I have been looking for a dark transfer paper that would give me what I consider acceptable results. I tryed many different inkjet transfer papers, but mostly they had that thick piece of paper feel and seemed too cheesy to retail.
After reading the thread http://www.t-shirtforums.com/laser-heat-transfer-paper/t102356.html
I could not find anything conclusive about Image Clip Laser Dark so I decided to try it out for myself.
I watched Conde's "how to" video series for Image Clip which made the process look easy. I ordered an Oki C6150 from Amazon.com and ordered a sample pack from Conde containing 3 sheets of Image Clip Dark. I set up the Oki printer to use the multi-purpose tray and used the Labels 2 paper thickness setting. So far so good, I then printed out designs on the image sheet and cut all the sheets in half to save on material costs. Next I married them together (put printed image sheet against transfer sheet) and heat pressed them together. This is where all the fun begins.
I started out by setting my Hotronix STX-20 to Medium Pressure (4 on the digital pressure gauge) and set to the recommended temp of 250. When I peeled apart the two sheets I could see that I failed miserably. Most of the polymer? backing from the transfer sheet did not adhere to the printed image on the image sheet. As per the video I stepped up the pressure in small increments and saw some improvement, but soon ran out of material. Results of free test samples... inconclusive.
I then ordered a 100 pack thinking that it would only take a couple sheets to dial everything in. (Wishful thinking) I used about 15 sheets and continued testing, Changing pressure, dwell time and temperature, I achieved best results with pressure set on the lowest side of 7, temp 246 degree's dwell time 20 seconds, but the results were inconsistent. After wasting 10 more sheets with varying degree's of success, I went back to the videos to see if I was missing something. They show the transfer papers being pulled apart while they are still on the press.
I decided to take the transfers off the press immediately after pressing, waited for 3 seconds, then pulled apart the papers. Tah Dahhh! perfect results. I then made 5 more transfers to make sure that I had consistent results. They all came out great. It seems the heat build up on the platen was giving me all kinds of trouble.
What I found out about this paper is that it's very finicky and difficult to dial in, but the final results were worth it. After getting the graphic image to weed properly from the transfer sheet, the rest of the process is a piece of cake.
Heat press the image at 375, dwell time 25 seconds and the result is a perfect, soft hand transfer.
Just like JPSS for lights, if you stretch the garment a little then repress for 10 seconds with a teflon sheet, the graphic is melted and smoothed into the material of the garment and leaves an invisible hand! At least darn close to it.
Hope this helps anyone that is sitting on the fence about using Image Clip for Darks. If I had found a post about it sooner, It might have saved me 30 sheets ($90.00)