I love to learn new crafts and are always on the lookout for new products and ideas to make crating easier for the crafting community
Heat Transfer Vinyl (also known as HTV or iron on) is one of the most popular vinyl products on the market. It generally comes in either sheet or on a roll. Most HTV comes in 12-inch widths.
On a typical HTV sheet, you will find a clear plastic carrier sheet covering the top area. On the other side, you get the heat-sensitive adhesive part of the vinyl. This is not tacky or sticky to the touch. It only gets activated when heat is applied to it. Adhesive vinyl has a papery backing and HTV has a plastic-type backing sheet often referred to as a carrier sheet.
The carrier sheet is the shiniest side of the HTV and is the side that is placed against the mat. It is usually a clear plastic that is relatively hard. Make sure that you don’t cut through the carrier sheet as it is designed to hold your design in place until you have heated the vinyl onto your project.
- Depending on color and brand of HTV the vinyl side is often the side that is duller or may look like it has scratch lines on it
- HTV is quite soft so the side that peels the easiest is the HTV. You can check it in a corner of the vinyl with your weeding tool by giving it a bit of a scratch or scrape.
- Once you locate the carrier side you can mark the carrier sheet with a texta or sticker so that you know which side is which without having any trouble next time you use it.
HTV comes in a variety of colors and styles, Shopping for all the styles and colors for your project is fun
To use HYV you just cut the design from your electronic cutting machine from the vinyl, You weed it to get any parts not the design of the area. You place it on your project surface to apply the design. You apply heat to the surface.
There are lots of different brands and often these manufacturers will have their own names for a specific type of HTV.
Basic Types Of HTV:
- Bold Patterned
- Glow In The Dark
- Shiny Gold Foil
- College Inspired
- Tie Dyed
- Heat Press Temperature and Time Guide for HTV - Heat Transfer Warehouse
In this blog, we talk about pressing temperature and times for our popular HTV. If you are looking for a resource for how to press vinyl or what HTV can be layered, this is a great start.
- Tips, Tricks & Tutorials | Heat Transfer Warehouse
Tips and Tricks with Heat Transfer Warehouse
All About SVG Files
An SVG file is a graphics file that uses a two-dimensional vector graphic format created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It describes images using a text format that is based on XML. SVG files are developed as a standard format for displaying vector graphics on the web.
Since text is used to describe the graphic, an SVG file can be scaled to different sizes without losing quality—in other words, the format is resolution-independent. This is why website and print graphics are often built in the SVG format, so they can be resized to fit different designs in the future.
So, this file is used by electronic cutting machines. The file enables you to create the image or graphic in any size that you need for your project.
How To Understand And Use SVG Files
Free SVG Files
- 143VINYL™ Fast shipping on vinyl and HTV - Siser - StarCraft - Cricut - Silhouette
143VINYL™ offers Crafting, Cricut, StarCraft HD Vinyl, StarCraft SoftFlex, Siser EasyWeed and Glitter HTV, Styletech Glitter Vinyl and more.
What To Look For In Heat Transfer Vinyl
- Vinyl Quality-The quality of the vinyl is very important when it comes to HTV. Vinyl quality varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you opt for a low-cost vinyl of poor quality, you can expect that your project will not last very long. You will start to see cracking, fading, and even peeling before you know it. Quality HTV will last a long time and stand up to wear. Quality HTV is usually thin. That enables it to stretch and flex with natural movement. That ability to be able to move with use will assure you of the long life of your design.
- Color Options or Diversity-It is smart to purchase HTV colors or patterns in a wide range of colors, rather than a single color. It gives you more options, especially if you are planning to market some of your designs. Really look at the sheets you are considering. Look for vibrant, bold colors that stand out.
- Ease of Use-While it has been said that sometimes reviews are not always honest, they can be useful. Take time to read reviews from the users if the vinyl, This is the especially true id you are a first-time user if that particular company. You want to be able to use a vinyl that will cause you to have the least amount of complications, Look for things like lightweight design, thinness, sensitivity to low heat and temperature. For beginners, and those who have not used a particular vinyl, a user guide can be a very handy tool, if they are available.
