7 Best T-Shirt Transfer Papers

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This page looks at the best t shirt transfer paper available. Some are much better than others which is why we need reviews independent of the maker’s spiel. It’s not difficult to spot the signs of a poor-quality transfer paper. The graphics starts to fade, peel, or crack not long after completion. Newbies may think it’s their fault—and it might be—but the problem is often the paper, not the person.

Even cheap transfer paper can produce excellent results at a first glance. The real test is when you start to wear and wash the tees. But how can you know what’s good and what’s not just by looking? You can’t, but some safeguards can help to avoid newbie buying blunders.

Handy Crafts Inkjet TP
Size: 8.3 x 11.7”
Sheets: 10
Affordable, easy to use, grid markings, highly durable paper.
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Best Value
PPD Inkjet TP
Size: 8.5 x 11”
Sheets: 20
Grid backing, iron on or heat press, available for light/dark fabrics.
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Top Pick
Neenah 3G Jet-opaque TP
Size: 8.5 x 11”
Sheets: 100
Easy to apply on cotton fabrics, hand iron, resistant to endless washing.
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Heat Transfer Paper in Plain English

All transfer paper shares some of the same characteristics. It’s a thin paper coated with a special type of film, typically made of wax and pigment. It’s highly versatile and used in a variety of projects for arts, crafts, and textiles. The preparation and application process looks like this:

  1. Print the design onto the heat transfer paper with an inkjet or laser printer
  2. Place the printed design onto the t-shirt
  3. Apply heat to transfer the design from the paper to the fabric
  4. Carefully peel away the heat transfer paper and voilà.

How good the result looks and how long it lasts depends on the quality of paper used.

T-Shirt Transfer Paper Buyer’s Tips

This introduction aims to help you make informed choices and avoid common buying errors. My advice is to create a simple checklist as you read these short sections. You can then use that list to ensure the next batch of transfer paper meets your needs and expectations.

Here’s a quick list of buying considerations for t-shirt transfer paper:

  • Type of fabric(s) used?
  • Light or dark fabrics?
  • Durability, i.e., paper’s elasticity, crack/fade resistance, color vibrancy
  • Paper is compatible with your printer type
  • Size of the transfer paper (t-shirt design)
  • Simplicity of transfer
  • Color/opacity—the difference between clear and fuzzy finish
  • Transfer method, i.e., iron or heat press machine
  • Type of transfer paper (see below)

All the above are essential buying considerations, but pay special attention to the first two points. Not all heat transfer paper works on all fabrics (see next). Also, there’s iron-on transfer paper that’s only for dark surfaces. Worth noting too is that products for dark materials use inkjet printers.

Know Your Fabrics

Another newbie error is to purchase decent paper but for the wrong fabric. That happens when shoppers buy in haste or in ignorance. Get to know your fabrics and match the t shirt transfer paper to the material. You can only use inkjet transfer paper on cotton t-shirts or those with cotton blends. Sublimation transfer paper is for polyester garments or those with polyester blends.

Plastisol transfer paper is an excellent choice if you need flexibility. It works for printing on 100% cotton, 100% polyester, and 50/50 cotton/polyester blends.

Avoid Common Transfer Problems

People who complain about a ‘quality’ heat transfer paper are often at fault. There are specific instructions to follow if the print is to be successful. Irons and using the paper with incompatible materials cause the most problems (see previous). The instructions should give specific guidance on fabrics and techniques. For ironing, read the instructions on temperature, pressure, and timing.

Tip: Always iron on a flat, hard surface, not the ironing board as most of those are too soft.

Other Uses for Transfer Paper

T-shirts are favorite items to transfer creative designs and logos onto, but there’s more. You can use sublimation transfers to decorate all kinds of hard objects as well. They can include coffee mugs, ceramic cups, tiles, and so on. The possibilities are endless.

About My ‘Best T Shirt Transfer Paper’ Guide

There are 7 t-shirt transfer paper reviews on this page. I researched dozens of products from favorite brand names. I also looked at user feedback and the opinions of experts in the industry. Every product on this page is an excellent choice if it meets the needs of your projects. The first three are Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick. The remainder is by price order, lowest to high.

The table below shows the products as they appear on the page.

