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Transfer paper is used in textiles and arts & crafts projects. Often, an ink-jet or other printer is used to print an image on the paper. Then a heat press can transfer the image onto clothing, canvas, or other surface. Transfer paper is used in creating iron-ons.
Inkjet printers are not capable of printing white. So, anywhere that the image requires white, the garment's existing colour shows through. The mirror of the image is printed on the paper. When it is transferred, the result is the mirror of the mirror (the original) results. Inkjet transfer paper for dark garments is covered with transferable white ink. For dark garments, the image is printed without mirroring.
Washability for inkjet transfer paper is not as good as a screen printed shirt.
For dye sublimation transfer paper, fabrics historically had to be white or light in color. 100% polyester, poly/cotton mix (the garment should be at least 50% poly) microfibre and nylon can all be used. This printing process turns solid ink into a gas, avoiding a liquid stage. This process can be used on ceramic, wood, glass, or metal as long as they have a polymer coating.
Transfer papers now exist for most textiles, including elastic fabrics used for making sportswear and swimming suits, and for natural fiber fabrics such as cotton, silk, linen, and wool.
Color laser transfer is very similar to the inkjet transfer paper process and allows the decoration of any combination of fabric blends including 50/50 poly/cotton blends as well as 100% cotton textiles.
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