I wanted to give some light on a subject that I get questions about every day. When choosing a heat transfer paper, should you choose inkjet or laser?
Inkjet printers have a higher quality print than laser printers with a larger selection of heat transfer papers to choose from. The options range from papers that excel in soft hand, less border, great color and more. Inkjet printers are easy to set up and you may already have one at home or in your office. Also, transfer papers for inkjet printers are more universal; they will work on most inkjet printers. However, inkjet printers tend to be more expensive when it comes to printing and ink replenishing.
Laser printers are more cost efficient and can print at high speeds when printing hundreds or thousands of pieces. I like laser transfers the best because of the fact that you don’t have to worry about the chance that your transfer may bleed in the wash. Laser transfers are far less likely to bleed during wash than transfer printed with inkjet printers. Inkjet printers are photo printers, which means the more ink, the better. However, that also means there is a possibility that your printer may put down too much ink for the inkjet transfer paper to soak up. Any excess ink that the paper cannot absorb will sit on top the paper and garment, thus, causing the transfer to bleed in the wash. A laser printer’s toner is less likely to bleed in the wash. So if you are having bleeding problems with inkjet transfers, you may want to look into laser transfer printing.
On the downside, laser printers run hot, so transfer papers don’t always have a smooth printing process and can easily get jammed. Trial and error is the best way to find a paper that works best with your printer. If your paper doesn’t run well, don’t give up! Sometimes, if a particular paper does not work, you may need to merely change to a heavier paper mode on your printer options to accommodate the paper type.
So, in conclusion, when choosing a transfer paper you will need to decide what is more important to you — color and soft hand (inkjet) or cost and time efficiency (laser).