How to evaluate the quality of inkjet heat sublimation transfer paper

With the increasingly strict requirements of environment protection, different brands of inkjet heat sublimation transfer paper have sprung up. The sales promotion and commercials being misleading to some extent, customers are prone to confusion. Here are some simple ways for customers to evaluate the quality of inkjet heat sublimation transfer paper,and we hope these ways can help our customers to make accurate evaluation between price and quality and choose appropriate inkjet heat sublimatio ntransfer paper.

First: Printing Performance

Printing performance includes paper driving and paper printing performance, so customers should ask suppliers to provide 10-20m length samples to test the quality of paper when they choose transfer paper. In addition, the wider the paper is, the easier for customers to evaluate the quality of the transfer paper.

(1) Appearance of transfer paper: Firstly,customers should pay more attention to that the transfer paper should be rolledtightly; the reeling and unreeling transfer paper should be smooth; paper driving shouldn’t be distorted; paper margin should be non-curling and n

(2) On-folding and also without any stains on transfer paper. Printing resolution: print the test images in high-definition printing mode: firstly, lines should be clear without any spread. Secondly,line edges should be flat without obvious burrs. Thirdly, there shouldbe no vagueness between lines.  Referenceas per below:


printing resolution is good

‚printing resolution is not good

ƒprinting resolution is not distinct

(3) Printing smoothness and uniformity, bearing capacity of ink and drying rate: using 720×720dpi, 260%ink quantity to print a black 1-meter color lump. Requirements: firstly, the paper would wrinkle only within a reasonable height (which means that wrinkling height shouldn’t touch the printing head and it should keep safety distance). Secondly:there are no white dots or no obvious white dots in the colored area surfaces. Thirdly:there are no black dots as a result from ink penetration (without telegraphing).Fourthly: touch the just printed color lumps with your finger , and its drying time should be less than 7 minutes based on non-stick fingers(which is thestandard for common quick transfer paper, but for quick dry transfer paper, its drying time should be less than 90 seconds.)

Below are a few things you need to know about transfer paper:

Drying rate, printing resolution and transfer rate, these three factors form the triangle of impossible--you can’thave them all. You don’t have to weight too much on drying rate: just to ensurethe ink of transfer paper that you choose won’t stick to the back of it when you print and wind transfer paper together on printing machine. So the key points of choosing transfer paper are: 1. it won’t touch printing heads duringthe printing. 2, colors should be well-distributed and exquisite without print through( which means that ink won’t permeate through the back of transfer paper); 3, it can meet the dry speed of printing machines’ rewinding.


Customers should pay more attention toenvironmental humidity when printing large areas of blocks. Generally speaking,customers should have temperature and humidity controller inside the printingroom, and the best humidity range should be between 40-70%. But if you don’t havetemperature and humidity controllers inside the printing room or you even don’tknow the humidity of printing tests, then you should peel off the plastic bagpackaging of transfer paper one day before the printing test, this would makethe transfer paper totally saturate with the environmental humidity. Then putthe transfer paper on the printing machine, otherwise  the transfer paper may stretch out as it willabsorb environmental humidity when it’s peeled off the plastic bag packaging. Inaddition, as a result of the usage of water-based ink, the paper fiber willexpand quickly and arch drastically so that it would touch printing heads. Anothersuch occurrence is when the transfer paper and the environment is both very dry(such as when humidity is lower than 30%), transfer paper will also archseriously because of the suddenly large absorption of ink.

The better quality of the transfer paper is, the less arch would happen. The reason for that is this kind of transfer paperis made up of special wood pulp, whose cost is higher due to the slow growthrate, and it would distort slowly. In addition, the production speed is slowerso that the transfer paper will be in low distortion (low productionefficiency). These two factors make the price higher for paper with low springheight quality. In case you don’t need to print color areas in heavy ink, orjust need to print fancy designs or print light color designs with littleinkjet quantity, then you can also choose to buy transfer paper with lowerprice.

There is one exception in the above mentionedguidance. SUNLEY supplies one special transfer paper which can be applied indry areas. This paper adapts extremely speedy drying coating, which allows youto print smoothly even in a dry environment of 5% humidity. It won’t wrinklemuch and transfer rate is high. Kindly note that this paper needs to be storedin sealed container to avoid the humid air.

Second: smoothness and fluency of heattransfer

Heat transfer can be divided into plate transfer and roll transfer. Either way it requires the transfer paper wont’wrinkle when heated. Transfer paper’s thermal smoothness depends on its coatingformulation and coating equipment. A simply way for testing the warping performance of transfer paper is to cut a piece of paper about the size of 25CM*25CM, and then put printing side down onto the tablet pressing machines which temperature has risen up to 210 degrees. And if after heating for 2 minutes, the transfer paper’s warping height is less than 4CM, then this will not influence transferproduction. Some poor transfer paper will even warp in the form of roll after being heated. If so, there will be a lot of trouble when transferring in the form of sheets shape; also the failure rate will be higher. The transfer paper that warps a lot will easily arch in the dry environment. Though it may have saved you some money on the transfer paper( about 0.1 or 0.2 RMB in unit cost),you would probably have short-lived printing heads and wasted fabrics as a result. This is a losing through gaining.

