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How to Heat Transfer Vinyl

When I started to use heat transfer vinyl I was intimidated. Here are some tips and tricks I've learned!


  • Mirror!!!! I can't tell you how many times we've forgotten to mirror a design before cutting it. Once my husband forgot to mirror something, weeded it and pressed it on before I pointed out to him that it was now pertinently pressed on backwards!!! 
  • Shinny side down. Sometimes if I can't tell which side is which I scratch at it to make sure I'm cutting the vinyl and not the backing. I have cut the wrong side before! 
  • If you don't use a matte sometimes it slips on the rollers. We put transfer tape or masking tape on the edges where the rollers go and it helps it not slip. 
  • Make sure it's not going to melt! Certain fabrics or parts of clothes will melt! We've done jackets before and if the zipper touched the press it would melt! 
When we started I only thought about doing shirts. I didn't realize everything I could do! What can you do?
  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Sweats
  • Hats
  • Beanies
  • Bibs
  • Blankets
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Almost any fabric
Clam shell vs Swing Away heat press:
Our first press was a clam shell. I loved it. It worked great. My only problem was when loading shirts I often hit my knuckles on the plate and burned them! 

Long story short, that press left and we needed a new one. I jumped at the chance to get a swing away. I LOVE it, I really do. However I find myself saying "I miss my clam shell!". The #1 reason is because I press a lot of  stuffed animals, dolls and other thicker items. With the swing arm it is HARD to keep everything in the right place. The clam shell just went straight down and nothing moved. I finally figured out that if I took the item and held it up to the place for a few seconds it will press it into place so it doesn't shift when the swing arm comes over. Yet, I have never burned myself with my swing arm! Since I have used both, if I HAD to choose one it would be..... swing arm! The only reason being that I was constantly burning my hard on my clam shell. Now that I figured out how to get stuff not to shift it is better.

Another question to ask yourself is, What brand to use?
I have used several brands, EnduraTEX, Chemica, Silhouette
Ever time, I kid you not, that I hear about people having problems with it not sticking or peeling up it is ALWAYS Siser!!! I have personally never used it and I never will!!!

Pressing HPV *Heat Press Vinyl on top of HPV does work, but it doesn't hold up as well. The problem is when pressing HPV it essentially melts into the fabric. So when on top of other vinyl it can't melt in to hold.