Learning Vinyl Together
This is the big question we get when you decide to make the jump from your home iron to a heat press.
The key to Heat Transfer is the heat and pressure, it is hard to get both completely correct with a home iron because of the human factor. It will still work... I am not saying you NEED a heat press but it is highly recommended.
Another question I get is "what about the Cricut Easy Press?" People steer towards Cricut because of the name and the price but you are essentially buying a really nice home iron! Now you can control the temperature but what about that pressure? You gave yourself more surface area which is great and yes it will still work but the key is PRESSURE!! This is what the heat press does for you.
There are two kinds of Heat Presses, Clam-Shell and Swing-Away.
In my opinion the Clam Shell is ideal for space and ease. I do have both but I find myself using the Clam-Shell much more. A good site is 12x15 or above because the standard heat transfer sheet is 12x15 so this is a great size. I personally prefer the 15x15. Check out this Power Press, it is about $40 more than an Easy Press and definitely gets the job done. Also Fancier Studio comes highly recommended by some of our clients.
The swing away is nice for different items because the entire platen comes straight now instead of at an angle. This really won't matter most of the time. The swing away requires double the amount of space in order to swing the platen out of the work area. We have been cranking our Mophorn 5 in 1 for almost three years with no issues and it came from Amazon.
You must be aware that when purchasing a press from Amazon, many times they do not come with a warranty so it is at your own risk.
Alright, lets talk about how you’ve always been told that for HTV you do not need transfer tape, and now I’m going to tell you that for some you do!!
The great patterned HTV in all of its glory, if printed like some of ours is, NEEDS transfer tape. This is no regular transfer tape so please don’t use the scraps you have lying around! For the patterned HTV you will need Easy Mask or the equivalent. We carry the Easy Mask and we give you one sheet for every three patterned sheets you buy!
You’ll want you to think of the adhesive vinyl process rather than HTV process up until you add the heat.
Let's walk through it all together.
Pick HTV Smooth from the Material list on a Silhouette or use Iron on with your Cricut in the Cut Settings. Note this may need to be adjusted according to your machine. Basically you want to cut this material like EasyWeed.
Place the patterned HTV on the mat with pattern side up to cut, yes I know I always say the side you want to see on the shirt goes down on the mat but not in this case. Now before you cut from your pattern you can adjust where you want your image on the mat in case you want a specific part of the pattern. For the plaid we just cut in the top corner!
Send your design to cut. When it's finished cutting, you will need to weed away the excess vinyl just like you do for adhesive.
The HTV will be on a clear backing, but the adhesive is actually on the BACK of the patterned HTV so you need to use your Easy Mask to pick up the design before applying to your shirt.
Cut a piece of Easy Mask just larger than your design, remove the clear transfer sheet from its backing and place it directly over the design you cut. Use a squeegee to ensure it has adhered to the entire design and pick it up by peeling the Easy Mask up. You have now exposed the heat-activated adhesive on the back of your pattern.
Place the design on the surface of your garment and apply with medium pressure at 295 for 15-20 seconds. This will change based on the material that the pattern is printed on so be make sure you follow the heat instructions that come with your vinyl.
Remove the Easy Mask; you can peel this material Hot or Cold. I like to finish by placing the Teflon sheet over the unmasked design and pressing for a few more seconds to seal in the design but this is completely optional.
And Voila, you’ve completed you Patterned HTV transfer!
Hello Everyone Dezaray here!
Welcome to this little vinyl world I have created around my family and myself. I am the owner of Cutz Vinyl! I have been asked to start really dedicating some time to our blog here on the site and I am very excited and nervous at the same time because I am no professional writer and by no means the absolute expert in Vinyl but this should be a fun and exciting journey for all of us!
We decided to start by answering a newbie question! People are always quick to laugh and judge in the large groups but this is a great question for beginners. We all started somewhere so lets help each other!
What in the world is the difference between 651 and HTV?
Let’s start with the basic difference. 651 is adhesive and HTV stands for heat transfer vinyl!
Adhesives are sticker vinyl for mugs and key chains and basically anything you can stick it to. Heat transfer is for shirts and fabrics and can be ironed but the preferred route is to press it!
Adhesives come from many different manufacturers, ORACAL, FDC, EnduraGloss, EnduraPatterns, Avery, 3M and many more.
ORAFOL produces ORACAL, which is one of the most well known names in the industry for sign and car vinyl. This is why you see it everywhere; it's a wonderful product!
There are two types that are very popular in the Craft Industry; yes we are all part of an industry that started only 9 years ago, Welcome!
ORACAL 651, which is considered permanent or outdoor, and ORACAL 631 which is indoor or removable.
631 - INDOOR/Removable. Used for wall decals and anything that you want to be able to remove and not peel the paint off.
651 - OUTDOOR/Permanent. Used for mugs, plates, decals, wine glasses, sometimes as stencil vinyl for wooden signs. This will not come off as easy and if there is paint on your item it will probably come off with it.
This is also called Sticky Vinyl or Sticker Vinyl!
You will need transfer tape or application tape to apply this product. Some people use contact paper.
Heat Transfer also comes from many different manufacturers like Siser, FDC, Specialty Materials to name a few.
All three of these companies have been around for a long time! Siser invests the most money in marketing and that is why you hear their name everywhere! Don’t get me wrong they carry absolutely wonderful products I’m just saying they are everywhere including my dreams! Siser makes EasyWeed, I know you have all seen that name!
FDC carries many different types and has been around for quite some time. They distribute a ton of product! We carry a lot of the FDC brand because they generally do not run out of stock and we love their products!
Specialty Materials has been around as long as Siser and I have actually met the Owner! He came to visit us here at Cutz. (We will carry their product very soon!) They make ThermoFlex which I am sure you have heard of! They also make all of the Deco products! Yes the pretty rainbow patterned HTV!
Side note, if you haven’t noticed by now I love the exclamation point. I am super excited to be talking about this stuff!!!!
Back to the HTV.
OK here is where it gets crazy there are what seems like a bazillion types of HTV.
Basic HTV like EasyWeed or ThermoFlex. This is the standard type of HTV, this is where most people start, here or glitter that is!
Glitter, Sparkles, do I need to say more?
Stretch, this is like EasyWeed and ThermoFlex except it is supposed to stretch more so it is good for Women’s shirts, and anything that you think will be stretched a little more than normal.
Metallic, Holographic, Patterned, these are all just colors essentially.
Flock is like velvet, it is thicker and gives great contrast!
Foil and adhesive. This is a process where the adhesive, not to be mistaken for sticky vinyl is pressed first and then the foil is placed over top pressed and peeled away, ok please don’t explode, we will have a tutorial for this very soon! Our adhesive is on its way!
ALWAYS lay this material upside down on your mat, the side you want to see when you look at the shirt should be facing the mat. And DO NOT forget to mirror this stuff! Remember you are applying the side you see up on the mat.
Keep an eye for the temperatures, times and the hot or cold peel for all of the different materials.
Hot peel means peel the carrier sheet away while it is still hot and cold peel means let it cool!
Oh and you DO NOT need transfer tape for this product, it comes on a carrier sheet. You might want to invest in some Teflon sheets! This covers the product while you press or iron.
OK I think that’s the basics. Ask me some questions so I know what I did right wrong, what you hated, liked you know just anything! I’m going to go try to sleep while my minnis are in bed! Night