Top 9 Best Heat Transfer Vinyl Reviews 2018 : Expert Guide
Whether you’re looking to transfer those amazing designs on your PC to your t-shirts or your customer’s garments, one thing’s certain. You will need the best heat transfer vinyl.
Although getting good heat transfer vinyl isn’t rocket science, it will definitely need lots of research, and with your customer’s orders to work on, you might not have time for adequate research.
Fortunately, over time, I have used numerous different types of heat transfer vinyl, and I thought my experience would be helpful. With regard to that, I composed the following guide, which shows you the finest heat transfer vinyl in the market today along with great tips on cutting and using heat transfer vinyl.
What Is Heat Transfer Vinyl?
Popularly abbreviated as HTV, heat transfer vinyl refers to a special kind of vinyl that is used to transfer designs onto materials like fabric with the application of heat and pressure.
HTV comes in form of rolls or sheets with adhesive backings. Each roll or sheet contains just one color but there are special options for glitter, reflective, 3D puff, flocked, and glow in the dark HTV.
You can cut, weed, and place the heat transfer vinyl on a substrate then apply some heat.
Things to Know Before Buying Heat Transfer Vinyl
Here are a few things you’ve got to consider before buying a heat transfer vinyl to ensure that it suits your needs:
While creating and transferring designs, it’s highly probable that you will be working with different colors.
Therefore, you need to seek vinyl packs that offer you a broad array of colors that can fit into any design you might need to transfer.
Make sure that the colors you select are trendy and suitable for your unique projects.
Today’s heat transfer vinyl bundles come in different qualities. Obviously, you ought to go for the best quality if you want to have excellent end results.
Good quality vinyl is long-lasting and doesn’t peel off, crack or fade easily no matter how many times you wash the garment.
The best heat transfer vinyl bundles are thin. The thinner the vinyl, the easier it is to cut it by machine, and the easier it is to transfer the design.
Ease of transfer
If you invest in the wrong vinyl, you could end up having quite a hard time while transferring designs to various garments.
To avoid that, I suggest you purchase a heat transfer vinyl that is very easy to transfer. Thin, lightweight vinyl is the kind that attaches onto your fabrics with ease.
Our 9 Best Heat Transfer Vinyl Reviews:
1. SISER EasyWeed Heat Transfer Vinyl, 12 x 15" 12-Color Starter BUNDLE
One of the best features a heat transfer vinyl can have is pressure sensitivity.
EasyWeed’s pressure-sensitive carrier is what sets this heat transfer vinyl (HTV) apart. With this feature, you can weed tiny letters andother fine designs effortlessly.
This HTV is a lot thinner compared to other film materials, and thus it’s very easy to cut and weed. This trait also makes it easy to apply heat and transfer the vinyl onto your garments whether you are doing single or multi-layer applications.
The EasyWeed Starter Bundle consists of 12 vinyl sheets that measure 12 by 15 inches, with each of the sheets having its own different color. Only main colors are used here, and they include white, pink, green, various shades of yellow, red, blue, black, orange, gold, and more.
The vinyl is made of a polyurethane material, which is designed for custom apparel decoration. It is a ready-to-cut sort of material.
Another aspect that makes EasyWeed so much special is that it offers you great longevity, even with repeated washing.
For that, if you’re looking to add designs to garments for use by sports teams or any other group of people that takes part in rigorous activities, then you need SiserEasyWeed HTV.
Fortunately, you can apply Siser EasyWeed HTV on most types of fabric, including cotton, polyester, and poly/cotton blends.
SiserEasyWeed is a hot peel HTV.
2. Fame Crafts Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle 12"x10"
If you intend to go commercial with your heat printing business, it’s very likely that you will be working on tons of different projects.
In that case, you need a HTV set that offers you great flexibility, particularly with regards to color.
This Fame Crafts Bundle is one of the HTV sets that offers you incredible color versatility. With 20 of the most popular colors, you can kickstart your business with confidence, knowing that you will be able to take most orders.
