How Long Does Heat Transfer Paper Last on a Shirt

Printed shirts are great fashion statements that find their place in various situations. Many people explore their fashion by using heat transfer paper to print out designs they enjoy. That is important for personalizing your clothing and coming up with unique clothing pieces that describe you.

The easiness of use and the affordability of the heat transfer paper come at a cost. They are surely not permanent since they get damaged after a while. This makes you wonder whether you want to print something on your favorite pieces or pass on that opportunity.

To make things clearer for you, we have made this article. Here, you can learn how long can you expect the print to stay on the shirt, and more importantly how to improve its longevity.

What to know about heat transfer paper


If you are looking for an affordable way to customize your clothing, a great solution would be to use heat transfer paper. It is a piece of paper that can be printed using regular printer units, and it doesn’t require special inks since you can use the same ones.

The process of application is relatively easy with only a couple of things you need to be careful of. The positioning of the emblem is the first thing to get into consideration. Secondly, you need to be careful about applying the appropriate amount of heat. After that, your shirt is ready to be worn.

Heat transfer vinyl

A great way to widen and improve your printing business is by including heat transfer vinyl. It is better than the paper with results that last longer but feel better as well. However, regular desktop printers do not work with this material, and a large investment is required.

To print the design, you need a special unit that costs usually around five thousand dollars for the cheapest option. So, you can expect to pay much more. In addition, the ink is different than the usual one put in desktop printers. If you are looking for the best ink to put on clothing, the latex option is the best.

The quality of the htv vinyl is far superior to the paper. The vinyl usually outlives the clothing piece, and it is rare to see the application crack or fade away. In addition, it can be used on various clothing materials. Less heat needs to be applied than regularly which does not cause damage.

How long do they last


Heat transfer paper is usually intact for about twenty-five washes. After that, you can notice cracks and slight discoloration or fading. This means that the print gets damaged before the shirt which causes waste. However, because of how affordable this printing option is, it is still a great solution for various fashion statements.

On the other hand, vinyl lasts above fifty washes which are sometimes more than the shirt can withstand. As we mentioned above, it is rare to notice cracking of the application or fade away prematurely. This makes it a great option for printing company emblems and designs that have lots of colors.

These metrics are calculated with proper care of the material. If you don’t care about print appropriately, it will get damaged quicker.

Where to purchase paper from

Although there are many places where transfer paper could be found, for better products you need to research. If you are a beginner, you might get confused and don’t know what is the type of papers you need. For that reason, shopping at established sites is essential so you can consult with them to get the appropriate product.

Luckily, there are prominent sites where you can order these paper such as HTVRONT. It’s a good idea to check this website out because as you can see HTVRONT offers tons of different high-quality HTV vinyl that’s easy to cut and transfer.

Things you have to know before you purchase paper


Doing the print properly requires getting the right type of paper. There are differences in printers, as well as the colors of the shirts. In addition, the type of image that you have prepared has a lot to do with the selection. To help you get the appropriate heat transfer medium, here are some things you have to know.

  • Consider the type of printer that you have

The type of printer that you have at home is a big determinant of what type of paper is required for the best possible results. Depending on your printer understand whether you need inkjet or laser heat transfer papers.

  • What is the color of the shirt you want to be printed

This is another determinant of the type of printing material you might need. If you want to print on white shirts the paper is transparent. For darker colors, the papers come with a white background so you can see the emblem and apply it appropriately.

  • Type of image

Lastly, you need to consider the type of image. If you are looking to get a picture printed, it is better to go for inkjet paper because it is precise and has more vivid colors. Vectors are the best option when doing prints because you can use any type of paper and expect great results.

How to increase the life of printed shirts


Proper care of your prints ensures longevity which often results in having your shirt damaged before the emblem. For that reason, we have made a list of things that you should do to increase the life of your printed shirts.

  • Ensure proper print application

The first indicator that shows how long will the print last is the application process. For that reason, pay attention to details, and apply the print appropriately. Apply the exact quantity of heat, and iron the whole portion, not just the middle of the emblem.

The duration of the heat exposure is important as well. Make sure you stay up to instructions depending on the clothing material, and whether you use heat transfer paper or vinyl.

  • Follow washing instructions

Washing the shirts properly is important to ensure the longevity of the heat transfer applications. For that reason, cold water temperatures and no centrifuge are essentials when adjusting the washing program.

The shirt has to be turned inside out to prevent abrasion of the emblem. In addition, consider the type of detergent that you use and ensure it does not contain bleach. By following these instructions, your prints may outlive the average of twenty-five or fifty washes.

  • Fix the image if needed

If you start noticing changes on the image like detaching or discoloration, you should be quick. This issue can be fixed by using the silicone material that comes with the papers.

All you have to do is place the sheet over the emblem and iron it nicely. Do it for a couple of minutes and go over the whole printed area. This will make the application stick nicely, and promote the longevity of your shirt.

Bogdan Radicanin
Bogdan Radicanin

My name is Bogdan Radicanin, but everyone calls me Boba. I also work as a full-time musician. I approach both jobs with a lot of passion, and I believe that's what makes me successful.