T Shirt Transfer Papers Comparison Table

1. Handy Crafts Inkjet Heat Transfer Paper | Best Budget

Handy Crafts Inkjet Heat Transfer PaperView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Handy Crafts DIY or commercial heat transfer paper makes the Best Budget slot. It comes in an affordable pack of 10 A4 sized sheets and is compatible with any inkjet printer.

  • Best feature 1: Ideal for tees and other garments
  • Best feature 2: Iron-on or heat press compatible
  • Plus points: Affordable, easy to use, grid markings, highly durable paper
  • Minus points: Light colors only, cotton and cotton/poly blends only

Transfers onto: T-shirts and other garments, hats, bags, and other light colored surfaces.

What We Like About this Heat Transfer Paper

This heat transfer paper is affordable and high-quality for its price. It’s compatible for use with a regular house iron or any of the popular heat presses. Most important of all is that it’s easy to use and produces consistent results. The grid markings help you to cut precisely and position the paper design in the exact place. It’s a highly durable paper that lasts a long time with correct storage.

The Not So Good

Handy Crafts’ heat transfer paper is for light garments only. That’s not a con per se, but a common buying blunder is to buy paper for light fabrics to use on dark surfaces. This product is also for use only with cotton and cotton/poly blends. Again, that’s not a fault, but it’s an essential point to note.

Tech Specs
Product Type: Light fabrics
Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.5 x 0.2”
Item Weight: 4 oz.
Number of Sheets: 10
The Pros
Ideal for t-shirts & other clothes
Iron-on or heat press compatible
Affordable paper
Easy to use
Grid guide markings
Highly durable
The Cons
Light colors only
Cotton, cotton/poly blends only

2. PPD Inkjet T Shirt Transfers Paper | Best Value

PPD Inkjet T Shirt Transfers PaperView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Our Best Value choice goes to PPD inkjet t-shirt transfer paper for darker fabrics. The prints are long-lasting, stretchable, and feel soft to the touch when applied correctly.

  • Best feature 1: Stretchable
  • Best feature 2: Highly-durable (long-lasting, machine washable)
  • Plus points: Easy to use, grid backing, iron on or heat press, available for light/dark fabrics
  • Minus points: Iron on takes some practice

Transfers onto: Dark colored tees and other clothing, pillowcases, cushion covers, bags, banners, and tablecloths, etc. It’s best suited for cotton fabrics but seems to work well on blends too.

What We Like About this Heat Transfer Paper

There are 20 sheets of 8.5 x 11” PPD heat transfer paper with grid backing in a pack. PPD also sells mixed bundles for light and dark transfers if you need flexibility. This iron on paper feeds through all inject printers and is quite easy to transfer. The included guide is well-thought-out and walks new users through the transfer printing process.

You can use the simple iron-on method or a purpose heat press. Either way produces striking results when applied as per the instructions. Printed fabrics are fully washable and guaranteed never to peel.

The Not So Good

A dark transfer is different from a light transfer process. The instructions for the PPD Inkjet t-shirt transfer paper are easy to follow. However, using a regular iron to do the transfers can take some practice. It’s tricky to find the correct pressure and timing when working with cotton/poly blends. It’s a good idea to do a practice run before transferring to the main surface.

Tech Specs
Product Type: Dark fabrics
Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 9.6 x 0.3”
Item Weight: 7.8 oz.
Number of Sheets: 20
The Pros
Excellent value
Easy to use
Grid backing
Iron on or heat press
Available for light/dark fabrics
The Cons
Iron on may take practice

3. Neenah 3G Jet-Opaque Heat Transfer Paper | Top Pick

Neenah 3G Jet-Opaque Heat Transfer PaperView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Neenah 3G Jet-Opaque heat transfer paper is for dark color garments and our Top Pick product. There are 100 sheets of commercial-grade 8.5 X 11” paper in this bumper pack.

  • Best feature 1: Designed for high-resolution images
  • Best feature 2: Soft to the touch
  • Plus points: Easy to apply on cotton fabrics, hand iron, resistant to endless washing
  • Minus points: Cold peel, thick finish

Transfers onto: T-shirts (and other tight weave garments), hats, koozies, totes, and so on.