- Cost-The best way to look at cost is to decide what you have to spend and then look for the best options within your budget.
What Types Of Materials Can You Apply HTV To?
The quick answer to this question is that you can apply Heat Transfer Vinyl to any fabric that can handle a hot iron or heat source for 20 seconds.
Best Fabrics for Heat Transfer Vinyls
- 100 % cotton
- 100% polyester
- Poly-cotton blends
- Leather (check the label)
- Lycra/spandex (check the label)
- Nylon (Check the label and test first)
Other Surfaces Where HTV May Work
- Easy Tips for Using HTV on Glasses, Mugs or Ceramics
Did you know that you can use HTV on glasses? I'm sharing some tips to make using heat transfer vinyl on glasses and ceramics easier!
- What Surfaces Will HTV stick to? | Craftables
Will HTV stick to that? We tried ironing heat transfer vinyl on glass, acrylic, leather, canvas, cardstock, doormats, metal, felt, carpet, clay, cork, granite, marble, tile, linoleum, mirror, acrylic and even a basketball! Stay tuned to see what work
How To Prepare Fabric Before Applying HTV
- Make sure to pre-wash your garment before applying any vinyl. That way you will avoid shrinkage and pulling on your design once it is applied.
- No fabric softener- It will cause the vinyl not to stick properly
- Iron your garment before you apply the vinyl. Wrinkles may cause the vinyl not to stick as well. Pre pressing the garment removes wrinkles, removes moisture, and "pre shrinks " the garment so that you will get a better placement of your design. You will get better adhesion of the vinyl.
Make sure that you read and understand the manufacturer's directions before you start on your project. Different makers may have different temperature requirements and time settings to get the best results.
Using An Electronic Cutting Machine With HTV
If you are using a cutting machine, there are a few skills that you should be familiar with on your machine. They include importing files from your computer into you machine. You should also be familiar with the process of sizing a project. Finally, you need to know how to mirror a design. Taking the time to learn these functions will help you get better results and have less frustration.
Preparing The Cut File
The first step in your project is to prepare the cut file on your electronic cutting machine. If you do not have a cutting machine, it is possible to cut a file by hand. A cut file is a design that you use to cut your vinyl that is then applied to the surface of your project.
The most common type of file used is the "SVG" file. It is pretty universal to most cutting machine software applications. Other types of files that you may run into include Studio, png., Dxf., or jpg. If you have a Silhouette cutting machine, you will use Studio files only. Since you get the basic software free, you will have to upgrade to the Silhouette Designer Edition or higher in order to use cut files.
There are plenty of free cut files on the internet and most likely your machine software will have plenty available. There are some files that may be free to use for personal use. Others will be free to use for personal use and commercial use (That means you can make and sell items with the file) And there are plenty of files that can be purchased.
If you have selected a cut file from the internet, you will need to understand the steps to import that design from the internet into your cutting machine software. Start out with a design that is already in your software, then become familiar with the step to adding more files.
Scaling The Design
The next step in the process is to decide how big or small your design needs to be on your surface. So you need to measure the surface to decide how big or small the design needs to be. Lay out your surface and use a ruler to decide how tall and how wide the design should be. Get an idea of where it should be placed on the piece.
Now, using your software, take your measurements and change the size by adjusting the width and the height of your design.
Always remember to cut with the shiny side down (the carrier side) The dull side should be facing you. While the dull side is usually the same color,it can also be white.
Mirroring The Design
The next step is to mirror or flip your design horizontally. There is a specific reason why this step is very important to your finished project. When you are working with Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) or iron-on vinyl, you are cutting the design on the back of the vinyl. HTV has a clear carrier sheet that covers the top of the vinyl. The other side has the heat-sensitive adhesive, You are actually cutting on the adhesive side The carrier sheet holds the design in place so that you get a clean cut. When you apply the design to the surface, the adhesive side goes down. That way when you apply the heat it will stick to your project. You have to flip or mirror the design so that it is the right way up on your project before you cut it.
