Heat transfer vinyl has a heat-activated adhesive backing, which is activated between 160-190C depending on the brand and type.
Cut this HT vinyl with a vinyl cutter, remove what you do not want, and apply it to your material using a heat press, or simply using a household iron.
It is also possible to layer (add different colours on top of one another), except no layering on Flock.
HT vinyls are available in many different colours and types. Our main types of HT vinyls are Smooth, Glitter, Flocked (velvet-texture), and Metallic.
HT vinyl is not just for fabrics, it can also work with any substrate that can withstand a minimum temperature of 160C applied to it for more than 10 seconds; eg mugs (use with mug press machine), wood, leather, etc.
Only when using Printable HT, would you need to use Application film to transfer your cut image. Solid colours do not need application tape since most already have a Removal backing material that needs to be removed while hot or cold (depending on the usage instructions).
For Info on how to use HT materials, click this link
Heat Transfer settings
The heat transfer material offered by Silhouette America® may be used with a heat press.
For the Smooth Heat Transfer Material you may heat press between 330 - 335ºF (165 - 168ºC) for 17-20 seconds using firm even pressure.
For the Flocked Heat Transfer Material you may heat press between 310 - 330ºF (154 - 165ºC) for 10 - 15 seconds using firm even pressure.
For the Printable Heat Transfer for Light Fabrics, you may heat press at 345ºF (174ºC) for 30-40 seconds using firm even pressure.
For the Printable Heat Transfer for Dark Fabrics, you may heat press between between 340 - 350ºF (171 - 177ºC) for 15-20 seconds using firm even pressure.
A few other tips & tricks for heat transfer are as follows:
- Do not apply heat transfer material to Nylon fabrics or plastics (vinyl/PVC, ABS, etc.)
- Smooth heat transfer material should never be layered
- For best results, apply ample pressure while using your iron's cotton setting
- You may alternately use a heat press if you have access to such
- Keep things as flat as possible when ironing on initially
- Make sure to cut on the "dull" surface. When cutting heat transfer material, you will need to always cut the "dull" surface side of the material. The "shiny" side is actually the built-in transfer tape. The "dull" side is the heat-activated adhesive side. Never cut on the "shiny" side.
- Always remember to mirror. When cutting heat transfer material, it is vital to always horizontally mirror your images (by right-clicking and selcting to mirror horizontally). That way, your text and asymmetrical images will come out correctly when laid onto your desired surface and not be backwards.
- Use a thin pressing cloth or Teflon sheet rather than a thick cloth
- Heat transfer material should never be dried on high heat in a dryer—only medium or low
- Highly textured fabrics or loosely knit fabrics are not ideal for use with heat transfer material
- Once your project is finished and the transfer surface has been removed leaving your project, you may wish to again iron (directly for flocked and with a thin pressing cloth for smooth) without the additional plastic surface in order to provide additional heated pressure
- After wearing (if a garment of any sort), you will want to wash the garment inside-out
Cause & Solutions:
The following can cause concerns with heat transfer material not adhering properly onto a fabric surface:
- Fabric type in question is not conducive to adhesive - The heat transfer material is intended for cotton fabric surfaces. It will not work with Nylon fabrics or plastics (vinyl/PVC, ABS, etc.). Similarly, polyester will not work well with heat transfer materials since the adhesive type cannot bond properly to a plastic-based surface. Also, textured fabrics or loosely knit fabrics are not ideal for use with the heat transfer product.
- Wrong iron settings used - Too little or too much heat as well as too little or too much time can affect the adhesive quality and how it is bonded onto the fabric surface. Over or under ironing can cause issues.
- Washing or drying conditions too harsh - Garments should be turned inside-out prior to washing and fabrics with the heat transfer material applied should not be placed in a dryer with a high heat setting.
Making personalized gifts through heat transfer projects can be a fun and creative way to show your loved ones that you care. Based on your requirements and budget, I can suggest a few items that you can consider purchasing from www.shop-n-scrap.co.za:
Heat Press Machine: A heat press machine is essential for heat transfer projects. It allows you to apply heat and pressure to transfer designs onto various items. Look for a compact and affordable model suitable for home use. We have the fatty and minimoo suitable for beginners.
Transfer Paper: To print your designs and transfer them onto T-shirts and other items, you'll need transfer paper. Look for high-quality heat transfer paper that works with both inkjet or laser printers, depending on the printer you have access to.
Vinyl Cutter: While not mandatory, a vinyl cutter can expand your possibilities for creating designs. It enables you to cut out intricate shapes and patterns from heat transfer vinyl. Consider a budget-friendly vinyl cutter like the Cricut Explore Air or Silhouette Cameo.
Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV): HTV is a type of material that you can cut into designs and apply to fabrics using heat. It comes in various colors and finishes, allowing you to create personalized designs on T-shirts and other fabric items. Look for HTV rolls or sheets in different colors that suit your preferences.
Basic Tools and Accessories: Don't forget to stock up on essential tools like scissors, weeding tools, and a Teflon sheet for protecting your projects during the heat press process.
Remember, starting with a small investment is a good approach, as you mentioned you're not looking to start a business at the moment. As you gain more experience and if you decide to expand your hobby into a business, you can gradually invest in more professional-grade equipment.
Be sure to check the product descriptions, reviews, and ratings on the website to ensure the quality and compatibility of the items you're interested in purchasing. Happy crafting, and I hope your family enjoys the personalized gifts you create!