Can You Use Regular Ink On Heat Transfer Paper | Using Normal Ink

Heat transfer paper is outstanding that doesn’t require the use of a special printer to customize apparel or other substrates. But the question arises here is can you use regular ink on heat transfer paper using your standard printer? Of course Yes! You can use regular inkjet printer ink on heat transfer paper but you’ll need to use inkjet transfer paper with it. Let’s delve into the detailed guide.

Can You Use Regular Ink On Heat Transfer Paper

Can You Use Regular Ink On Heat Transfer Paper

Regular inkjet ink is widely used with standard inkjet printers to print apparel, mugs, and other substrates. But regular inkjet printer also has some different types including cheap and high-end which may affect the vibrancy and durability. Here aret the useful tips you can follow to make the clear vibrant prints.

  • Use a high-quality printer that uses high-quality ink. Of course, the fact is you cannot get vibrant results but only mediocre results with a cheap printer under $100. Cheap printers and ink don’t produce such vibrant prints that a printer under $300 and $400 to $500 can print.
  • Adjust the printer settings to use crisp colors and also use a high-end laptop or PC with better graphics.
  • Preheat the iron or heat press evenly so the prints should be transferred properly.
  • The best quality heat transfer paper ensures vibrant prints that will withstand the hundred-time washes. The paper should have good adhesion properties and be compatible with the ink and transfer process.

What Kind Of Ink Should You Use For Heat Transfer Paper?

What Kind Of Ink Should You Use For Heat Transfer Paper

To ensure durable and vibrant prints, pigment-based regular ink is recommended to use with heat transfer paper. The reason is pigment ink has tiny particles that are designed to be suspended with a liquid.

When the heat is applied to the printed heat transfer paper, the tiny particles of pigment ink are transferred in order to get bonded with the fabric creating long-lasting and durable prints, which are less prone to cracking or peeling.

In addition, pigment ink is also water and fade-resistant so the chances are less that your prints will fade in the direct sunlight even if you wash them 40 times. Read below to know the different types of regular ink and their properties.

What Are The Different Types Of Regular Ink?

What Are The Different Types Of Regular Ink

However, the experts prefer pigment ink due to its fade and water-resistant abilities. But there is a dye-based ink too which is also a main type. Dye ink is known for providing more vibrant colors and producing smooth prints and wide-gamut gradients.

But unlike pigment ink, dye-based ink is not water and fade-resistant so the chances are the prints will fade or wash out quickly compared to the pigment-based prints.

Unlike dye-based ink, pigment ink tends to last long and is more durable but not vibrant as dye-based ink and produces a slightly grainy texture.

Now it’s your personal preference what type of ink you want to use with your prints. Another fact is pigment ink is more expensive than dye ink but it ensures the quality prints in the end.

If you need high-quality color printing, then dye-based ink is a good option. If you need durable printing that will last for years, then pigment-based ink is a better choice.

FeatureDye-based inkPigment-based ink
ColorVibrantNot as vibrant
Water-resistanceNot as water-resistantWater-resistant
DurabilityNot as durableDurable
GraininessSmoothSlightly grainy
CostLess expensiveMore expensive

Can I Use Any Ink For Heat Transfer?

Not any ink will work regardless of inkjet ink like DTF or DTG. But you’ll only need to use standard inkjet or toner ink for heat transfers. Other than DTF and DTG, even you cannot use sublimation ink for heat transfer paper because it is designed to print on sublimation transfer paper. It is recommended to use only normal inkjet ink or regular ink either pigment or dye.

Check Can You Use A Regular Printer For Transfer Paper

Do You Need Special Ink For Heat Transfer Paper

Do You Need Special Ink For Heat Transfer Paper

No need to use any special ink for heat transfer paper or vinyl. However, it is important to choose a specific number of ink for your printer, and that ordinary ink will work. But my suggestion is to use a high-end printer that has a wide color gamut.

I always love to use Epson ET-8550 because of having 6 color inks while providing a great page yield. But the fact is its ink is more expensive because you’ll be getting 2 extra ink bottles. I use Epson’s genuine inks for my ET-8550 to make heat transfers.

Can Regular Ink Withstand High Temperatures During The Heat Transfer Process?

Yes! Regular ink can withstand high-pressure temperatures during heat transfer. However, it is important to follow the heat transfer paper instructions and set the temperature and pressure according to the paper’s abilities. Otherwise, the high temperature may lead to uneven results.

Check Best Printer For Heat Transfer T-Shirts & Paper.

Importance Of Durability For Heat Transfer

Durability for the heat transfer process is essential to consider when choosing ink. The ink needs to withstand repeated washing, stretching, and general wear and tear. As heat transfer doesn’t infuse into the shirts or substrates like sublimation thus doesn’t become a part of the fabric. So durability and quality of the equipment are essential for you to ensure.


To conclude, regular ink is suitable for any heat transfer paperwork to customize your apparel or start your own business of t-shirt printing. However, you need to keep in mind to ensure that your images or text are transferred to the fabric correctly. These include using high-quality pigment ink and heat transfer paper, preheating your iron or heat press, and pressing the image or text firmly and evenly.

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