Tip: People like to leave a reminder somewhere where they can see it." Did you remember to mirror the image?"
Cutting The Heat Transfer Design
You are now ready to start cutting the design. The first thing to do is to load the mat with the Heat Transfer Vinyl. If you are using a mat, make sure to smooth the vinyl with a brayer or a spatula to make sure that ir is totally smooth. The HTV always goes glossy side down no matter what cutting machine or mat that you are using. So you will be cutting with the matte (duller) side up. If your vinyl came on a roll, cut the piece to fit your mat.
Now you are ready to adjust the cut settings on your cutting machine. The process will be a little different for different machines. Just make sure to select the exact setting for the type of Heat Transfer Vinyl that you are using. (flocked HTV may have a different setting than smooth HTV)
You may want to do a test cut ahead of the actual project to make sure that you will get the right setting for your design
Now you are ready to get the cut started,
Weeding The Vinyl
Your image is cut and now it is time to weed (clean any excess vinyl not part of the design). You want a clean design transferred to the project with no extra bits that are not part of the design.
The first step is to trim any large part of the vinyl that might be able to be saved for future designs. If your vinyl design is small just trim around the design with a pair of scissors.
Personally, I like to use a weeding hook to weed my designs. It has a sharp point at the end that makes weeding easy. You can also use tweezers, a craft knife, or even a straight pin.
Seeing the cut lines can be a bit challenging. You can lift the vinyl to try to see the cut lines. You can also hold it up to a window or a light. Another option is the Cricut Bright Pad. This is a bright light that will help you see the cut lines more clearly.
Once you see the cut lines, use your tool to lift the excess vinyl, not part of the design, off the carrier sheet. Once you have the design all weeded. you can flip it over to get a peek at how the design will look.
Weed your design on a warm bottom heat press platen to speed up weeding
Another option when it comes to weeding is called hot weeding. Instead of weeding on your cutting mat, you would weed on a warm surface like the bottom plate, (paten) of your heat-press, a warmed heat transfer pillow, or an Easy Press. This trick will only work with a sticky carrier sheet. Products like Easy Weed, Holographic, and even Glitter HTV could be used with this process. Do not use this for fine detail or intricate patterns.
Electronic Cutting Machine Tips
- How to Cut Siser® HTV with the Cricut® Maker | Siser North America
Want to cut Siser® HTV like a pro? Learn how to make a test cut file and hone your settings on the Cricut Maker. Plus discover the different way to reach your cut settings on the Maker without having the Smart Set Dial. Everything you need to know ab
- Top Tips For Using HTV ~ Create With Sue
This guide has lots of top tips for using HTV, which is short for Heat Transfer Vinyl. Create some really amazing, fun projects with HTV.
- Silhouette Heat Transfer Vinyl Tips for Beginners - Silhouette School
Learn how to set up HTV cuts in Silhouette Studio
Placing The HTV On Your Garment
There are always questions when it comes to where to place your HTV design on your garment or project. A front-centered size decal for a child would be 5.5" by 7". For an adult, consider size of 7.5" by 9".
Let's start with T-shirts. That is the most common and popular project. The first thing you want to find out is the exact center of the shirt.
- To do that fold the shirt in half and line up the shoulder at the neck. Make sure that the bottom seams are aligned too.
- Now fold the shirt in half at the bottom of the armpits.
- Press with a Heat Press or iron to create your two folds
- You should have a cross that extends from the center of the neck to the bottom of the shirt as well as a crease that extends from armpit to armpit
Now all you need to do is fold your design in half. Place it centered to your crease mark and you will get perfect placement every time.
More HTV Placement Guides And Ideas
- How to Heat Press A Hoodie - Siser North America
This step by step tutorial will show you how to heat press a hoodie from start to finish. Click here for the tips and tricks you need to heat press hoodies.
