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I recently learned about the existence of iron-on transfer papers, and how it allows someone to transfer a print onto cotton fabrics with any custom design a person can print from their inkjet printers.

However, I have not been that lucky when it comes to other kinds of fabric. In particular, I want to transfer a picture to a softshell jacket. I have found online shops that offer the service (unfortunately far from my location and the delivery is not possible or too expensive), but I am wondering if there is a way to do it at home without specialized equipment.

(Update replying to the comment: I myself am very new to the term as well, and it seems there is no clear consensus on what it is or not softshell. The best approach I have been able to find mentions polyester. But in general I am thinking of a light jacket that is slightly water resistant -not waterproof-, fit for sports like running or riding. I hope this is not too broad of an answer!)

(Update 2: Sorry for keep replying to the comments as updates. Unfortunately, merging the account is at the moment a bit impractical for me, and with the guest accounts I do not have yet enough reputation to comment.

I have not ordered a specific jacket yet, as I want to find out first what can be done and which material would be best for my purpose. However, as a reference, I have been looking for something in this direction: https://www.4imprint.com/tag/382/Soft-Shell)

  • Do you know what sort of fabric is in a softshell jacket -- nylon? I haven't heard of the term, so I'm not sure myself ;) – Erica Apr 5 '17 at 14:24
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    Welcome @guest_user Right now you have two different users you're posting as. I recommend that you use the contact us link at the bottom of the page to request that these two accounts be merged, which will allow you to edit your question to provide the information requested by Erica. I also encourage you to register your account so that you can log into it from any device. – Catija Apr 5 '17 at 16:16
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    Do you know the make / model of your jacket? That information might lead to manufacturer information that might help! – Matt Apr 7 '17 at 1:19
  • Here's a pretty good definition of a soft shell jacket - imo I think of soft shell jackets as anything not waterproof like with a Goretex finish… most important for you though, is that they are almost always made of synthetics which may melt from high heat (i.e., from ironing). Your best bet would be a cotton/synthetic blend, no high-prefomance finishes, and be sure to test with an iron on a place inside the jacket that no one will see. Good Luck! – user1798 Jun 21 '17 at 20:37
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Below is a pretty good definition of a soft shell jacket - imo I think of soft shell jackets as anything not waterproof like with a Goretex finish which could (1) be damaged by heat, and/or (2) resist application of the transfer. Most important for you, though, is that they are almost always made of synthetics which can melt from high heat (i.e., from ironing).

Your best bet would be a cotton/synthetic blend, no high-performance finishes, and be sure to test with an iron on a place inside the jacket that no one will see. Good Luck!

Soft-shell Jackets are designed for use outdoors as part of the layering system, and can be used alone, ideal for aerobic activity in light weather conditions if they are water repellent and highly breathable, or as an insulating layer under a 'hard shell' outer jacket. Guide To Soft-shell Jackets - GO Outdoors www.gooutdoors.co.uk/expert-advice/softshell-jackets

from: https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=what+is+the+definition+of+a+shoft+shell+jacket&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Edit/Additional Information: The 741 customer reviews & 202 answered questions in the product information link you provide in your question for Avery iron-on transfer papers have a wealth of information and tips for using (or not using) this product. I suggest reading all of them if you haven't already.

As mentioned in the first posting of my answer, ironing temperature is a critical element to success and requires some experimenting with the heat settings on your iron and the exact fabric/fiber type of the jacket.

My experience with these type of transfers is with kids'/teens' tee shirts, in 100% cotton or "cotton rich" blends which means mostly cotton with some low percent if polyester (under 50%), or stretch fibers (under 10%), like Lycra.

Kids' tee shirts are not a big initial investment and they usually only need to get through one party or school event, and the result doesn't need to be perfect. This is not the case with a nice jacket, so the stakes are higher for you.

The potential issues I see with your project are:

  1. You are not sure what the fiber and fabric type of the jacket will be

  2. You won't have extra fabric to test the transfer papers on

  3. The jacket will likely be an investment and it could be ruined

I know you like the idea of the transfer papers, and they are cool. You might want to buy some fabric and play around with the papers and the process before working on a jacket.

If you aren't able to access or use a professional apparel printer who can upload your design and print the jacket for you, you could also look into professional embroidering businesses in your area. Commercial embroiderers can also use your uploaded design file. A complication with these options is that you usually need to print/embroider a certain number/lot of items to make this financially feasible.

One option for you that is less costly and will still let you use the transfer papers, is to purchase some fabric at a fabric store and print on that. Then cut the printed image out and attach it to your jacket by sewing or gluing with fabric glue. If you try this, it would be best to buy your background fabric in the same color as the jacket, and made of approximately the same fiber content and fabric construction.

At a minimum, you could buy one package of the transfer papers and practice on clothing you already have that you can either live without, or live with if the printing isn't perfect.

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  • tl;dr: You cannot do iron-on transfers to the material in a soft shell jacket. From the info on the transfer paper: "For use on 100% cotton or poly/cotton blend fabric." which a soft shell jacket likely is neither of. It will melt. The idea of using a cotton layer and attaching that sounds like the closest you will get. – rebusB Jul 4 '18 at 18:36

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