Iron-on transfers allow you to decorate and personalize fabric with words and images using heat to transfer ink onto cloth. Due to the more delicate nature of silk, heat can damage the fabric and render the cloth unusable. The key to transferring images to silk is the transfer paper and taking care to protect the silk from heat damage. Though image transfers at home are not as long lasting as professionally produced items, they are less expensive and more customizable.
Use a toner-based printer to print an image on the shiny side of the transfer paper. Use the "reverse" or "mirror" option in your printing program in order to correctly align the image. Allow the paper to dry completely.
Iron the silk cloth as flat as possible using the iron's lowest setting.
Lay the cloth flat against the image on the transfer paper. Iron the area until the paper sticks to the cloth. Use the lowest setting on your iron.
Submerge the ironed area of the silk into clean, room-temperature water and allow it to soak for several minutes until the transfer paper separates.
Remove the silk cloth from the water and lay it face down on an ironing board or other soft, flat surface.
Cool the iron. Gently iron the back of the silk to quickly dry the material.
Heat the iron once the cloth is dry, and turn the cloth face up. Place a sheet of baking parchment on top of the transfer.
Use the hot iron to iron over the image, through the parchment. Let the cloth cool. Remove the parchment.
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Luc Braybury began writing professionally in 2010. He specializes in science and technology writing and has published on various websites. He received his Bachelor of Science in applied physics from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga.