4 Tips and Tricks for Weeding Vinyl
If you have any experience with heat transfer vinyl, you likely have some feelings about weeding. You may find satisfaction is stripping away excess vinyl to reveal a perfect design. More often, though, you think about the tedium of weeding and cringe. It’s a slow, difficult task. There’s support, though—read these tips and tricks for weeding vinyl to get better and faster.
Buy a Weeding Tool
First, don’t fool around with tacks or some other rudimentary tool. Buy one dedicated to weeding. There are several different shapes to choose from, ranging from straight to sharply curved. What you decide on is up to personal preference; curved hooks tend to help pull up vinyl edges and straight ones get at smaller weeding areas. In general, though, it’s a matter of using your tool enough that you get into a rhythm.
Weed Towards Cavities
As designs revolve, mind where your cavities are. When you weed indiscriminately by hand, chunks of vinyl break off and remain until you get at them with your tool. Weeding towards them limits these breakages and speeds things up.
Here’s an example to crystalize this principle. Picture the word “LEVEL” in vinyl. Weeding from right to left ensures you have enough momentum to peel up the spaces within the E’s and L’s. If you were to go the other way, the left edges of these letters would be an obstacle.
Use a Weed Border
Sometimes, it’s better to break the process into two stages by using a weed border. Many printers allow you to cut a section of vinyl to cover an intricate design. This covering enables you to start with a broad weeding and then individually weed to reveal the finer details. It’s a much quicker process than trying to weed everything at once and sustaining a bunch of breakages in the process.
Weed on a Heated Surface
One final trick for weeding vinyl: Heat up the surface underneath for an easy release. There are even dedicated machines that keep things warm the whole time you weed if you want to invest in one.
If you have further questions about weeding or any other point in the printing process, get in touch with PrimePick USA. We’re a heat transfer vinyl store with tons of experience with HTV.