certain colors (such as neon colors) for good transfers. There also may be issues with how you are transferring the paper. Refer to the instructions on the proper time, temperature and pressure required. Anyone of these, if incorrectly set, can cause your image to look faded.
Opaque transfers require you to peel off the backing paper before the transfer process. Taking this peeled image, lay it down on your garment almost like placing a peeled sticker on your bumper. Then heat press this onto the garment using a pressing sheet for protection. If the image is not transferring, check to make sure you are pressing this peeled image. If you are using too much pressure, the image may transfer but look faded, allowing the color of the garment to show through. Some papers do require heavy pressure. Refer to the printing instructions for specific transfer information on time, temperature and pressure.
A transferred image is delicate. Our instructions detail how to wash your transferred image. Generally, you should wait 24 hours before you wash in cold water using mild detergent and no bleach. Dry on lowest heat setting and never iron directly on the transfer. (see "Why did my image bleed after washing" for additional suggestions)
  • You may be applying too much pressure, temperature or time to your garment. Any one of these, if set incorrectly, can affect the transfer and make it stick to the garment. Refer to the printing instructions for specifics
  • The paper may be a two step process, requiring you to remove the imaging sheet before you transfer the image. If you transfer the paper without doing this, it will adhere to the garment and may not come off