Cover Image: The Best Heat Transfer Paper for T-Shirts & Other Projects

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Do you have an event coming up, such as a wedding or birthday? Do you want to make some neat custom T-shirts for your guests? Or are you in a band and want to try making your own merchandise, but don’t want to invest in screen-printing or vinyl transfers? Using heat transfer paper is a fun and easy activity that can produce great results and can be a very fun activity for children to try as well.

If you’ve never tried heat transfer papers before, the steps are simple. Find or design an image that you’d like printed on your shirt or fabric. Print the image via an inkjet printer onto the heat transfer paper. Position your image and press the paper face-down onto the shirt and gently iron it on. Lift up your paper and you’re finished! The process is so easy and the possibilities are endless.

You don’t want to risk buying heat transfer paper that falls apart or doesn’t stick, so we’ve put together a list of the four best heat transfer paper products for all your custom designing needs. Check them out below!

Comparison Table

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
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T-Shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers from Avery
  • 100% cotton/poly
  • Used on white/light-colored fabircs
  • Use to personalize your T-shirts
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Personal Creations InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers from Avery
  • 11.8 x 9.9 x 1.9 inches
  • For use on 100% cotton or poly/cotton blend fabric
  • Work on dark-colored 100-percent cotton fabric
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Jet-Opaque II Heat Transfer Paper from JunkieDog
  • Commercial Grade Transfer Paper
  • Hot Peel Transfer Paper
  • High Quality; Long Lasting
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Glitter Heat Transfer from Silhouette
  • Easy to apply
  • Adheres to most fabrics
  • Compatible with all silhouette electronic cutting tools
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What to Look for In Your Heat Transfer Paper

  • Opacity: Obviously, you want the image on your computer screen to look just as good as the image you print out and transfer to your fabric. Look for heat transfer paper that boasts visibly full opacity.
  • Durability: No matter what brand or product you choose, heat transfer paper isn’t the absolutely best for durability. Over time and after several washes, the image you’ve transfer will start to deteriorate. However, you can certainly find heat transfer paper that isn’t a total loss and will last as long as possible. If you’re looking for a way to design custom logos for clothing and hats that are extremely long-lasting, heat transfer vinyl is probably your best bet. (Luckily, we’ve got an article about the best heat transfer vinyl products out there as well!) If you’re just looking for an easy inexpensive way to put an image on fabric, heat transfer paper positively reviewed for its durability will suffice.
  • Ease of transfer: Heat transfer prints can be frustrating, especially if you purchase a paper product that just will not still to your fabric. Lifting up your iron and testing how well the image stuck can lead to damage that can’t be fixed, so you’ll want to find a product that transfers easily and quickly.

Best Overall Heat Transfer Paper

T-Shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers from Avery

T-Shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers from Avery

Avery is one of the best brands out there for heat transfer paper. Their products are very accessible and can be found at almost all fabric and craft stores. The T-Shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers Paper Pack from Avery is one of the best heat transfer paper packs out there.

The resulting images from using this pack of heat transfer paper are quality, opaque, and professional-looking. Included are six sheets of 8.5×11″ heat transfer sheets, offering a large enough space to print quite large images. This paper is made with a color shield formula to keep colors vibrant after washing.

If you’re not super creative, you also receive free downloadable templates and clip art from this pack.

Use this specific pack for printing on white or light-colored fabric. Be sure to check if your fabric of choice is heat-proof. Avery suggests using 100% cotton or cotton/poly blends with their products.

Customer Reviews

  • Work perfectly for birthday party goody bags, favors and more
  • Great for small events or parties where you don’t need to make a whole lot, but still need good performance and quality
  • Designs come out crisp and clean, no problem with transferring to materials
  • Easy to design and apply without having to be a HTP expert
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Best Heat Transfer Paper for Dark Fabric

Personal Creations InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers from Avery

Personal Creations InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers from Avery

It’s important to remember than not all heat transfer papers work well on dark fabric. This is an easy mistake to make if you haven’t done this type of activity before. Personal Creations InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers from Avery are a neat little product to use for transferring images onto dark-colored or black fabric. Don’t be restricted by transfer paper that can only be used with light fabric!

You get five sheets of 8.5×11″ heat transfer paper in this pack. A special white layer built into the included sheets are what keep your designs from disappearing against dark material.

Avoid finger burns with Avery’s ‘cold peel’ process. Simply wait until the transfer is cool to remove the paper sheet, rather than hastily peeling it off immediately after application.

Customer Reviews

  • Final designs look very professional and high quality
  • Worth the extra price to use over standard white t-shirt papers
  • Lasted more washes in the laundry than other brands used
  • Have bought many times over because of the good design quality
  • Works great, just recommend not putting in the dryer
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Best Heat Transfer Paper for Opaque Printing

Jet-Opaque II Heat Transfer Paper from JunkieDog

Jet-Opaque II Heat Transfer Paper from JunkieDog

If you really want your images to pop, Jet-Opaque II Heat Transfer Paper from JunkieDog is a great choice. This writer recommends this product for transferring detailed photos onto fabric, as this particular product can really showcase detailed images.

This pack of 25 individual 8.5×11″ sheets work well against white, light, dark, and black fabric. Results are long-lasting and vibrant. Heat only needs to be applied for 30 seconds, so you can create multiple prints quickly and easily.

The transferred image will have a sturdy plastic-textured finish once cooled. With proper washing, your piece of art will last for a very long time. This product can also be used with Silhouette machines.

The brand recommends using an iron or heat press that can reach around 350°F for use with this product.

Customer Reviews

  • Works great with Silhouette machine and similar products
  • Transfers very smoothly, no problems with wrinkled materials
  • Easy to get the hang of with the right temperature and timing
  • Prints and transfers color in a nice, crisp and true way
  • Great for making custom t-shirts and book bags
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Best Glitter Heat Transfer Paper

Glitter Heat Transfer from Silhouette

Glitter Heat Transfer from Silhouette

Would you like to add a little glitter to your heat transfer project? Glitter Heat Transfers from Silhouette can be hand-cut, die-cut, or used with a Silhouette electronic cutting tool. Reviews state that this product can be used with other cutting tools as well.

This particular material is a mix of paper and vinyl, rather than a simple inkjet heat transfer paper sheet. It made our list for its ability to be used over heat transferred images for an added sparkling detail. This product works on most fabrics.

This product comes in a 12×36″ roll. You have a choice between black, gold, white, silver, bronze, copper, blue, green, hot pink, lavender, pink, mint, purple, and red glitter heat transfers. You can cut interesting, unique design alone or against an image you have already transferred onto fabric with heat transfer paper.

The result adds elegant detail to your fabric and is very easy to apply.

Customer Reviews

  • Works well on Silhouette or Cricut machines
  • Edges are clean and professional looking after transfer
  • Holds up well as materials are used, worn and washed
  • Easy to follow instructions, designs are easy to cut out and transfer
  • Doesn’t peel away from material like lower end paper does
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