How to Design and Print Patterns on Your T-shirt


Often we want a T-shirt to sport a certain print or an image. Designing and printing a pattern on a T-shirt is very simple. Eventually, you can follow the same procedure to print patterns on baseball caps, shirts and more.

Things You'll Need

  • Plain Cotton T-shirt; Computer Transfer Paper; Inkjet Printer; Scissors; Iron (for clothes); Cardboard; PC with photo-editing software.
  • Use a photo-editing software to create the pattern you want to print on your T-shirt. If you have an image saved on your PC that you want to use, you can use that as well. Just open it using the photo-editor. The maximum size that fits on a standard transfer paper is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. So bear this in mind, while adjusting the size of the image in the photo-editing program.

  • Read the instructions on the package of the transfer paper and then, load the transfer paper into the inkjet printer. See to it that you print the image on the coated side of the transfer paper. Set the printer to 'mirror image' and make use of 'Transfer Paper Mode'. If this mode is not available on your inkjet, use the 'Normal Paper' with 'Best Quality.'

  • Once the image is printed on the transfer paper, cut the design from it.

  • Before transferring the print onto your T-shirt, wash the T-shirt as per the directions on its tag. Then, pre-heat the iron and iron the shirt over a clean hard surface. This will ensure that there are no creases on the fabric, before you begin the transfer process.

  • Place a cardboard piece inside the shirt to keep the fabric clear of any creases. Place the transfer paper with the image, at the location you want the design to appear. The transfer needs to be placed such that the image is downward, toward the T-shirt.

  • Pre-heat the iron for about 7-10 minutes at the highest setting. Remember not to use a travel iron, and the iron should not be on steam setting.

  • Once the iron is pre-heated, iron the back of the transfer paper, moving the iron in a constant circular motion. Each section of the transfer, including the corners, should be ironed. The instructions that come with the transfer paper will indicate, how long you need to iron.

  • To check if the image has transferred to the T-shirt, peel a corner of the paper and see the result. If you think that the transfer is okay, you can peel off the transfer paper slowly, at a sharp angle. If not, continue to iron for another 30 seconds or so and then, peel the transfer paper as indicated above. Here's a tip. If you want a Glossy finish, let the transfer paper cool completely, before you peel it off. If you want a Matt finish, peel the paper while it is still hot.

  • If you think that the colors are not as bright as you were hoping them to be, you can repeat the above mentioned process. But you need to be careful, if you plan to repeat this process.Else you might end up with 2 images that don't overlap, and we don't want that. You can even use fabric paints on the transferred image, to add more life to your T-shirt. There you have it ladies and gentlemen, your very own cool T-shirt with the image of your choice!

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