- Tips for Heat Transfer Vinyl Shirt Decal Placement - Silhouette School
T shirt placement guide for HTV designs
- Using a Heat Press on Onesies and items with raised stitching or surfaces - Heat Press Authority
Place an HTV on a onsie-a guide to onesie placement
T Shirt Ruler Guides
Get Your T Shirt Ruler Kit
General Guide For Applying HTV
It may look difficult but applying heat transfer vinyl is not as difficult as you might think. Here are the steps that you need to get a successful application:
- Pre-press the fabric-It gets out all the wrinkles in the fabric and warms up the area where the vinyl will go to get a better application. Doing a pre-press also removes any moisture from the garment.
- In order to center your graphic on the fabric, fold the item in half vertically and press. This will create a crease down the center of your item.
- Place your HTV on the fabric, with the shiny carrier paper up. Your graphic should look “normal” – it should not be backwards. If you are trying to center the HTV, you can also fold your graphic with the carrier sheet in half and make a few creases ( do top and bottom) and then line it up with the crease in the fabric. If you’re not sure, I use a clear quilting ruler to see how it lines up with the center crease on the fabric.
- Press the HTV to the fabric at the temperature and time according to the manufacturer. Each brand will have different temperatures and times. Even different types of HTV by the same manufacturer will have different temperatures and times. For example, Siser glitter HTV is pressed at a higher temperature than Siser EasyWeed and Stretch HTV. Siser StripFlock HTV is pressed at a higher temperature, as well as longer than Siser EasyWeed and Stretch HTV. Always check with the manufacturer’s instructions. Most manufacturers will have guides and setting directions on their websites, so check before you press
- Remove the shiny carrier sheet – again, depending on the manufacturer and type, this will either be what’s called a hot peel (meaning you can remove it pretty much immediately) or a cold peel (you have to wait until it cools down before removing it).
Applying The HTV To Your Project With A Home Iron
Ironing The Design On The Surface
Now you are ready to iron your vinyl onto the surface of your project,
There are three ways to get this done:
We recommend that you use a heavier dry iron rather than a lightweight steam iron that you may have at home. Heat and pressure are what make the best permanent transfer of the design. It is very difficult to get the pressure you need with a light iron. Also, the holes on the plate of standard steam irons may cause uneven pressure to your design.
No matter what iron you use, do not use an ironing board, It is not steady enough to give you the pressure you need. Do not use a granite countertop. It will not hold the heat to get the design on.
Use a sturdy table or a block of wood at about waist high
- Turn your iron on to the cotton setting-no steam
- Place the design down on the surface.
- Place a piece of parchment paper or thin cotton over the vinyl
- Press down firmly for about 10-20 seconds on each part of the design. Some HTV may need more or less time, so check the manufacturer's directions
- Do a section at a time checking to see how it is going.
- When you feel that you have applied the design enough, it is time to start lifting the carrier sheet off the vinyl.
- Slowly lift the carrier sheet starting in one corner. As you are lifting the carrier sheet, check to see if any of the vinyl is coming off with it. If you see that, replace the carrier sheet and re-iron the project.
- To make sure that the vinyl adheres all the way, you can turn the material inside out and repeat the process. Not necessary, but may give the vinyl more structure.
Most HTV is "cold peel" vinyl. That means that you have to wait for the vinyl to cool almost all the way before you remove the carrier sheet. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Easy Press Options
There are a variety of Easy Press options to choose from. This has been a popular brand for a while now. Other companies have come out with similar products at different price ranges. If you are choosing an Easy Press or other similar products, you should take the time to do a complete comparison to make sure that you are getting the most for your money.
