How to Print on Fabric With a Laser Printer
By Ellis Davidson
Most laser printers can print only to certain kinds of paper, and cannot print at all to thicker items, including fabric. The most common way of working around this problem is to print to treated paper that can then be used as an iron-on transfer onto fabric, such as a T-shirt. Laser transfer paper can be found at any office supply store.
Design the logo, graphic or text that you wish to transfer to fabric. If you are creating a small logo that only takes up a small portion of the fabric, such as a chest emblem or sleeve design, create a grid of several copies of the logo. You can then create multiple iron-on transfers from a single sheet of transfer paper.
Purchase transfer paper for your laser printer.
Create a print document of your original design. In most cases, the print document will be a mirrored reversal of your original logo or logo grid from the first step, which will then be reversed again when you iron the transfer paper onto the fabric. Check the instructions included with the transfer paper for specifics.
Load the transfer paper into your laser printer.
Print the design to the transfer paper.
Use an iron to transfer the design to the fabric.
Items you will need
Iron-on transfer paper for laser printers
For large quantities of fabric transfers, such as T-shirts for a large event, contact a professional printer in your area after you have tested your design on a few shirts. Professional print shops can print directly to fabric and produce a higher-quality -- possibly also cheaper -- result.
Do not use transfer paper designed for inkjet or other printers. Different printer types generate varying amounts of heat on the transfer paper, so only laser transfer paper will work properly in a laser printer.
Ellis Davidson has been a self-employed Internet and technology consultant, entrepreneur and author since 1993. He has written a book about self-employment for recent college graduates and is a regular contributor to "Macworld" and the TidBITS technology newsletter. He is completing a book on self-employment options during a recession. Davidson holds a Bachelor of Arts in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.