Transfer Paper | The Best Medium To Trace Images

Do you remember when you were younger, and you desperately needed to draw something, but it was way out of your abilities, so you grabbed a carbon paper?

You placed the carbon paper below the image over a blank sheet of paper where you want to copy the image. Then you would run your pen or pencil over the drawing allowing you to have a blue colored copied outline of the drawing on your blank sheet of paper. This helped you get your work done without exceptional drawing skills. 

Later in your growing years, when you begin to study art or wish to try your hand at some crafts you begin to use another translucent piece of paper to copy an image from one source to a blank sheet of paper.

This thin translucent sheet of paper is vellum paper also known as transfer paper. 

What exactly is transfer paper ? 

Essentially transfer paper is thin fine coated vellum paper that is translucent helping you see whatever lies underneath. 

Artists claim transfer paper as one of the greatest inventions ever. Similar to carbon paper that was used to make instant copies of something, transfer paper, sometimes also referred to as graphite paper, functions beautifully to transfer art from one surface to another, even fabrics.

And no carbon paper may not be used for the same purpose. Transfer paper is much cleaner in its functioning and is easier to erase without leaving any residue. 

Why is it called a transfer paper?

ThunderBolt transfer paper is essentially vellum sheets that you can use for various crafts and printing images. It is called transfer paper because of its basic abilities to transfer ink as explained below :

  • Because of the peculiar moisture resistant surface the ink stays rested over the paper and has to be left alone on a flat surface to dry. 
  • When the print is still wet it can be then transferred over to another paper or fabric using various techniques and then finished with heat to make it permanent. 
  • The smooth side of the transfer paper is coated where you can print, write or even draw with a transfer pen which can be transferred over another surface like fabrics. 

The Finally, making sure that the side with the ink goes on top of a fabric n using a heated iron you can run it carefully over the paper with the ink a few times to have it transfer over to the fabric in a few minutes. 

How to use transfer paper to shift images onto a t-shirt ?

With a transfer paper for T-shirt printing you can print any image and have it displayed on your t-shirt permanently. The t-shirt transfer printing sheets usually come with a detailed set of instructions. 

  1. Find a high quality image or photo that is of the size you want to print.
  2. You print on the clear side and not the boxed or squared side using an inkjet printer. If the image has any text you will have to go into printer settings and slip the text accordingly. You will understand why we need to flip it when you see the end result. 

  3. Cut around your design carefully leaving only a few mm of paper left round the edges.

  4. Iron the t-shirt to remove all the creases or wrinkles before transferring the image. 

  5. Now place the printed side of the image carefully, iron over the t-shirt exactly where you want to place it. 

  6. Grab a heated iron and run it over the paper for a few seconds. You can now peel off the squared paper, and you will notice that the image transfers from the transfer paper to the t-shirt and the text is now flipped to become readable. 

  7. Place a tracing paper that comes with the set over the print and run the heated iron to make it permanent.

In the end, the use of any kind of paper goes as far as one can mix imagination with the basic features of the paper. There are literally endless varieties of beautiful paper to explore and innumerable things that you can do with these papers. Peculiar papers such as transfer papers may appear difficult to work with at a glance but when you understand and learn all the ways to incorporate it, you begin to expand your art horizons. 

Have you ever tried transfer or tracing paper?