The bundle contains 20 different sheets, each with its own color. The special colors you get here include neon blue, pink and green, and sky and ocean blue. You also get different shades of pink and green.
The sheets measure 12 by 10 inches and they are made of polyurethane, which is a very sturdy material. This material is also very easy to weed.
The Fame Crafts HTV Bundle is also unique, as it extremely thin and highly sensitive to pressure. That way, you can weed even the tiniest letters and work with the finest little details without worry.
This HTV is lightweight and easy to carry and apply but it’s also very durable. It is crafted to withstand frequent washing and drying without peeling off or cracking.
One more reason for buying the Fame Crafts Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle is that the manufacturers are committed to providing a hassle-free buying experience with great customer service.
3. Rozzy Crafts 12 Color Iron-On Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) Starter Bundle
The Rozzy Crafts Iron-On HTV bundle is a pack with 12 sheets of polyurethane vinyl. Each sheet measures 12 by 10 inches and has its own distinct color.
Being made of polyurethane, the vinyl sheets are super soft and ideal for detailed designs.
Therefore, if you’re looking to transfer high-quality designs with thin lines and lots of details, you’ve got to give Rozzy Crafts a shot.
The fact that it’s made of polyurethane alsomeans that the sheets are easy to cut and weed.
A most beautiful aspect of this HTV is that once you apply it, it lets your garment stretch naturally during movement while preserving exceptional sturdiness and capacity to bear up regular washing and drying.
The HTV is normally peeled cold and as a means of ensuring the transfer survives for a long time, you ought to wait for at least 24 hours to wash the garment.
4. Angel Crafts 12" x 10" SISER Easyweed Heat Transfer Vinyl Sheets (16 PACK) w/ Teflon Sheet for T Shirts, Hats, Clothing
If you’re looking to enjoy real Siser EasyWeed quality with smaller HTVs, this product, from Angel Crafts might be just what you’re looking for. Each of the 16 HTV sheets in this bundle is a quality polyurethane material that measures 12 by 10 inches.
The good thing about a smaller HTV is that it is easier to manage and minimizes wastage.
This vinyl is perfectly thin and designed to fit hats, t-shirts, polos, and other apparels. It allows you to cut out little letters or any styles you might have in mind without degrading the final design’s quality.
With 16 different colors, which are bold and beautiful, it is possible to create a wide range of designs.
One of the most special things about this HTV is that it comes with a free Teflon sheet. This sheet provides you with extra safety for your garments against the heat. Place the Teflon on top of the vinyl to prevent the high heat from coming into direct contact with the garment.
Angel Crafts Siser HTV is a lot thinner than most other htvs. This makes it easy to for the vinyl to flex more effortlessly while you apply it onto the garment and while the garment is worn or washed. That way, the design is long-lasting; it hardly fades, peels or cracks.
5. Angel Crafts 6" by 50' PREMIUM Transfer Paper Tape Roll with Grid
Maybe you are looking for something to help you position your vinyl on different surfaces. In that case, I’d encourage you to go for one of the most versatile transfer paper rolls in the market, the Angel Crafts Transfer Paper.
What makes this transfer paper different from most others is that it is designed to work with all vinyl brands. Furthermore, it’s very easy to unwind and apply.
The Angel Crafts Transfer Paper provides you with great value for your money, as a single roll gives you a length of up to 50 feet. And, it’s not just about the quantity; the quality is excellent too.
With regards to quality, the transfer paper doesn’t leave a tacky residue on your vinyl. Also, it will not rip your project. This transfer paper has just the perfect amount of glue to ensure that your project transfers beautifully without any mess.
Don’t know how to use a transfer paper? No worries. The package comes with simple, concise instructions on using it.
6. Transfer Paper Tape Roll 12"x25 FT CLEAR w/ Blue Alignment Grid
Here’s another great product for those looking to buy a transfer paper to help them position the adhesive vinyl correctly.
The Crafopia's Transfer Paper is an exceptional new roll that assists you in aligning your projects perfectly even if you’re working with multiple layers. You can customize the size to match your adhesive vinyl by cutting off what suits you.
