What Is Heat Transfer Vinyl?

Heat transfer vinyl on jumpers

Totes, caps, canvas bags, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and much more may be personalised with heat transfer vinyl. Heat Transfer Vinyl is a translucent carrier sheet that contains either poly vinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane (PU). The carrier sheet is left uncut so that the designs can be applied after being cut from the vinyl. The heat-activated adhesive used in heat transfer vinyl is made to adhere to any surface that can tolerate high temperatures. Glitter and flock are just two of the many hues and treatments available for heat transfer vinyl. Heat transfer vinyl can be cut with a knife or a desktop cutter.


What Vinyl Do You Use For Shirts?

Selecting a vinyl film that is appropriate for the fabric is crucial when making products that are meant to be worn and cleaned. Cotton, polyester, mixes of polyester, and acrylic fabrics can be used with almost all Basic PU and PVC films. Certain synthetic materials might not be appropriate for usage due to their tendency to melt under hot conditions. Certain fabrics may be harmed by the time and temperature requirements of certain PU and PVC films, and the adhesive may not adhere properly.

Certain types of heat transfer vinyl will work better for different types of fabrics or designs. For example, metallic and holographic vinyl works better for small designs because it is often stiffer. All heat transfer vinyl is washable, but you should always follow guidelines to ensure your design stays intact for longer.


Do You Need a Heat Press For Garment Vinyl?

A heat press is integral if you are planning to create products which you intend to sell. Heat transfer vinyl is made to be applied at certain temperatures and pressure. Depending on what garment vinyl you are using you will either have to peel the backing of the heat transfer vinyl hot or cold. When pressing the vinyl, some people will use an iron. Unfortunately, when you use an iron you cannot guarantee the temperature you are using, and you cannot reproduce the even pressure that a heat press delivers.

An iron is suitable for personal use, but we will strongly recommend you use a heat press if you want a high-quality end product. A heat press is certainly a worthwhile investment, it will help you transfer vinyl quickly and easily and give you a fantastic end product.


What Heat Press Should I Buy?

One of the best heat presses to purchase is the F2C Pro 5 in 1. The F2C Pro is a 15” x 15” high-quality heat press machine with fantastic industrial strength and durability. The machine comes with attachments for mugs, plates, and even hats. It has 350 rotation function which provides even heating. The main reason the F2C Pro is one of the best heat presses  is because it enables you to heat press much more than clothing, making it cost-effective and convenient.

If you are interested in a simpler heat press then a Circuit EasyPress may be more appropriate. A Circuit EasyPress is a compact heat press that transfers print onto the fabric by ironing it on. The Circuit EasyPress is lightweight and portable which makes it perfect for homes, it is also easy and simple to use which makes it great for beginners.


How Do You Heat Press Vinyl?

Below, are some simple instructions on how to heat press vinyl. The process of heat pressing vinyl is usually simple, quick, and straightforward.

Before heat pressing vinyl you will need to find out what pressure you need to apply to the vinyl and how long for. You will also need to know the temperature the vinyl needs to be heated at.

  1. Set the heat press to the correct pressure, time, and temperature.
  2. Place your garment onto the heat press.
  3. Place a Teflon sheet on top of the garment and heat press the sheet for 3 seconds.
  4. Centre the vinyl onto the garment, ensuring your garment is even and flat.
  5. Place the Teflon sheet on top of the vinyl and garment, and heat press for the appropriate time.
  6. Peel the backing sheet of the vinyl immediately if your vinyl is a hot peel, if not wait till the vinyl has cooled to peel the backing sheet.

Following these simple instructions will help you to achieve a perfect end product.


Tips On Heat Pressing Vinyl

It is essential that you place the heat press on a stable surface while using one. Because the heat press weighs a lot and you will be applying downward pressure, you must use a surface that is strong enough to support the weight. It is advisable to keep anything particularly combustible away from the heat press because it can get very hot.

Pre-pressing the garment helps remove wrinkles while the heat press is heating up but before it reaches the desired temperature. This makes the area where the heat transfer vinyl will be placed nice and flat.

It is extremely useful to place the garment on another surface other than the heat press when centring your heat transfer vinyl. This allows you to easily assembly the vinyl and then transfer the garment onto the heat press. This makes centring the vinyl easy and straightforward in most cases, the heat transfer vinyl will stay in place as you move it from the surface to the heat press.

If you are heat pressing a large number of garments it can be useful to attach the Teflon sheet to the top of the plate of the heat press by using magnets. Attaching the Teflon is extremely useful and saves a lot of time.

After peeling the backing off the vinyl, and while the machine is cooling down, it could be useful to do one quick additional press onto the garment for around 3 seconds. This can sometimes give the heat transfer vinyl a glossy finish.

If you are using a heat press for the first time it can be useful to do a ‘burn off’. A burn-off is when you put the heat up incredibly high and for an extended period of time. Doing this gets rid of the particular smell that the heat press creates.


How Long Does Vinyl Last On Shirts?

Under normal use, vinyl should last on shirts for more than five years. To maximize the lifespan of the vinyl you should follow these simple steps.

  • Do not dry clean the shirt, machine wash the shirt warm with mild detergent.
  • Dry the t-shirt at a normal setting.
  • Do not use bleach on the shirt.
  • Wait for at least 48 hours before the first wash after printing.

If you follow these simple steps then the vinyl on your shirt should last for much longer than 5 years.

At The Vinyl Corporation, we offer flock, chrome, and glitter heat transfer vinyl from renowned brands. Our heat press vinyl is available in a range of different colours and roll sizes and is of a high quality.

If you would like to find out more information about heat transfer vinyl then please get in touch with us today. The Vinyl Corporation has been supplying high-quality sign vinyl from well-known brands such as Oracal, 3M, Image Perfect, Avery, Ritrama and LG Chem for over 30 years. You can get in touch with us by using our contact form, by emailing us at: dmtvc.march@btconnect.com or by calling us on: 0115 930 1133. Will be more than happy to answer any questions or queries you may have.