What are iron-on transfers? Types, Pros, Cons, and Tips

Iron-on transfers are labels and images that can be ironed onto fabric. These are used for all kinds of things like labels, decals, crafts, and more. These types of transfers can be removed by simply peeling them off without any damage to the surface. They are also reusable and easy to apply.

Iron-on transfers are a great way to make your clothes look new. They do not require sewing and can be applied to any material. You can also use them on your craft projects or even as a replacement for a decorative pin.

How does the iron-on transfer work?

Iron-on transfers are made with a thin paper-like material coated with a liquid adhesive. The liquid sealant is mixed with iron powder to produce a liquid applied to the backside of the paper layer. The liquid forms a bond between the adhesive layer and the fabric during the pressing process.

If you are looking for an instant way to make something pop, iron-on transfers are the way to go. These come in pretty much any shape or pattern that you want, including custom pieces. Just print what looks best on fabric, then press it with an iron or use a heat press.

The transfer looks like it came from a professional because the liquid adhesive bonds the two layers together.

How does Iron on transfer work?

Types of iron on transfers

Iron on labels

Iron-on labels are plastic labels that are made for ironing onto fabric. The label is usually made of polyester with a paper backing so it can be ironed on.

The label adheres to the fabric by either melting the label to the fabric or melting it with an iron. The label can also be slid on, but it is harder to remove. Labels are usually used to label clothing.

Iron on labels

Iron-on fabric

An iron-on fabric is a fabric that can be easily sewn onto clothing with the use of an iron. Iron-on fabric is typically made of a material that can be ironed onto cloth, such as cotton, polyester, or fleece.

Iron on fabric

Iron on appliques

Iron on appliqué is a type of decal used to decorate clothing. The design is printed on a sticky sheet that has a coating on one side to make it iron-friendly. The sheet is then placed on the fabric, where it adheres to the material with heat from an iron.

Iron on appliques

What are the Types of iron-on transfer inks?

Iron-on transfer inks are classified by the number of transferable colors and the number of heat settings on the presser foot.

Single color iron-on transfer inks

With the use of single-color iron-on transfer inks, you can easily create temporary or permanent designs on clothing. These inks are made to be used with heat. The ink is applied using a domestic iron at around 200 degrees Celsius for about 3 minutes. There are many different colors to choose from, but they are all priced under $10.

Multicolor iron-on transfer inks

Iron-on transfer inks have been around for decades but have recently been upgraded with a new technology called multicolor iron-on transfer inks. These inks easily print onto fabric and can create a wide range of highly personalized designs for everything from T-shirts to purses.

Multicolor iron on transfer inks

Advantages of iron on transfers

  • They are economical, sometimes costing just a few cents each.
  • Iron-on transfers can be applied in a variety of sizes and shapes. The transfer material is very thin, so it can be applied to many different surfaces without showing through.
  • They are easy to use, requiring no additional equipment or materials.
  • Iron-on transfers can be easily removed or replaced with new ones without damaging the underlying material.
  • You can use a heat press machine too.
  • Iron on transfer paper is waterproof, which makes it easy to clean the surface
  • Composite materials can also be applied to the surface of the transfer without showing through.
  • Iron-on transfers are more durable than other methods.
  • There is no or very little mess during the process.

Disadvantages of iron on transfers

  • Sometimes unnatural brownish color
  • If iron-on transfers are not pre-cleaned, the ink will sometimes transfer unevenly.
  • They can be complicated to use occasionally.


  1. Prefer dark-colored garment
  2. Put the printer into draft mode
  3. Use a thin layer of the garment fabric paper (not the shiny side)
  4. The iron should be placed on the shiny side of the fabric
  5. The iron should be set to a medium heat setting and moved in a circular motion
  6. It should be applied in a steady motion and should not be flipped over the garment fabric-side down while

Are iron on transfers washable?

Are iron on transfers washable?

Yes, iron-on transfers are washable. Iron on transfer is a fantastic way to decorate your clothing. They are usually made out of vinyl and can be applied with ease. To be extra careful, you should wash it using cold water and mild soap. You should also avoid using harsh detergents or scrubbers because they could damage the transfer.


Iron-on transfers are a printing process where a design is embossed onto a substrate using an iron.

Iron on transfer is popular because they are easy to use, quick to apply, and customization. Iron on transfer can be used for both mass production purposes or smaller projects. They are favored over screen printing because they are cheaper and more time-efficient.

We may earn a small commission if you purchase through our links at no extra cost to you. Read full disclosure

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *