Which Vinyl is Best for Your Project?

Picking the Correct Type of Vinyl

Here at Clean Cut Graphics, we carry a diverse number of high-quality vinyls. From masking vinyl to our own in-house heat transfer line, we have a vinyl to meet whatever needs you may have.

The options are so plentiful that sometimes choosing the right vinyl for your next project can be overwhelming, but we’re here to make it easier for you!

First off, there are some questions you can ask yourself to help narrow down your selection:

  1. What surface material will you apply the design to?
  2. Will it be exposed to the elements?
  3. Do you want to remove the design after a little while, or do you want a more permanent application?

While appearance and preference are important, purpose should always be taken into consideration. Just like how each vinyl has different cutter settings, there are different ways to efficiently weed vinyl, different surfaces they’re best applied to, and different methods for achieving a high-quality application depending on your surface.

For example, while Oracal 651 has a full range of colors and effects, it doesn't really apply well to articles of clothing. Instead we carry several lines of heat transfer vinyl, like Siser Easyweed and Clean Cut Graphics Premiere.

Types of Vinyl

Adhesive vinyl is made of two parts; the vinyl and the backing paper. The design is cut into the vinyl itself and is left on the backing paper while the excess is peeled away.

Heat transfer vinyl, or HTV, is also made of two parts – the vinyl and the carrier sheet, which covers the top face of the vinyl. Unlike adhesive vinyl, HTV is cut on the vinyl side. Your design should be mirrored before you cut into it.

Vinyl Basics

After making sure your project was successfully cut, you can move on to the next step -- removing the extra vinyl you don't need.

The process of removing unwanted vinyl from your design is called weeding.

After weeding an adhesive vinyl design, you need to apply transfer tape to move it away from the backing sheet, smooth it with a burnishing tool, and apply it to the surface of your project piece. Be sure to smooth that down too.

With HTV there’s typically no need for transfer tape when it comes to most lines. Printable HTV is the exception, which needs TTD EasyMask transfer tape. HTV is applied with heat and pressure, which you can get with an iron. If you use a lot of HTV however, you might want to consider investing in an industrial heat press.

Check in with us again later, where we’ll talk about the differences in adhesive vinyls and delve deeper into the process of applying vinyl step-by-step! For now, if you have any questions, please drop them in the comments below. 😊

Till next time, happy cutting!

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