Top positive review
50 people found this helpful
Newby does over 80 perfect transfers. Not one bad one.
on April 16, 2013
I'm new to this. I've never transferred anything before. After reading reviews about many brands, I chose this one. I was a bit nervous because of some of the reviews, so I did a lot of research before I started. I also purchased her book. Here are my suggestions and results:
PRINTING: Put a bright post-it on the package, right on the flap where you open it to remove a sheet to print on. Write "INVERT" on it. If not, you'll discover the wisdom of this the first time you forget to invert your image before you print it up.
CUTTING: When cutting out a square object, cut straight lines just outside your image. It's better to leave a little white around it, than to try to cut it ALL off, and cut off part of your transfer. The glue from a slim white line around your square object won't be noticeable.
Glue does show some: I found that with straight cuts and square corners the glue will be more obvious-looking than if you have wavy cuts and rounded corners. I cut in and out around letters of words (not real close), but only partially in between lines of words (so they will stay together in one piece). I was satisfied with how it turned out, but, yes, you can see the glue, barely. To me, it's acceptable. Might not be for others. If you have large areas of white in your project and you glue onto white fabric, the white section of your transfer will be less white than the fabric. I'm okay with that because the alternative would have been to cut out large sections of my image with an exacto knife and I didn't want to bother. The glue was more noticeable on some transfers than others.
PREP: I used a centering-ruler to center my transfers on my squares. Mine is Incra-Rules. There are probably other ways to do this. But it was very helpful to me rather than eye-balling it (perfectionist that I am). There are cheaper centering rulers out there than mine. I didn't tape anything down, and had no problems with the transfers sliding around or moving on me.
One problem I found is that you can't see through the backing so it's difficult to keep your line of writing straight, especially if you've cut closely in and out around the letters. If the backing paper had a 1/8" grid printed on it, you could easily apply your transfer straight, but once you've trimmed closely to the writing or image, you have a wavy edge that's difficult to judge properly. Before I cut them out, I used a pencil and ruler on my cutting board to draw both horizontal and vertical lines on the back which I could use to keep my images straight. This wasn't necessary with square objects, but it was with items that were trimmed in any other shape other than a perfect square. With tiny transfers, my homemade grid would sometimes get cut off in the trimming. I REALLY WISH THE MANUFACTURER WOULD ADD THE ADDITION OF GRID MARKS. It would have saved so much time and made it much easier to avoid crooked transfers.
IRONING: Definitely use the silicone release paper in the pack, and perhaps order some extras. My ironing board is firm and works fine. (I tried a more firm surface and it didn't work at all, so don't overdo the firmness thing.)
I suggest you print up some practice images, and try them out before you begin your main project. I printed all my images in miniature on one sheet (¼ size). (I will use them to make a mini-quilt when I am done). Transferring these mini images was a great way to learn how to do this, and get the system down. Added bonus: adorable little mini-quilt I'll give as a gift.
I tried a shorter time (90 sec.), but when the back comes off, the paper is supposed to feel relatively smooth. At 90 seconds, it wasn't so smooth, so I increased the time. I finally arrived at 2 min. 30 seconds as my choice for pressing. Do use a timer. That silicone sheet really keeps the fabric from frying. Some might call this overkill, but it worked for me. Practice first, and find out what works for you and your iron.
I purchased the iron that she recommended on her website, a dry iron from Vermont Country Store. So glad that I don't have steam holes that might interfere with a proper transfer, but I don't think it gets super hot (maybe that's why I felt the need for extra time).
I pressed firmly and kept the iron moving pretty much after the first few seconds. If your transfer fits neatly under the iron, you may not feel you have to move it at all, but the iron will leave an `iron' imprint on the fabric if you don't; so move the iron around a bit to avoid the imprint.
Overall, I think that a hot iron, a firm but cushioned surface (like an ironing board), and length of time are more critical than pressing hard, but I did press pretty firmly...just in case.
Keep the tweezers handy to pull off the hot transfer backing.
RESULTS: I had no problems at all with the transfer. I did about 18 mini pictures and about 20 mini "verses" of writing. Then I repeated with the full-size transfers. Everything worked exactly like it was supposed to. They looked great: very bright and clear; maybe not "photo-perfect", but spectacularly close, especially since this is fabric and not photo paper. I was very, very happy with it.
Besides white fabric, I also transferred onto beige, light blue, and patterned fabrics (all light colored). Mostly this was just lettering and they all turned out great, even on the metallic patterned fabric. I did a practice "photo" on a colored fabric, but I wasn't happy with it and decided I should do it on white instead and appliqué it onto the colored square it was made for. It came out much better that way.
The transfer isn't shiny; it's matt. Only when you get it at a certain angle to the light will you see a bit of the glue if you left significant amounts of white. It's most obvious around my lettering where I didn't cut super close. It's totally an individual call as to whether this is acceptable or not. Personally, I don't have any problems with it.
HAND: The transferred image will be stiffer than the rest of the fabric and gets slightly less so after washing. But it still feels much more stiff than the regular fabric...and is also more slick. This doesn't bother me, but if you want a completely "fabric" feel, this isn't it.
Wait 3 days before washing. I think I read that somewhere in my research.
I printed up some mini practice pieces for washing and numbered them with a marker. I washed one with laundry soap, and saw some definite fading. More than I would have liked to see, especially dark blue areas. It was less obvious on a red/green transfer, but still enough to notice. (But that said, they still looked terrific.) There was no running or bleeding. I think fabric artists who don't wash their projects will have no problem with this product. Those making quilts and clothing that they expect to wash may be disappointed if it fades on them. I am making a seasonal memory quilt, and don't plan to wash it often (and maybe never, if I'm afraid it will fade).
TAP produces brighter colors than other transfer methods I've looked into; so if it fades a little, it may be no worse than any of the others, and just might still be brighter. Will it continue to fade with future washings? I don't know yet.
Overall, I'm satisfied (ecstatic, actually) except for the slight fading issue, which I've yet to find out about. I don't recommend regular laundry detergent. Please check out the images that I uploaded for this listing. One shows an original scan, transfer and washed transfers. Also an image with white left in the interior of the transfer; one dark image, and one with writing overlapping the image. I hope this helps someone.
(I suggest you buy her book if you're interested in transferring onto canvas, tile, wood, paper, Lutradur, metal, clay, glass, or mica, as she goes into more detail than you'll find in the package instructions.)
PS I've added a comment about washing (click on comments).
UPDATE: I had some leftover transfer sheets in my pack. I used them about 4 months after opening the package. I've noticed a quality difference. The transfer didn't transfer perfectly, although most of it did (I did it twice with same results). It doesn't seem as bright in color, and it seems to be "rubbing" off and getting lighter or spotty and grainy-looking, even though I try to never touch it to anything. It seemed to be doing this even as I was working with it, sewing it to a purse, and continues to do so. I don't feel it looks as good or will last as long as my first transfers. I think this product degrades quickly with age, so I recommend not buying more than you need. If you have extra sheets, use them up quickly on future projects. Just my opinion: Used fresh, they will last; used old, they may go bad before you finish your project.