What’s considered a “light” and “dark” garment?

Anything white and pastel would be considered a “light” garment and anything black, brown, or even gray would be considered a “dark” garment, right? This sounds like an easy question, but this may not always be the case.

You may be surprised to hear that some lighter shades of gray can use a light transfer paper effectively. The easiest way to determine what you need for your project is to consider if the color of your garment is going to change the color of your image. If you are printing a bright yellow smiley face on a blue shirt, will the yellow in the smiley face turn green on the blue background? The answer is yes. All of a sudden that yellow happy smiley face looks rather sickly!

coastal darklightpaperondarkshirt scaled
The difference between using a transfer paper made for dark garments vs. a paper made for light garments on a black shirt. (Image courtesy Coastal Business Supplies)

If the color of your garment changes the image, you need to use a transfer paper specifically manufactured for dark garments. If the garment is not going to change the color of your transfer image, you can use a light paper.

As always, if you are unsure, test, test, test!

—Coastal Business Supplies

Melanie Smith

Melanie Smith is a premier customer relations coordinator for Coastal Business Supplies. She has been with Coastal for almost 2 years and has over 20 years experience working in the retail, wholesale, and e-commerce fields. For more information on Coastal, visit or call toll free at 800-562-7760.

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