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Avery Fabric Transfers: A Better Iron-on Transfer?

Reported by Lexi Daly

Earlier this summer, I reviewed Wilton T-shirt Transfers, sharing a variety of ideas for creating fun personalized t-shirts. Although I had success with the Wilton product, I encountered a few frustrations that made me want to test another brand. The Avery Fabric Transfers caught my eye since I use a variety of their other printable products on an almost daily basis. Like Wilton, Avery offers printable transfers for a variety of fabric styles–light, dark, and stretchable. Both brands are created specifically for use in ink jet printers, and can be stamped and colored on as well. They also both include online templates and ideas. Avery Fabric Transfers can be found in office supply stores with other specialty printables, while the Wilton brand is typically found in craft stores. The last few times I was creating personalized T’s, I found myself in the craft store and ended up with the Wilton brand. So, for today’s review, I decided to reprint and transfer a couple of those same designs using the Avery Light Fabric Transfers and see if I noticed a difference.

This picture shows the printed and cut transfers (remember that when you are printing a design with words on this style transfer, you have to reverse the image so the words will transfer properly!) Right off the bat, I noticed how bright the colors were on the printed pages. I also created one stamped design–the little cupcake from A Muse–for a small doll t-shirt. It is important to note that when coloring stamped images on iron-on transfer paper (Avery or otherwise), you should use water based markers, not Copics, which will eat away at the transfer.

Next, it was on to the ironing. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, including “Tips for Great, Long-Lasting Results” on the reverse side. The process isn’t much different from the Wilton transfers. I highly recommend following the directions closely, creating a tester transfer in order to get to know your own iron specifically. Regardless of brand, I almost always overheat my first attempt if I follow the exact time frames in the directions. My first Avery test was no different, however the end result wasn’t ruined like my initial attempts with Wilton when creating the original party T’s last spring.

There is a slight yellow color within the design, but the paper still peeled off nicely, leaving no gaps behind. Actually, you can hardly tell from the picture that it’s not perfect! After this one, I held the iron in place for slightly less than 20 seconds each pass, with excellent results…



I was especially impressed with how the stamped and colored design turned out. Although it was a little awkward trying to press the tiny little t-shirt, the cupcake transferred very nicely and brightly. I need to go out a buy another regular sized t-shirt, so I can try a larger design! (Again, I want to point out that you won’t be able to stamp words on this style transfer–unless you want them to be in reverse!!)

So, to sum things up…

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Not just for printing
  • True color representation–nice & bright!
  • Perfect for personalization

Cons:

  • Can over-iron–be sure to test your iron for the best results!

Overall, I was really happy with the Avery Fabric Transfers on the finished t-shirts. They seemed to work more smoothly and look much brighter than the ones I created earlier this year. I definitely ended this t-shirt creating day a lot less frustrated than the last. I would love to hear if you’ve had similar experiences or if you think it’s all a simple case of user error. Have you tried both? Do you have a favorite brand? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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8 Responses to Avery Fabric Transfers: A Better Iron-on Transfer?

  1. Stefanie August 26, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    I have used the Avery transfers and found that even when following the washing instructions, they eventually crack & peel. I also don’t like the plasticy feeling they leave on the t-shirt.

    My favorite brand to use is the SuperSoft Ink Jet Transfer paper from Dharma Trading Company. The colors are a little lighter, but the result is so much better. There is no plastic film left on the shirt. You can hardly even feel the difference between the non-transferred part. Also, you can stretch the shirt without cracking the transfer since it isn’t a solid sheet. I’ve used it for printing on my ink jet only, not stamping. However, I’ve washed onesies made this way at least 20 times with no loss of quality.

  2. lexi August 26, 2009 at 8:09 am #

    thanks stefanie! i look forward to trying those too!!

  3. rachaelwood August 26, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    I had a terrible experience with these. I made my son a t-shirt and the first time I washed it, over half of the transfer lost it’s print. then the second time it was washed, the part with no ink dissolved altogether. I don’t know what happened, but I followed the directions. Just be careful!

  4. Stefanie August 26, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Your welcome Lexi! I’m looking forward to reading your review. BTW, I forgot to mention that I love your projects! That mini cupcake shirt is too cute!

    Here’s a picture of an 11-month onesie I made for my little guy with the Dharma transfers. I got the idea from etsy.

  5. lexi August 26, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    thanks stefanie! what a cute onesie! i should be posting the cupcake shirt in action on flickr later today…

  6. Kristine August 26, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    You mention that when you stamp, you color with water based markers. Does it matter what type of ink you stamp with? Dye or Pigment?

  7. lexi August 26, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    i used memento tuxedo black, because it was on my desk! i would think dye is best because it dries more quickly…

  8. twinklescrapbooks August 29, 2009 at 4:05 am #

    I am curious about how they hold up in the wash. I have had some crack in the past (cannot remember the brand) and then a different brand did very well.
    tina 🙂