How to Apply Transfers to Towels

Theresa Brisch's industry experience began in 1990 with a transfer paper distributor in the Chicago area. In 1994, she served as an international consultant for a European manufacturer where she was based in Germany and The Netherlands and supported distributors throughout 35 countries. In 1998, she returned to the Chicago area company, which relocated to New York, where she was VP of Sales as well as oversaw worldwide distribution, manufacturing, and foreign representations. As of 2008, she owns her own business, Brisch Papers L.L.C., where she represents USA transfer paper manufacturers and is setting up worldwide countrydistributors. Ms. Brisch is a graduate of Iowa State University and is originally from Clinton, Iowa. Email her at: info@BrischPapers.com.

For transferring onto towels and very wide weave fabrics, use a transfer that is capable of transferring with a hand-iron, but apply it with a heat press. Such transfers generally have a thicker coating and will adhere to the long fiber loops of a towel. In general, try to select towels that have shorter loops.

Light Colors
To transfer onto white/light colored towels, use an inkjet or laser iron-on transfer paper and apply with a heat press.

1. Place the towel to be printed on the lower platen.
2. Place the trimmed transfer paper image-side-down on the towel.
3. To protect the towel from discoloration from the heat, place another towel over the entire platen area. This protection towel can be reused repeatedly to protect the other towels you will be printing. I prefer to use a towel (instead of Teflon or Parchment) because of the texture which assists to press the transfer into the long fibers.
4. Follow the heat pressing (temperature and time) and peeling (cold or hot) instructions from the paper manufacturer for the rest of the process, except add 15 seconds to the time.
5. After the backing paper is peeled, place parchment paper on top of the image, cover with the protection towel, and press for 10 more seconds to post-press the image and make more secure. Peel the parchment while warm.

Dark Towels
To transfer onto dark colored towels, use an inkjet or laser opaque transfer paper and a heat press. If the towel loops are long, use an iron-on opaque transfer. If the towel loops are short, then any opaque transfer will adhere well.

1. Place the towel to be printed on the lower platen.
2. Trim the transfer, remove backing paper, and place the transfer with image-side facing up on the towel.
3. Place silicone parchment on top of the transfer to protect the image.
4. Protect the towel from discoloration from the heat by placing a protection towel over the entire platen area (see above).
5. Follow the heat pressing (temperature and time) and peeling (cold or hot) instructions from the paper manufacturer for the rest of the process, except add 10 seconds to the time.

—Theresa M. Brisch, Brisch Papers LLC