With 12 inches by 25 feet transfer paper, you can do many projects with just one roll; that saves time and money as you don’t have to buy more from time to time.
The Crafopia's Transfer Paper is crafted to work with a broad assortment of adhesive vinyl, including glitter vinyl varieties. And, the good thing is, it’s easy to transfer to smooth surfaces such as windows, glass, ceramics, stickers, and more.
With a blue grid backing, this transfer paper facilitates seamless alignment for your project making it easier and more efficient to transfer the project.
7. Oracal 651 Vinyl Rolls Review:
The Oracal presents the best heat transfer vinyl sets for those who are looking to venture into serious heat printing.
With 47 colors to choose from, it’s highly unlikely that you will pass up any order because you couldn’t find the color the customer wants.
For instance, blue comes in 7 different shades, including cobalt, ice blue, sky blue, and more. Also, green is available in 5 distinct shades, white in 3, and yellow in 4. There are also other uncommon colors like copper metallic.
With such a wide assortment of colors, you have true versatility and ability to run your business efficiently.
Oracal 651 Vinyl comes in rolls of 10 per package, and each roll measures 5 feet long. Every roll has its distinct color and thus when buying the product online, you’re required to send the seller a message specifying your 10 color choices.
You normally choose the 10 colors from the 47 color options provided by Oracal
8. Best Crafts 12" X 10' Feet Roll Transfer Paper w/ Grid
What really sets a transfer paper apart from the crowd is versatility. BestCrafts Transfer Paper Roll is extremely versatile as you can use it for just about any transfer project you might have in mind, whether it’s indoors or outdoors.
The transfer paper works with most vinyl brands, including Cameo, Silhouette, Cricut, Provo Craft, and more.
In addition to that, it easily transfers to windows, walls, glass, ceramics, and other smooth surfaces.
Measuring 12 inches by 10 feet, the roll allows you to undertake many projects without having to shop for more. That saves both time and cash.
Another great advantage of having the BestCrafts Transfer Paper Roll is that it is very easy to use. It comes with a red grid square backing that makes alignment not only effortless but also more effective. That, subsequently, makes it easy for you to transfer your designs.
9. Angel Crafts 12" by 8' PREMIUM Transfer Paper Tape Roll with Grid
Did you love the Angel Craft Transfer Paper Roll we discussed above but found it to be too long? You might find this version, which measures just 8 feet long, to be very useful and ideal for your needs.
Like the longer Angel Craft transfer paper, this roll offers you awesome quality. First, it works with virtually all vinyl brands out there, such as Silhouette, Cricut, and more. Then again, it unwinds effortlessly and is easy to apply to your projects.
What makes this product really worthy is that it was made by people who share your passion for making decorations. The founders felt tired of poor quality transfer paper and they decided to manufacture their own. Their product was so good that they decided to produce it commercially.
In addition to that, this product comes with a good money-back guarantee so that in the unlikely event that you don’t like it, you can have your cash back in a convenient manner.
If you have had trouble with transfer papers leaving sticky residues on your vinyl, go for this Angel Crafts transfer paper. There won’t be any sticky residues and you will not have to worry about your project getting ripped.
How to use Heat Transfer Vinyl?
The imprinting process is probably easier than you imagine. Here are the simple steps you need to take to make sure that your transfer is perfect:
Secure the necessary tools
Before getting started, you’ve got to get the right tools; they will make your work easier. These include:
If you don’t already have a vector based software on your PC, it’s time to download one from the internet. Silhouette Studio Software would be perfect. You can install it in a few minutes and use it to download images/designs from the Silhouette online store.
Use your design prowess to set the images in a beautiful manner so the end design can be nice. You can ask a friend for a hand if you’re not very good at designing artworks.
Cut the vinyl
You’re done with the artwork and now it’s time for flipping and cutting. Here, you have two options. You can cut it with the mat or without the mat. Either way, the results will be great.
