Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is used mostly by professionals and DIY-ers alike. This indicates that there is a huge market for HTV, making it have loads of options. This also means that there are some factors that need to be considered prior to purchase heat transfer vinyl for any type of project you have.
i. Quality and Measurement: Heat transfer vinyl is sold in sheets and rolls. For retail purposes, HDTVs are sold in rolls of 15" x 5 yards, although larger sizes are also available. In the case of designing signs and large t-shirts, 15 inches by 5 yards is a perfect choice. The starter pack is recommended for beginners that are just starting out. The starter pack contains a roll of different colors. However, for the hobbyist who wants HTV for minor custom projects, smaller sheets should be considered.
ii. Finish: Generally, HTV comes in matte and gloss standard finishes. However, there are special finishes like glitter that are in the market as well. Gloss is great for outdoor purposes i.e., front doors, boats, or mailboxes. Regardless of what you are transferring, Glossy vinyl finish can last up to 6 years or more. Matte, on the other hand, is perfect for projects with indoor purposes e.g., glass, wall design, or utensils. The longevity of matte is dependent on quality, but on average, it lasts for at least three years.
iii. Pressure Rate and Transfer Time: At this point, you may want to note that not all vinyl transfers at the same rate, this is determined by thickness, quality, and the material of the canvas. One may also want to consider the efficiency of a cutter. Also, the best quality does not mean faster transferring time. Also, not an indicator of quality. The thicker and denser the HTV, the longer it will take for it to transfer. The pressure rate pressed on the vinyl also determines the faster the transferring time can be. This also means some vinyl may not need more than the iron press, while some may require a professional machine.
Best Way to Use a Transfer Vinyl
Although big machines are not absolutely a need for necessary for heat transfer vinyl, however, it can make your choice much easier. Below is step by step guide on how to make use of heat transfer vinyl with a cutter.
Step 1: Create your design using CAD software. Then place HTV on cutting machine with a carrier sheet facing down before the machine starts to cut. Then cut out (weed) out the excess vinyl, you use a cutter for this.
Step 2: You can make use of household iron to press the design on the canvas. Be sure to make the heat evenly over the design for a complete transfer.
Step 3: Press the design on the canvas with the carrier sheet facing up. Try to place a protective layer over the design. Regulate iron to cotton for 20 seconds. Then peel, ensure you begin from the corner of the carrier sheet.