(fig)Examining warps under heat pressingmachine.

Tips: In order to improve the fluency and smoothness of heat transfer printing, customers can set the already-printed transfer paper in the form of rolls to dry it, and then do the transfer printing one day later. This will make transfer paper recover its stiffness and smoothness, so as to help to improve the fluency and transfer rate of heat transfer printing.

Third: transfer rate

Heat transfer papercertainly needs to have excellent transfer rate. Sellers of heat transfer paper always brag about high transfer rate of his products, sometime it can be up to 95%. But this is not true--till today, there is still no standard way to test the transfer rate in the world. And all testing are just an way of visual assessment. The standard of transfer rate descriptions in our country’s heat transfer paper industry (QB/T 5052-2017) also is a related detection method and there’s no exact percentage in that standard.

Transfer paper can mainly be divided into coated transfer paper and uncoated transfer paper. In China, coated transfer paper still prevails in the market as a resulf of its lower requirement for ink;even the domestic ink with low price can be used to print out colorful designs on fabrics. While uncoated transfer paper requires the use of high concentration and high tension ink, whose’s price is also higher. Outside China, e.g. In Turkey, they are used to the combination of high end ink from Europe and cheap uncoated paper (called glue-less paper in Turkey). And the inkconsumption of uncoated transfer paper is 50% higher than coated transfer paperper square meter.  Customers shouldn’t only consider the price of transfer paper alone. For example, if one purchases uncoated transfer paper, then the price may be 50% lower than the coated paper. However,high concentration and high tension inks is 40% higher than the usual ink, and remember there’s 50% increase in ink consumption. So generally speaking, the total costof uncoated transfer paper is much higher than coated transfer paper.

The performance of uncoated transfer papermay be not very good, but its printing drying speed is quick and paper issmooth. In the developed countries where the labor cost is much higher,  the smoothness of printing and transferringis very important; also the developed countries mainly use high concentration inks in high quality. So on the whole, the positive qualities of the ink far outweigh the negative side of the uncoated paper. As a result, the sales volumesof uncoated transfer paper have increased quickly in European countries recently.

Chinese users of inkjet heat transfer printing pay more attention to quality and price.  Chinese workers’ intelligence and flexibility is far above foreign workers, so Chinese workers can totally adapt the combination of coated transfer paper and domestic ink. Plus the use of the cost effective domestic inkjet, it would produce a more delicacy, beautiful outcome and overall cost could be lower. And this situation will exist for a reasonable long period of time.

Customers can make a parallel experiment if they want to assess the transfer rate of the paper.  Cut several transfer paper samples which you need to compare, then stick them together with with double-sided foam mounting tape side by side, then put them on the printing machine to printone stripped CMYK color area with 2CM in width. Then do the heat sublimation transferring experiment at the same textile at the same time in an hour. Ifthere’s higher color concentration on the cloth or less residual colors in the transfer paper, then that sample has higher transfer rate. The following is the comparison diagram of three kinds of transfer paper (before and after printing)



Notes on above experiment method.

Firstly: choose the same type of the inkjet heat sublimation transferpaper to compare the transfer rate. There’s no point in comparing the normal transfer paper vs the fast-dry transfer paper or the sticky transfer paper. Generally speaking, in regards of transfer rate: normal transfer paper> sticky transfer paper > fast-dry transfer paper.

Secondly: you can not only pay attention to the transfer rate, but you also consider the drying speed and smoothness of printing. If printing isn’t smooth, then thereis no meaning for transferring.

Thirdly: the way for testing transfer rate can also be applied in the evaluation of the current transfer paper and the original transfer paper when you produce paper repeatedly. It would be  convenient for you to make your choice to accept or reject the current transfer paper or to determine whether you need to remake the ICC curves.

In a word, transfer paper with good quality should have balance performance on different aspects.  Transfer paper shouldn’t be assessed by single indicator.  How to choose transfer paper with good quality can be concluded into the following three tips:

Firstly: printing smoothly with less wrinkles; liners are clear without any white dots; there is no permeation of black dots at the back of transfer paper;

Secondly: transfer operations can be performed well only when there’s less arch the underneath of the hot plate;

Thirdly: paper with highertransfer rate needs less ink.

About Us

     SUNLEY NOVA MATERIAL (QU ZHOU) CO., LTD was founded in green industry gathering area (national Hi-Tech parks) of Quzhou city, Zhejiang province in Feb, 2017. SUNLEY specializes in the development, production and sales of digital transfer paper for green printing technology.

    SUNLEY is market-oriented, with green technology R&D being the driving force of innovation. Adopting the high-speed automatic equipments of self-owned intellectual property to produce transfer paper, SUNLEY has built up modern enterprise management system and is accumulating in core competences. We are committing to create values for our customers and society.

Contact Us

Address:No.22 Donggang Second Road,Green Industry Clust                ering Zone,Quzhou,Zhejiang

Office:0570 - 3666818,Fax:0570-3666816

Sales:0512 -82150191,Fax:0512-82150197