The Biggest Mistakes To Avoid When Using Heat Transfer Vinyl
If you’re looking for an eye-catching craft material with a professional finish, give heat transfer vinyl a try. Make logos, patterns, and designs for anything from mug cozies to wall art! Find success making all sorts of projects while avoiding a few common pitfalls. Before starting, read about the biggest mistakes to avoid when using heat transfer vinyl.
Using the Incorrect Temperature
When you buy fabric heat transfer vinyl, read the instructions and pay attention to the heat press temperature you’ll need. Since HTV can come in various forms, such as metallic and matte, the ideal temperature can be different.
If the temperature you use is too low, the vinyl won’t stick. You’ll have to go over it again at a higher temperature.
If your iron temperature is too high, your HTV design will melt and pucker. It’ll adhere, but it’ll also alter the texture of the fabric.
Not Applying Enough Pressure
Heat transfer vinyl needs extra pressure to adhere correctly! If you’re using an iron to transfer the vinyl, you’ll need to press down harder than you would for a simple ironing job. Try doing your ironing on the floor so that you can put more of your body weight into it.
The best way to ensure the right amount of pressure is to use a heat press. To find that sweet spot, try the dollar bill test. Close a dollar bill between the plates and adjust the pressure settings until you can’t pull that bill out when you close the press.
Using Mismatched Materials
If your vinyl simply doesn’t adhere, then you may be trying to affix it to a surface that won’t take it. Nylon and polyester fabrics aren’t ideal for firm vinyl adhesion and may cause your design to flake despite your best efforts.
This principle also applies to other types of HTV. Depending on the effect you want, whether it’s glitter, matte, holographic, there’s a different type of vinyl for you. Many of them will require different temperatures and won’t layer over each other without peeling or puckering.
Once you apply a heat transfer vinyl design onto a piece of clothing, you change that article’s care instructions. A cotton t-shirt you washed and wore for years will require a little extra TLC when adding that logo or design.
You shouldn’t wash clothes and other textile items for at least 24 hours after applying your HTV design. Going forward, you should wash those t-shirts inside-out in warm or cool water. Also, consider hang-drying them instead of tossing them in the dryer. This practice will help preserve the logo for longer and keep it from peeling or flaking.
Heat transfer vinyl is fun and easy to use, as long as you mind the instructions! Remember the biggest mistakes to avoid when using heat transfer vinyl as you work and keep both eyes on your project.