If you’re using a mat, make certain that the design is adequately small to fit on the mat. It’s got to be properly secured to have fewer chances of error. But, if your image is larger than the mat, you’ll need to do the cut without the mat.
To perform the cut, load the vinyl into the vinyl cutter, ensuring that the vinyl’s backing side is facing up.
Before you do the actual cut, you may test the design to ensure that the desired results are produced.
With your design now cut, the next task is to weed it. Here, you trim the design to take off any extra edges.
Be sure to remove all the parts that you do not want to see on the final design. The inside of letters like O and B need to be weeded with care. You might find a weeding tool very helpful.
Now is the time to transfer your weeded piece to your project. Ensure that the piece is aligned correctly, with the adhesive backing side facing up. It’s crucial that you space out the weeded piece on your project.
You may use either a heat press machine or an iron. But, if you look to get professional results, I would recommend using a heat press machine as it allows you to set and control the temperature and pressure levels precisely.
The heat and pressure are the factors that transfer your design onto your project, and with a good heat press machine, the job can be done in under 20 seconds.
How To Cut A Heat Transfer Vinyl
The heat transfer machine is among the best design devices that you can employ to transfer custom logos, images, letters, and other designs to bags, t-shirts, pillow cases, and other fabrics.
Even though this machine is highly effective, the end results can be very frustrating if you did a wrong vinyl cut. So, below, I have outlined how to cut your HTV properly so that your designs come out faultless.
The best way to cut a heat transfer vinyl is to use a vinyl cutting machine like cricut or silhouette cameo.
Let’s look into how to do the cut using Cricut (the cutting process using Silhouette Cameo is very similar to this one).
Cutting heat transfer vinyl with cricut
Here are the steps to follow:
Place the HTV on the cutting mat, with the backing side facing up. Ensure that the speed is set to “medium” and the blade assembly is set to “regular”. Also, select “1” on the multi-cut feature.
Apart from those settings, you will need to adjust the blade’s depth and the pressure. If you’re using the Cricut Explore, then you’re in luck as all you have to do is choose “Vinyl” on the smart-set dial.
You’re aiming for a kiss-cut. In that regard, you ought to only cut through the vinyl, leaving the liner intact.
The following table should help you adjust the pressure and the blade’s depth correctly based on your machine’s model.
Depth of the blade
Cricut Personal, Expression, and Create
Pro tip: maybe you had a 12x12 HTV but your design only took a small portion. You can cut out that portion and save the other part of the HTV for future use. Use a weeding tool to help you take off those unwanted parts effectively.
Once you’re done with that process, transferring your design to your garment is virtually effortless. Assuming you’re using an iron, all you have to do is place the vinyl on the garment with the clear side facing up. Set the iron to a heat level above 300 °F, then apply it with moderate pressure on the vinyl for 15 to 20 seconds.
That time should be enough to transfer the design. Finally, just peel off the clear plastic part of the vinyl, leaving your design stuck on your garment. If parts of the design appear to be peeling out along with the plastic part, just place the plastic back and apply some more heat and pressure before attempting the peel again.
Safety Tips While Using Heat Transfer Vinyl
While cutting your designs from HTV or transferring them to the products you’re intending to decorate, you’ve got to be careful to ensure that you, your products, and the environment stays safe. Here are a few tips to guide you:
Follow the directions
Instructions on use vary depending on the HTV you’re using. If your HTV comes with instructions, be sure to read and follow them. And, in case it doesn’t come with any instructions, you can just do a quick Google search by writing your HTV’s brand name + instructions.
Use dry heat
In no occasion should you use steam, as it will only ruin your HTV.
Some irons discharge steam at regular intervals. Therefore, if there is water in the iron’s tank, I suggest you empty it first and let the iron dry for a few moments before using it.
Don’t use an iron that’s too hot
The problem with applying vinyl with an iron that is too hot is that the design can get distorted from the vinyl curling or shrinking from the excess heat.
Therefore, I suggest that you check the vinyl’s recommended temperature (different vinyl brands tolerate different heat levels).