The smallest of the line. Perfect for small areas Has three heat settings
Easy Press 2
9" by 9" base. Precise temperature controls up to 400℉. Insulated Safety Base and auto-shutoff feature
Easy Press 3
12" by 10" base plate. Connects to Cricut Heat™ app via Bluetooth® connection Precise temperature control up to 400℉
5 in x 3 in (12.7 cm x 7.6 cm) curved heat plate for heat-transfer applications on hats. Includes Cricut Hat Pressing Form for firm, ideal pressing surface. Compatible with Cricut Heat™ app for wireless connection & step-by-step guided flow.3 heat settings up to 400 ºF (205 ºC) for iron-on/HTV, Infusible Ink™ & sublimation projects
Using An Easy Press To Apply HTV
- Always use a heat resistant flat surface to use any of the Easy Press products. Avoid using an ironing board.
- Set the timer and the temperature recommended for the HTV you are using
- Pre heat the garment or material for your project.
- Position the design. Make sure shiny side (clear carrier sheet) is facing up.
- Apply heat to both sides of the garment-Place Cricut Easy Press on base material, then press Go button to start timer. Hold Cricut Easy Press in place and apply recommended pressure. Flip base material, and heat back side of design for recommended time.
- Before removing carrier sheet, refer to the Cricut Heat Guide or Cricut Heat app (for Cricut EasyPress 3) for peel temperature instructions.
Easy Press Tips
- Always use Cricut EasyPress at room temperature.
- Before using Cricut EasyPress, ensure that fabrics and other base materials are completely dry.
- Always return Cricut EasyPress to its Safety Base when not in use.
- Before using Cricut EasyPress, ensure there is no tape or protective film over its control panel.
The Cricut Mini Press
More Easy Press Tips And Ideas
- Cricut Heat Guide
Cricut guide to give you settings for different vinyl products
- How To Use the Cricut EasyPress Mini™ - Sew Woodsy
I'm sharing all about How To Use the Cricut EasyPress Mini™ plus all my tips and tricks and questions you might have that will be answered all in one place!
About Heat Presses
Heat presses are the bigger version of the tools to apply HTV.
There is nothing wrong with using a home iron for your HTV. The right iron at the right heat setting will give you good results. But taking that idea one step further, the heat press will do a better job, easier and with better results.
There are lots of options when it comes to heat presses. From the little minis to the big clam shell models, you are sure to be able to find something that fits your needs and budget. The littlest mini starts around $49 and then some of the models go near $1000.
There are three basic designs to the larger heat presses-clam shall (opens from the top), Swing away (swings away to one side or the other) and draw style
A clam style press takes up the least amount of space. It opens like… you guessed it, a clam! Because of this minimal movement, it has the smallest footprint. All you need is about a 3-foot workspace. This type of press tends to be smaller and lighter as well.
On a draw heat press, the bottom platen will pull out like a drawer. The top platen stays in place. With the bottom platen pulling out, it gives more space for the operator to align the apparel and transfers on the platen before application without the worry or nuisance of the upper platen in their way. The draw-back (no pun intended), is that this takes up a little bit more space in front of the press when the platen pulls out.
The third style of heat press is a swing-away. This popular style allows the upper platen to swing-away to the side instead of the lower platen pulling out. This still allows the operator to work in a clear space without having the heated platen in the way.
In this case, you will need some extra space for the upper platen to swing to the side – about 18-24 inches more for a safe amount of space.
There are specialty presses for things like hats. But many of the higher end presses have accessories that answer your specialty items needs. You decide what suits your needs.
You should take into consideration what space you have available when you are considering a heat press. Some of the larger clam shell models are very heavy and take a lot of counter space verses a smaller more portable version.
Cricut has come out with a smaller version of a clam shell heat press called an auto press. It has the same features of a larger heat press in a smaller version.
Applying HTV With A Heat Press
Heat Press Tips
- If you heat up the base of the heat press, you can lay the HTV onto the warmed platen. The heat loosens up the adhesive and will allow you to remove the excess vinyl more easily. If you don’t have a swing-away styled machine as in the video, you can still use a clamshell. Just lay the vinyl on it for 5 seconds or so and then bring it out to weed.
