First iron-on transfer attempt: Fela Kuti t-shirts

So I’m missing photos of the first stencil t-shirts I did back in 2002. They’re all gone now, used for dusting or something like that.

I remember two specifically. The first one was a simple black spray paint FVGΛZI” white tee, same as the stencil Fugazi used on their equipment. Didn’t tag it with anything else like, let’s say, the typical “This is NOT a Fugazi t-shirt” phrase. The other one was a Smiths inspired “THE QUEEN IS DEAD” green spray paint on white t-shirt, done in common stencil fonts, sort of like that sign Morrissey used to hold in 80’s concerts. Forgot that somewhere, never got it back…


Anyway, it was 2003 when I decided to try iron-on transfer paper for the first time, bought some Pelican sheets (were pretty good actually) and a couple of Pull & Bear t-shirts and headed home. My idea was to photoshop and print a classic Fela Kuti album cover in black & white and use it on light, yet bright color t-shirts.

First attempt was a disaster. Paper got stuck on the yellow tee and I couldn’t find a way to get it off. Got thrown in the garbage bin so I could move on to the next one.


Red one turned out pretty good. Pulled the paper up as it was still hot so I could get that matte finish instructions suggested. Had some missing parts on the corners though and decided to use remaining parts of the sheets to cover those up. After years and years it turns out that corners are still pretty black and that Fela Anikupalo Kuti name tag in the bottom right didn’t go anywhere either.


Here’s a tip, I got that pulling the first tee out of the garbage bin… If transfer paper gets shredded as you pull it off and you have small pieces all over, slightly reheat those parts with the iron and use a knife for removal. Works great!

Photos were taken recently. This is what they look like 10 years on. Don’t wear them that often nowadays…