When determining which type of paper is right for your project, aside from the type of printer used to produce it, you will need to know whether to use the transfer paper for light or dark colors. Heat transfer papers for "light" fabrics will have a very thin polymer layer and will work on light colored garments only. On the other hand, transfer papers for "dark" fabrics are thicker and have a more opaque white background, and they will work on any color of garment. However, because they are thicker in hand on the fabric, most people choose to use the light transfer paper when they can to have the lightest possible feel on the shirt.
- A "light" garment is any fabric that is white, beige/natural, or a very light grey such as heather grey. Some subtle tints of colors may also work well but we recommend testing a design first.
- A "dark" garment is a fabric of nearly any color on which satisfactory results with light transfer paper cannot be achieved on.
Can you transfer a "light" transfer paper to a colored garment? Absolutely you can, but bear in mind that since ink, and "light fabric" heat transfer papers are transparent to a degree, some or all of your image may take on the color of the fabric. For instance, transferring a blue image to a pastel pink shirt will likely end up with a purple image instead.
Visit our blog "Light Fabrics vs. Dark Fabrics - Heat Transfer Paper 101" for more detailed information.