3 Tips for Layering Heat Transfer Vinyl
Heat transfer vinyl pressing is a quick and easy way to create unique T-shirts, shoes, hats, purses, and hundreds of other items. Despite this ease, you may not know what to do when faced with a more complex, layered design. There are a couple of possible pitfalls that can compromise your press project as you layer, so here are a few tips for layering heat transfer so you can successfully bring your vibrant designs to life.
Use Regular HTV as a Base
First, how should you set the foundation? As a rule, smooth, regular HTV should sit below more intricate specialty heat transfer vinyl. Glow-in-the-dark, glitter, reflective, and other specialty types are useless when you bury them in the background. Display them proudly as a top layer instead.
While this is aesthetically your best option, it’s also the only practical one you have. After all, specialty vinyls such as glitter don’t provide a secure surface for vinyls placed upon them to adhere to. This means, if you dare to layer on top of specialty vinyls, you’ll deal with peeling after the first wash.
Trim Carrier Sheets to Prevent Overlap
Another tip for layering heat transfer vinyl is to never overlap your carrier sheets. While this is easy for simple press projects, designs that require layering are a bit more cramped. First, identify how many layers you have and which pieces align with which layer. Apply each layer separately and trim carrier sheets to fit everything on a layer together. Trimming prevents even close vinyl decals from disrupting each other and ultimately saves you time. The fewer press runs you need because of close trimming, the faster you finish.
Use Heat Transfer Cover Sheets (or Parchment Paper)
As you press each successive layer, pay attention to previously applied vinyl layers. Separate them from their carrier sheets, or you risk melting or otherwise marring them. To prevent this, cover previous layers with cover sheets to keep everything clean and crisp. If you don’t have HTV-dedicated cover sheets, you can layer with parchment paper instead.