What We Like About this Heat Transfer Paper

3G Jet-Opaque is a high-quality heat transfer paper that produces spectacular results on dark surfaces. It has an opaque layer that allows users to transfer photographic-quality images easily. The product cuts with any vinyl cutter and transfers using a hand iron or heat press. The latter option is the better approach, especially for cotton/poly material blends.

The resulting transfer is a soft yet durable print that’s resistant to endless washing. An image needs plenty of whites and lighter colors with dark surfaces for the best outcome.

The Not So Good

It’s a cold peel product as is the case with most dark transfer papers. Removing the cover sheet before it has time to cool down will likely result in a failure. Also, the film is quite thick compared to some products though it still feels soft. That’s not a fault as such—it’s more of a style preference.

Tech Specs
Product Type: Dark colors
Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 2”
Item Weight: 64 oz.
Number of Sheets: 100
The Pros
Designed for high-res images
Soft to the touch
Easy transfer onto cotton fabrics
Hand iron or heat press
Resistant to washing
The Cons
Cold peel
Quite a thick finish

4. Avery 3275 Iron-On Light Fabric Transfers

Avery 3275 Iron-On Light Fabric TransfersView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

Avery is another favorite name in heat transfer papers. This product is the 3275 iron-on paper for light fabrics. It’s for use with 100% cotton garments and cotton/poly blends.

  • Best feature 1: Free templates for Avery customers
  • Best feature 2: Feeds through all modern inkjet printers
  • Plus points: Color Shield™ formula, durable, personalize and print on demand
  • Minus points: Directions not clear for novice users, slight shiny finish

Transfers onto: T-shirts, aprons, hats, bags, stickers, labels, and magnet sheets, etc.

What We Like About this Heat Transfer Paper

The pack includes 12 iron-on sheets of 8.5 x 11” size that feeds through all modern inkjet printers. Avery’s new Color Shield™ formula adds to what’s already a durable paper. It ensures the colors stay crisp and vibrant even after multiple washes.

Avery customers can choose from 1000s of free, fully-customizable templates at the company website. There’s something for everyone for use with garments or personal items. Users can personalize their designs, and then print on demand.

The Not So Good

Avery falls short with its directions which are not too clear for first-time users. Everything you need to know is there—it’s just that the guidance should be more beginner-friendly. The other downside is that the paper leaves a slight shine. Overall, though, it’s an excellent product for the money.

Tech Specs
Product Type: Light colors
Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.3 x 0.1”
Item Weight: 6.4 oz.
Number of Sheets: 12
The Pros
Excellent value
Free templates for customers
Feeds through all modern inkjets
Color Shield™ formula
Durable product
Personalize & print on demand
The Cons
Directions not beginner-friendly
Leaves a slight shine

5. SOFSTRETCH Heat Transfer Paper Custom Pack

SOFSTRETCH Heat Transfer Paper Custom PackView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

Fifth on the list is the Neenah JET-PRO® SS heat transfer paper #9811P0. The company designed this paper to transfer images and photos onto light-colored surfaces.

  • Best feature 1: Iron-on or heat press transfers
  • Best feature 2: Works with cotton, blends, and synthetics
  • Plus points: Simple to use, feeds through most inkjet printers, soft finish, durable
  • Minus points: Some fabrics require trial and error

Transfers onto: T-shirts, sweatshirts and other garments, coasters, mouse pads, puzzles, and leather.

What We Like About this Heat Transfer Paper

There are 25 sheets of 8.5 X 11” size in a pack of Neenah JetPro® SS (Sofstretch™). It’s for use on light colored surfaces only and works with a variety of fabrics. They include 100% cotton, 50/50 blends, spandex, lycra, nylon, jersey, and rib knit. The results are soft and subtle and comfortable to wear. The vibrant colors are long-lasting and withstand multiple laundry cycles and stretching.

The transfer method can be hand ironed or use a heat press, although ironing is the trickiest. Even so, ironed results are just as impressive when applied as per the product instructions.

The Not So Good

JET-PRO® SS heat transfer paper works with a variety of fabrics (see above). Not all surfaces are equal, though. Fabrics like 100% cotton and cotton blends work better than synthetics. It’s possible to get the same results, but expect a little trial and error with certain materials.

