Getting started with heat transfer vinyl may seem very hard, and when you enter the world of vinyl crafting, it can quickly become confusing. But please don't give up - we are here to help you! Today, we will discuss everything needed to start with heat transfer vinyl. This simple step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to use heat transfer vinyl in all projects!
#1 - What is heat transfer vinyl
Heat Transfer Vinyl is commonly shortened as HTV. There are several varieties - smooth, puff htv vinyl and glitter htv vinyl and so on. HTV also comes in all sorts of colors, textures, finishes, and sizes. Most HTV comes in length sizes starting with a sheet (12x12 inches) all the way up to large vinyl rolls. HTV also usually comes in varying widths. The most common include 12”,15” and 20”. When choosing the HTV width, keep in mind how big the vinyl cutter is! HTV vinyl is usually used for shirts, pillowcases, blankets, etc. But you can also use it on wood! With the help of heat transfer vinyl, you can easily customize it to make it a personalized product. It's a great way to personalize gifts to friends. We understand that as a beginner, selecting a brand of HTV can initially be a hard decision. As the most trusted supplier, HTVRont has been committed to providing customers with high-quality and affordable products.
Are you ready to make crafts with heat transfer vinyl? There are a few basic steps to working with heat transfer vinyl. Prepare to cut files, cut, weed and apply heat transfer vinyl. That’s all! Let’s put it all together in how to successfully complete an HTV application!
#2 - How to cut heat transfer vinyl
The first step in using HTV is to cut out your desired design. To do this, you must prepare your cut file to cut in the cutting machine software you are using. Cut file is the design that you want to cut and put on your shirt or other surface. The most common cut file type is probably SVG, but you might be using a .Studio, .png, .dxf, or .jpg file depending on the software you are using. You can download our svg file for free. Once you have your design and surface picked out, you need to measure your surface to determine how big you will need to cut the design. Now ready to load our heat transfer or iron on vinyl into the cutting machine. Heat transfer vinyl has a carrier sheet on top. Whenever you cut heat transfer vinyl, the carrier sheet will be facedown on your mat. Make sure mirror image your design before you hit cut. It will transfer backwards from what you cut. Otherwise, your design will be backward when you go to place it on your shirt. The cut settings vary depending on the HTV you use and the vinyl cutter you have. Load your cutting mat with the vinyl shiny side down into your machine, and cut!
#3 - How to weed heat transfer vinyl
After you have cut out your design with your cutter, the next step is called “weeding”. This refers to removing the excess material to reveal your final design. You can use a sharp tool like weeder to help if needed. Peel until you have removed everything except what you want to transfer. Once you find your cut lines, use your hook or other weeding tool to grab one of the edges and lift up the excess vinyl or negative space from the carrier sheet. You can start by removing the vinyl from around design first and then remove the pieces from inside letters and other parts of the design.
#4 - How to apply heat transfer vinyl
Once the HTV is weeded, it’s time to apply it! There are three ways to apply heat transfer vinyl:
Heat press – This is the largest and most expensive (depending on the type you use) choice for vinyl. It is a machine crafters use to adhere their HTV designs to garments. Your garment is placed between the pattens and utilizes the firm and even pressure of the clamping mechanism to adhere your design. If you have a business or just do a lot of shirts I recommend looking into a heat press because it can do designs up to 15×15 and it’s very rare that you’ll ever need to make a design bigger than that. You also get even pressure with a heat press, and that’s really important!
Cricut EasyPress- Similar to a heat press, but if you are limited on space, it is smaller and easier to store.
Iron – if shirts are not something you’ll make a lot of then your home iron will work just fine! ! Or if you have a limited budget when shopping for all your equipment, iron will be fine.
In the following introduction, we choose a home iron to apply heat transfer vinyl. To activate the adhesive on the heat transfer vinyl, you need to do two things: heat and pressure, both of which we can get using an iron.
Speaking of pressure, it is very important in the world of heat transfer vinyl. Without it, your designs may not last very long and could peel off after one wash. Make sure you are using enough pressure with your heat press and home iron when crafting with HTV. You can adjust the pressure on your heat press, but if you’re using a home iron you will need to ensure you’re pressing firmly.
When working with HTV, you will need to know the settings to apply the material with a heat press or home iron. Start by plugging your iron in and putting it on the cotton setting with the steam turned off. Next, position your design on the surface with the clear plastic carrier sheet on top so the design reads correctly.
Press down on the iron and apply pressure to each part of the design for about 10-20 seconds. The heat, pressure and time settings all vary with the HTV you used. If you’re using glitter vinyl it might take a little bit longer. After the temperature, time, and pressure are all set, you are ready to press! It’s also good to be aware of holes on the bottom of your iron. If your iron has holes on the bottom, be sure to move it around as you press to make sure each part of the design is getting heat and pressure. When you have given heat and pressure to each part of the design, let it cool for a few minutes then you can slowly start to peel up the carrier sheet.
Once the iron on vinyl has been properly applied it is ready for wearing, using, and laundering. Allow the adhesive to cure for at least 24 hours before washing. Once it has cured, it can be washed and dried. For best results, wash inside out with cold water and hang to dry or tumble dry on low.
Here is the final application! And you’ve got a finished product! Seriously, it’s so easy and fun! We hope this post was helpful for you get started with HTV! If you have any questions about vinyl and how to use it, we are happy to help! Leave us your comments below.
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