Use a Teflon sheet
Applying the iron directly might result in the garment you’re decorating getting scorched. So, place a Teflon sheet on the vinyl then apply the iron. You could also use a parchment paper or an old cloth in place of the Teflon sheet.
Press, do not iron
Pressing down the iron in a single spot is better than moving it around. Press down in one spot for a few seconds, then lift the iron and go for another spot. Once the 15 seconds are over, you can now iron the area quickly for 2 or 3 seconds.
This strategy helps avoid whacking the not-so-rigid design out of place.
Don’t apply HTV to hot mats, hot pads or trivets meant for protecting your table from hot dishes
Even though the hot dishes will not cause the HTV to melt, those that are hot enough might cause the vinyl to discharge smelly gases. Although the gases might not be in high amounts, they don’t have the kind of smell you want at your dinner table. Furthermore, these gases might contain various toxins.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is weeding with regards to vinyl cutting?
Weeding refers to the removal of unnecessary vinyl from a design. The process can be a little complicated when delicate designs or tiny letters are involved. That’s why it’s important to have a weeding tool to help you with the task. Most top vinyl dealers stock a range of weeding tools.
2. How long should I iron the vinyl to transfer my design?
15 seconds should be enough. Just grab your Teflon sheet, place over the vinyl to protect the garment, then press down for 15 seconds.
3. What is a heat press?
A heat press is a machine used to press transfers onto substrates. It uses temperature and pressure for a particular duration to imprint designs onto the substrate.
Even though irons can be used for the same function, a heat press is recommended for professional, appealing results. It’s hard to achieve the amount of pressure required for a good transfer. Again, it’s easier to control the temperature and pressure levels with a heat press machine.
4. What items can I heat press?
The items that are more commonly heat pressed includeceramic plates and tiles, caps, mouse pads, mugs, paper memo cubes, jigsaw puzzles, tote bags, lettering and numbers, crystals/rhinestones, wood, metal, apparels, and more.
5. What does a transfer comprise?
If you’re using heat transfer vinyl, the transfer is composed of the vinyl along with the plastic backing. When you heat the transfer and press an adequate amount of pressure for a sometime, the vinyl gets passed over to the imprintable material.
6. What kind of heat transfer vinyl can I use for t-shirt and textile printing?
You have two main options –polyurethane (PU) or PVC.
Polyurethane HTV is the most desired medium for transferring graphics onto t-shirts and other textiles. That’s because polyurethane vinyl tends to be softer, thinner and easier to stretch so that it feels like part of the apparel.
Apart from that, polyurethane vinyl is OekoTex Standard 100 compliant. In that regard, it’s safe for everyone, including kids.
PVC HTV is thicker but less expensive than PU. The fact that this HTV is thicker makes it less flexible.
Also, PVC HTV is not as soft as PU HTV.
Because of the reasons outlined above, PVC heat transfer vinyl is not very safe for kids. PVC should, therefore, be used to decorate adult wears only.
7. What is the difference between heat transfer vinyl and sublimation paper?
Heat transfer vinyl, popularly shortened as HTV, is a polyurethane or PVC material that you can cut designs from. You then have to heat press the cut out onto your garments or whatever other material you’re looking to decorate. Each HTV typically has one color.
There are also specialty options like glitter, patterned, holographic, 3D puff, glow in the dark, and more.
A sublimation paper, on the other hand, is a special kind of paper used to transfer ink to various materials with the aim of creating certain designs. The transfer process needs the application of heat and pressure.
If you’re looking to go into heat printing seriously, you need the best heat transfer vinyl.
The review section above is aimed at helping you find products that will not disappoint you. That is because all the products there are lightweight and durable, with other great traits that are necessary for breathtaking transfers.
Whether you’re a rookie in heat printing or an expert, whether you want to do it as a business or a hobby, I believe there’s something for you in the review section.
Remember, the buying guide section helps you find what best fits you by outlining the factors you need to consider before buying a heat transfer vinyl.
What heat transfer vinyl are thinking of getting? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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