- The heat press pre-press is essential for pressing the perfect heat transfers. It simply means pressing a garment before applying the heat transfer. This removes moisture and wrinkles and primes the fabric to receive the transfer. You only need to close the press for 2 or 3 seconds, or sometimes a little longer if you’re in a humid climate
- There are a few tricks to getting a transfer lined up straight and centered on your garment. The most basic way is to simply fold your t-shirt in two to create a line showing you the midpoint. You can watch the video below to see how heat press pro Matt goes about it!
- Teflon sheets are the number one heat press accessory. They are placed between the t-shirt/transfer and the top platen of the heat press. This protects everything: the t-shirt, transfer, and platen! Most heat presses actually come with a free Teflon sheet, but if yours didn’t, it’s a good idea to order some. Alternatives to Teflon sheet can be parchment or baking paper or a tea towel.
- Some people like attaching a Teflon sheet onto the lower platen as well. This serves a number of purposes, such as: Protecting the rubber pad from inks or vinyl It protects the rubber pad from getting any chunks or chips being taken out of it Protecting the pad from general wear and tear Making the lower platen more slippery – you can pull tees out and move them around easier on the Teflon than on the usual base Overall, it will extend the life of the lower pad
- Heat resistant tape or ‘heat tape’ is another handy heat press accessory. If you don’t already know what it is, you can probably guess! Heat tape can be used to affix a transfer in place. It is most handy when sublimation printing onto hard substrates.
- Use heat press pillows when you are pressing around buttons, pockets and seams. Raised parts on garments cause uneven pressure which can affect the transfer negatively. The Teflon covered pillows help to even the pressure out
- If you have a cold peel transfer, but can’t wait to do the grand reveal, take the top out of the press and place it on a cold surface. This might be a cool table or wall.
- It is recommended that you grease your heat press once a year. The metal-on-metal areas need to glide smoothly but will get dry over time. You can use a product like White Lithium Grease or any high heat, high pressure lubricant.
- If possible, avoid using extension cords with your heat press. If you have to use one, which is often the case, make sure the amperage of the press and cord are equal to avoid overheating. You might want to check with the heat press manufacturer for more details if you are unsure what amp rated cord you need.
- Heat press platens get dirty with use and it’s good to give them a clean from time to time. If you accidentally melt vinyl on the hot plate, then you’ll definitely need to give it a good clean. The best product to use is EZ-OFF Hot Iron Cleaner.
More heat Press Guides
- How to Use a Heat Press with Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)– Rozzy Crafts
Today we'll be putting the HEAT in heat transfer vinyl. Many crafters start out experimenting with HTV by using their home iron and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. A correctly-temperatured flat iron can do the trick when it comes to adher
Always Use A Heat Transfer Sheet
HTV Application Guides And Projects
- Foil HTV Tips & Tricks - Warmest Welcomes Crafts
LEARN TIPS AND TRICKS ON HOW TO CUT AND APPLY FOIL HEAT TRANSFER VINYL (HTV) FEATURING A BEAUTY AND THE BEAST-THEMED ENCHANTED ROSE SHIRT DESIGN!
- 12 Tips for Using Heat Transfer Vinyl on Polyester | Cut, Cut, Craft!
If you're looking to use HTV on polyester fabric, I have 12 great tips which work whether you're using an iron or a heat press!
- How to Apply HTV to Hats and Visors with the Cricut EasyPress Mini - The Kim Six Fix
Learn how to apply HYV to hats and visors
More HTV Tips
- Always do a test cut. This is crucial especially if you are using a new material, a new blade, or a new cutting machine. It will save you time and material
- Never forget to mirror your design. The mirror function flips the design opposite to how you would place it. So, when you apply it to your garment, it will face the right side up.
- Wait 24 hours to allow your design to cure before you wash your project.
- Never dry clean any garment that has vinyl applied.
- When cutting designs away from the roll, make sure that you trim closely to the design. This saves more of your product for future use. Trimming closely also means less chance of any other vinyl being transferred to the garment.
- Overheating of HTV leads to shrinking in some cases of the design. Short presses reduce the amount of possible shrinkage.
