How to troubleshoot an iron on transfer

Written by nick davis
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How to troubleshoot an iron on transfer
Troubleshoot your iron-on transfer problems instead of tossing the design. (iron image by Goran Bogicevic from Fotolia.com)

Iron-on transfer paper lets you place graphics, words and even photographs onto items including T-shirts, baseball caps, mouse pads and other fabric items using your iron. Transfer paper is available for both laser and inkjet printers and found at office supply and retail stores as well as online. When problems arise, including the transfer not adhering to the piece of fabric or the transfer peeling soon after the ironing process is complete, you don't have to throw away your iron-on transfer or reprint the wording or design.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Ironing sheet or piece of linen fabric
  • Soft cloth or rag

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Instructions

    Iron-on Transfer Turning Yellow

  1. 1

    Remove the iron from the transfer paper immediately.

  2. 2

    Turn the iron's fabric selection knob to the "Cotton" setting. Setting your iron to a higher temperature results in the iron-on transfer turning yellow.

  3. 3

    Let the iron adjust to the new setting for five minutes.

  4. 4

    Place an ironing sheet or piece of linen fabric on top of the iron-on transfer paper.

  5. 5

    Apply the iron to the ironing sheet/fabric to continue adhering the design to your T-shirt or other piece of fabric.

    Iron-on Transfer Not Adhering

  1. 1

    Check that the backing on the iron-on transfer paper is removed. If the backing is still in place, slowly remove the paper backing to keep it from ripping and leaving fragments on the back of the iron-on transfer paper.

  2. 2

    Turn the iron's fabric selection knob to the "Cotton" setting.

  3. 3

    Place the iron-on transfer paper onto your piece of fabric (T-shirt, baseball cap or other piece of fabric). Place an ironing sheet or piece of linen fabric on top of the iron-on transfer paper.

  4. 4

    Press firmly on top of the ironing sheet/linen fabric. Let the iron set on the sheet/fabric for one minute. Then apply pressure to the iron as you are moving it across.

  5. 5

    Clean the iron's heating element, if it is dirty. A dirty heating element reduces the iron's overall temperature causing the transfer paper to not adhere.

    Also remove any Teflon pad installed on the iron. Teflon pads also reduce the iron's overall temperature.

    Edges Not Adhering

  1. 1

    Remove the iron from the transfer paper.

  2. 2

    Sweep the iron-on transfer paper with a soft cloth or rag to remove any loose dust and dirt from the paper.

  3. 3

    Place an ironing sheet or piece of linen fabric on top of the iron-on transfer paper.

  4. 4

    Place the iron on one edge and press down firmly. Let the iron set on the edge for one minute. Apply pressure to the edge as you are moving the iron it. Continue until all edges adhere to the fabric.

    Iron-on Transfer Paper Sticking to Iron

  1. 1

    Remove the iron from the transfer paper slowly.

  2. 2

    Sweep the iron-on transfer paper with a soft cloth or rag to remove any loose dust and dirt from the paper.

  3. 3

    Place an ironing sheet or piece of linen fabric on top of the iron-on transfer paper. An ironing sheet/linen fabric keeps the transfer paper from sticking to your iron.

  4. 4

    Place and press the iron firmly on top of the ironing sheet/linen fabric. Keep applying pressure as you are moving the iron across the ironing sheet/linen fabric.

Tips and warnings

  • If your iron-on transfer is peeling and cracking after the first wash, remember the next time to pre-wash the fabric before applying an iron-on transfer. Pre-washing eliminates the possibility of the fabric shrinking. Shrinking results in the transfer cracking.

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