Inkjet vs Laser – Know Your Copy

One of my favorite processes to make and teach is Image Transfers. Every time I teach this class I explain why its so important to have the right materials for successful transfers. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to reiterate that in a blog post so that you too can create beautiful transfers in time for a little love this Valentine’s Day…

The projects in the Image Transfer workshops use photocopies NOT inkjet prints and it is helpful to understand why. Laser prints and photocopies are made with toner instead of ink and use a heat process to set the toner in place. Toner sits on the surface of the paper allowing it to be released when making a transfer. Ink from an inkjet printer absorbs into the fibers of the paper and cannot be released and therefore cannot make a transfer. If you’re not sure if you have a laser or ink jet printer, check to see if the paper is warm when it comes out of the printer. If it is warm, you have a laser printer, if it is not, you have an ink jet printer.  Both color and black and white photocopy machines use toner.

If you head to the local copy shop, you should be able to get a regular old black and white copy for 10 cents or less. This will be on 20lb paper, which is perfect for transfers. Your average color copy will cost somewhere between 39 cents and 99 cents and come on a heavier paper. Ask to have your color copy made on 24lb paper which is the lightest weight paper they’ll do for color copy. This will save you the extra headache when removing the paper packing in the transfer process.

Have other questions after watching the workshop? Leave me a comment, and I’ll respond! Happy Handmade Valentine’s Day!