- If doing multiple shirts with layers, do it assembly-line style. Apply the bottom layer to all the shirts first. By the time you are ready to apply the second layer, the first shirt that you pressed has already cooled making it easier to position my next layer.
- 5 Tips & Tricks for Using Patterned Heat Transfer Vinyl - iCraftVinyl
Have you given patterned heat transfer vinyl from iCraftVinyl.com a try yet? The endless amount of options makes it a perfect fit for so many projects - and we are always adding new designs! From holiday themes to beautiful florals and everything in
- Cheat Sheet For T Shirts And Onsies
Cheat sheet for vinyl placement
- Tips for Using Stretch Heat Transfer Vinyl - Crafting in the Rain
Learn how to use stretch HTV
- 5 Tips for Applying Siser HTV to Heat Sensitive Items | Siser North America
Working with a material you're unsure how to heat apply? Siser has a few tips for heat sensitive textiles that may save your project and your garment!
- Siser App | Siser North America
The Siser App is your go-to resource for product updates, application instructions, material photos and how-to videos! It's Siser in the palm of your hand! Available for both iOS as well as Android devices. Did we mention, it's also FREE?
- HTV & Vinyl Care Instructions Plus a Free Printable | Htv vinyl, Htv care instructions printable
Dec 10, 2019 - HTV & Vinyl Care Instructions Plus a Free Printable
It is a lot of fun and very satisfying to be able to layer HTV in your designs. Adding those extra elements makes a unique and truly custom finished product. But not all HTV can be layered. It is important for you to know which products can be layered.
When pressing multiple layers, it is important you remember that the first layer will receive the additional heat of each layer after it.
When pressing multiple layers, it is important to remember that the first layer will also get heat from all the layers after that. You are much better off with several short presses. Short presses also reduce any chances of shrinking of the HTV.
- Always start with the lowest layer and build up from there
- Press each layer for 5-7 seconds – just enough to get it to stick. Then remove the carrier sheet and apply the next layer. Press that one for 5-7 seconds and so on. After the last layer or color has been applied, press the whole thing (with no carrier sheet) for a good 10 seconds.
- Sometimes you may want to wait in between layers before putting on the next layer. Once you remove the carrier sheet, the HTV is still quite hot – if you put your next layer on, it may immediately stick which means you can’t reposition it if necessary.
- Textured HTV like glitter or stripflock needs to be topmost most layer. Due to the texture, it will be challenging for regular HTV (like EasyWeed or Stretch) to adhere to glitter or stripflock. You can get around this by removing the area that it overlaps. This has to be done back in the design process and will need to be carefully lined up just right when applying it to the fabric.
More Layering Tips
- How to Layer HTV From Back To Front Using Registration Marks - The Kim Six Fix
Learn to layer from back to front. Includes a free SVG file.
Working With Holographic HTV
Holographic HTV is the shiny sparkly rainbow of colors that are loved by all who create HTV designs.
There are a few tricks to working with this type of vinyl that will make your projects easier and more successful:
- Keeping your mat cleaned and maintained The smallest bit of vinyl or other material on your mat can create a bad cut. Make sure that your mat is clean and free of any debris that might make the blade from getting a clean cut. Make sure to clean the mat between cuts too. A scraper and some baby wipes should do the trick. You also want to make sure that your mat has enough stickiness. That means frequent washing with soapy water (no hot or warm water) Let dry for 1-2 hours. You can also use a lint brush on your mats. Make sure to turn the mat every cut so that you are not cutting in the exact same spot.
- Make sure you get a good cut. Holographic vinyl is thick and rigid, so it needs to have a deeper cut than other materials. The blade needs to get all the way through the material to get a clean cut. Otherwise, the material can split into two layers when you go to weed it. Check the manufacturer's website. They often give guidelines for cutting their materials. Most of all, do a test cut first. From there you can make additional adjustments.
- Visible cut lines can be difficult to see on holographic vinyl. But if you bend the material slightly in good light, you should be able to see the lines. If you cannot, more than likely you did not get a clean cut.
