How To Print White Text On Transfer Paper [Quick Tips with Pictures]

Have you ever tried to print white on a colored background? Well, the truth is most printers have CMYK (black, cyan, magenta, and yellow) that produce all the other colors. None of these can produce white. Although printers with white texts are available, they are costly and require time to maintain.

You might be thinking of running to professional printers who carry special big format printers to write your white text. That can be the solution for a small piece of work. However, we do have an alternative way of printing white letters with the help of white transfer paper. Let us walk you through the process on how to print white text on transfer paper with a ‘normal’ printer.

What is Transfer Paper?

So what is a transfer paper? Transfer papers are thin but not transparent papers coated with pigment or wax. An inkjet or any other printer facilitates the printing of the image or text onto the transfer paper. With the use of the heated press, the image moves to the canvas, cloth, paper, and other surfaces. Images are transferrable onto wood or other tough surfaces with wax paper and a normal inkjet printer.

how to use transfer paper

The prints made through transfer paper are very durable. Just like any other printed material, transfer printed shirts and clothing is washable by hand or in a washing machine.

How to Print White Text on Transfer Paper in Steps

The printing of white text through heat transfer is done at least in 4 different ways. The methods inkjet transfer, dye sublimation, digital applique, and vinyl transfers. While for DIY home projects, cloth iron is used, but we would like to spotlight on commercial heat transfer technology.

Equipment needed for heat transfer

  1. Computer- any computer installed with graphic design software for custom designing.
  2. Printer-for commercial printing, larger printers are best. With an inkjet printer, special ink and transfer paper are required.
  3. Cutter- To cut out the pattern from the transfer paper in the substrate, you need a suitable vinyl cutter.
  4. Ink-The most regularly used ink is inkjet ink as it is less costly. In addition, pigment ink is used, as it is resistant to fading. For the purpose of dye-sublimation, sublimation ink is preferred.
  5. Heat transfer paper-The heat transfer papers are special papers coated with wax and polymer pigment film. They come in a sheet size of 13 x 19 inches.
  6. Heating press- Depending on the application, the heat press comes as a swing-away flatbed and clamshell for shirts and accessories. The cylindrical heat presses transfer on rounded items like coffee cups and bottles.
  7. Heat Pads–The makeup of heat pads are heat-tolerant foam, placed at the bottom of the heat press.
  8. Heat tape-These are heat resistant and used to keep the transfer paper of the product in place.
  9. Heat Resistant Sheet-Teflon-made heat resistant sheets are used to keep the heating press dirt free and protect the paper from burning.
  10. Substrate- This is the printing or decorating product. They maybe t-shirts, bags, plastic items, and many more.

how to print white on black shirt

The Steps in the Printing Process

The following step is followed in the printing process

  1. Collect all supplies
  2. Construct your design
  3. Print the design
  4. Trim the design
  5. Prepare your heat-press by warming- (177 – 191°C).
  6. Adapt the pressure of the heat press
  7. Setup the time depending on the 4 different heat transfer method
  8. Transfer by Inkjet Paper: 14 to 18 seconds
  9. Transfer by Dye Sublimation: 25 to 30 seconds
  10. Digital Transfer: 20 to 30 seconds
  11. Vinyl Transfer: 45 to 60 seconds
  12. Position the product and place transfer paper with the face up in the area that is pressed. For vinyl and applique transfer cover with fine paper.
  13. Pressing the output–Pull down the handle to close the press to clamp it shut.
  14. Removing the Film–When the time is over, you can take out your film by on opening the press while the press is still hot. The product is now ready.

how to print on transfer paper

Final Verdict 

Your t-shirt or apparel with your customized design is ready to wash after 24 hours of printing. If the transfer papers do not come out easily, press it further for 5 to 10 minutes. Peeling off the substrate from the transfer paper should be easy. To assure yourself that your design is perfect you can test your design on paper or scrap fabric.

Once you go over the process and with a little practice, you will have hands-on how to print white text on transfer paper. The fun of printing out t-shirts can be an enjoyable and profitable project during a football game!

About Author


Alice covers platforms, policy and big tech at Printer Reviews. Prior to rejoining here, Alice was Senior Technology Editor of the TechDen. Alice first joined PrinterReviews in 2021. Before joining, he was the Tech Editor of the Daily Dot and a reporter and deputy editor at ReadWeb.

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