Tech Specs
Product Type: Light colors
Product Dimensions: 11 x 1 x 9”
Item Weight: 8 oz.
Number of Sheets: 25
The Pros
Iron-on/heat press transfers
Works with a variety of fabrics
Simple to use
Feeds through most inkjets
Soft finish
Durable and long-lasting
The Cons
Synthetic fabrics can be tricky

6. NuFun Activities Iron-On Heat Transfer Paper

NuFun Activities Iron-On Heat Transfer PaperView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

This iron-on heat transfer paper is by NuFun Activities and made in the USA. The product is for use with light substrates and fabrics although there’s a dark option too.

  • Best feature 1: Made in the USA
  • Best feature 2: Soft to the touch
  • Plus points: Compatible with most inkjets, amazing color density, excellent value
  • Minus points: Poor instructions, not as durable as some papers

Transfers onto: T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, aprons, and bags, etc.

What We Like About this Heat Transfer Paper

There are 100 8.5 x 11” sheets in this bumper pack of iron-on heat transfer paper. It feeds through most modern inkjet printers without any problems. The heat press or iron-on results display amazing color density when applied correctly. You can use this paper on light colored 100% cotton, cotton/poly blends, and canvas. It also transfers onto tissue paper, wood, and other surfaces.

Users favor this paper for cotton and cotton blend t-shirts more than other purposes. It’s excellent value for use with a heat press. The iron-on approach works well too but takes a while to grasp.

The Not So Good

You get a lot of heat transfer paper for the price, but there are reasons for that. First, the instructions are not clear, especially for first-time users. It reads like poorly-translated text, and that’s a shame. There’s more potential for wastage and trial & error on the users’ part. The color density is pleasing at first. However, the transfers don’t seem quite as durable or as long-lasting as others on this page.

Tech Specs
Product Type: Light colors
Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.7”
Item Weight: 34 oz.
Number of Sheets: 100
The Pros
Made in the USA
Soft to the touch
Compatible with most inkjets
Amazing color density
Excellent value
The Cons
Poor instructions
Less durable than some papers

7. CISinks A3+ Sublimation Ink Transfer Paper

CISinks A3+ Sublimation Ink Transfer PaperView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The last t shirt transfer paper review is CISinks sublimation paper. It’s eco-friendly with excellent air permeability. Best of all is that the printed images can last over 80 years.

  • Best feature 1: Photographic quality prints
  • Best feature 2: Works with any inkjet printer modified with SUBLIMATION ink
  • Plus points: Lasts 80+ years, works on many types of surface, excellent value
  • Minus points: needs a particular setup, doesn’t work with cotton

Transfers onto: T-Shirts and other garments, coffee mugs, mousepads, and phone cases. Substrates include plastics, ceramic, metal, cards, paper, and 100% Polyester fabric.

What We Like About this Heat Transfer Paper

CISinks sublimation paper works with RICOH GX Series, EPSON ME Series, and SAWGRASS printers. It comes in a pack of 100, 13 x 19” sheets. The transfers are flat and smooth to the touch. Consider dye sublimation transfer paper if you expect to keep the garment or thing for a long time. This method of transfer provides longer-lasting (80+ years) colors than regular heat transfer papers.

The process works by converting the ink into a gas at the transfer process. The result is photographic quality print that’s superior to other methods. You can use a regular inkjet printer if it’s modified to use SUBLIMATION Ink. However, the paper is harder to work with than regular heat transfer products.

The Not So Good

Sublimation paper and its printing process is not for everyone. It’s a more specialist approach and needs a printer made to use—or a printer modified for—SUBLIMATION Inks. The paper can roll onto itself and is more likely to jam than regular heat transfer paper. Finally, you must use 100% polyester fabric as the colors don’t transfer well onto cotton materials.

Tech Specs
Product Type: Light colors
Product Dimensions: 19 x 1 x 13”
Item Weight: 60.8 oz.
Number of Sheets: 100
The Pros
Photographic quality prints
Works with any inkjet printer modified with sublimation ink.
Superior results
Transfers onto polyester fabric last 80+ years
The Cons
Needs a particular setup
Doesn’t work with cotton
0/50 ratings