- Weeding holographic vinyl can be more challenging because the vinyl is so rigid. Try starting with a corner. Slide the weeder under the corner and lift it under the piece.
Why Your HTV DId Not Stick
If you pull out your vinyl project from the dryer and the vinyl is peeling up, that usually means that you did not apply it right. (too much heat or not enough-not pressing long enough, ect.
Why HTV Does Not Stick
The quality of the vinyl-cheap vinyl has a tendency to adhere poorly. You might be saving money but getting poor results.
It does also have a shelf life. If you have HTV sitting in your craft space for years, it may not stick.
The heat and pressure that you use. Most vinyl products come with guides that tell you the heat settings. If you press it too hot or too long, you may ruin the vinyl. The opposite is also true. If you do not press it hot enough or long enough, it will likely come off in the first wash, Always use the manufacturer's settings for the best results.
When you prewash your item before you adhere to the vinyl, never use a fabric softener. The softener will add a coat over the fabric that the vinyl will not stick to.
Sometimes the corners of the vinyl piece do not stick properly. More than likely that is from not pressing all the corners.
How To Wash HTV
- Wait 24 hours before you wash it. The HTV vinyl needs time to cure. If you do not wait to wash it, there is a good chance it will crack and peel.
- Turn clothes inside out before you wash them. The action of the washer is meant to cause rubbing to clean the clothes. Turning your garment inside out gives it the most amount of protection for the design.
- Always wash in cold water or warm water. Anything warmer than those settings can cause the adhesive on the to loosen.
- Use a mild detergent. Avoid any bleach or fabric softener. This will give a longer life to your garment.
- And you can dry them in a dryer.! I usually turn down my heat-My dryers get really warm, and I don’t want to heat up the vinyl anymore than I need to.
- Do not dry clean. The chemicals and the heat of the dry cleaning process will ruin the design.
- If you have to iron a shirt, make sure to iron it inside out. If the iron hits the vinyl directly it could melt it/
Working With Patterned HTV
When you are working with patterned HTV there are just a few things to remember to complete the project with less hassle and better results.
Picking The Right Pattern
There are so many beautiful patterns to choose from that you can get dizzy from all the choices. When you are designing and considering a patterned piece of vinyl, think about the pattern and how often the pattern is repeated, You also want to think about how much white space there is in the pattern. This will help you decide the size of your design. The repeat will help you determine where to cut so that you get more design and less white space.
If the pattern is big and bold, you are more likely to get more pattern and less white space.
Placing Your Patterned Vinyl
For this type of HTV, you need to place the patterned side up. Also with this HTV, you do not mirror the design in some vinyl (check with the manufacturer on this one, because it could vary. What you want to understand in using patterned HTV, is if there is an attached carrier sheet. That is what will determine if you mirror or not.
Do a test cut for this type of vinyl, because products can vary. You want to waste as little vinyl as possible.
Using A Heat Mask
Some patterned types of vinyl again, do not have a carrier sheet attached. So you may have to purchase a heat mask as a separate item. This is different than transfer tape that is used for adhesive vinyl. To use a heat transfer mask, all you do is remove the clear sheet from its paper backing. Apply it over your design that is cut and weeded. Burnish (rub) it with a scraper or credit card. Then remove the patterned backing. That’s it! It is ready to press!
More Patterned HTV Tips And Projects
- Tips For Using Patterned Heat Transfer Vinyl & Christmas Shape SVGs
Patterned heat transfer vinyl can be perfect for special projects. But it's different than regular HTV. See my tips & Christmas shape SVGs.
Storing Precut HTV
Final Thoughts On Using And Applying HTV
Heat Transfer Vinyl is not at all difficult to use and apply to your garments or other fabric materials. You can design and apply HTV easily and without stress. This was just a starting point to get you into this exciting medium. Once you understand the right way to do it and have the tools you need, you will find yourself getting into the creative process. You will need new and exciting options to create fabric projects for yourself, your friends and your family. Happy crafting !
© 2022 Linda F Correa