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The Complete Guide To Siser HTV: Heat Press Settings

Heat transfer vinyl, popularly known as HTV among the crafting community, is a fantastic material. It can be cut and applied to a wide variety of materials, including polyester and cotton shirts, even combination polyester-cotton blends. It is a fantastic way to add a unique design to any material. But, before you break out your Cricut or Silhouette cutter, you need to know how to use your heat press machine properly. Improper use—including pressure, temperature, and time settings—can cause your vinyl to burn or not stick. We do not want your craft going wrong! In this blog, we will provide a complete guide to how to use heat transfer vinyl (HTV) successfully.

The Different Kinds of Heat Transfer Vinyl

Sample colours for 150 foot Siser heat transfer vinyl sheets
There are a variety of types of heat transfer vinyl products available. Each type of HTV has its own pressure, time and heat settings to get the perfect results.

Hot Peel

Most heat transfer vinyl is hot peel. Hot peel HTV requires the carrier sheet to be removed immediately after using your heat presses high heat to stick to a garment and should be peeled when hot. Siser Easyweed, ThemoFlex Plus, and Siser Easyweed Glow in the Dark are just a few examples of hot peel HTV.

Warm Peel

Warm peel HTV is much the same as hot peel HTV. This heat transfer vinyl transfer needs to be removed warm, after you have adhered it with hot temperatures to cling to the fabric or other material. Make sure to let this HTV cool slightly before peeling.

Cold Peel

Despite being titled a "cold peel" this vinyl still uses heat transfer technology for application purposes; cold HTV vinyl has "cold" in its name because the carrier sheet needs to be cold before removal.

Low Temp Peel

Low temp HTV is a perfect option for pressing heat-sensitive materials like rayon, 100% polyester or silk. You should use low temp HTV on any shirt or fabric that says "cool iron only" on its tag.

Heat Press Temperature Application Instructions

Continue reading for our step-by-step guide to HTV application.

Blue tartan Siser HTV with ruler for scale

1. Set up your heat press machine

First, you will need to find a good workspace. Set your heat press machine on a flat, sturdy surface. Make sure the surface can handle more than the weight of the machine. You will need to add additional pressure when using a handheld iron or cricut easy press and the last thing you want is the table collapsing underneath it.

2. Select the right amount of pressure

Plugin your heat-press, but do not turn it on yet. You will want to adjust the pressure settings to ensure that you have the right amount of pressure for your choice of material. Too little pressure will mean that the vinyl will not attach to the material, whereas too much pressure will cause your material to burn. Medium pressure is a safe bet for most vinyl.

You can find the perfect, medium pressure setting by following these steps:

  • Place your shirt or garment on the press
  • Close the heat press by pushing down on the handle
  • Keep pressing the handle until the apparatus locks close
  • Open the press back up, then turn the knob tighter by 4 or 5 turns
  • Close the heat press until the apparatus locks close
  • Repeat the process until you cannot lock the press when it is closed

3. Turn on the machine and set the temperature

Once you have set the press to medium pressure, you can turn on the machine. Most heat presses will start heating immediately. You will need to adjust the heat press temperature to the correct setting. Check the chart to find the correct temperature for your vinyl.

HTV Heat Settings

A roll of blank Siser Easy Subli paper

4. Re-press your shirt

Before you lay down your HTV, you should press the fabric that you will be applying the HTV to. You can press the fabric by closing the heat press machine for 5 seconds. It is so fast you won't even need to set a timer! Lift the lid and your base is primed and ready for HTV application.

Note: Remember to be mindful of the heat recommendations for cotton and polyester. If you are printing on either of these materials, make sure to avoid high heat. We recommend that you test the tip of your cotton or polyester with an iron before pressing.

5. Place your HTV

After your shirt is on the press, lay your HTV over the shirt. Make sure to adjust the fine lines of the vinyl until the design is perfect.

6. Press the vinyl

Once the vinyl has been placed, close the heat press and let it sit for the designated amount of time. Check the chart below for time recommendations.

Sister Heat Transfer Vinyl Time Guide

  • Siser Easyweed: 10-15 seconds
  • Sister Glitter: 15 seconds
  • Siser Easyweed Glow in the Dark: 2 seconds, then 10-15 seconds
  • Siser Sparkle: 15 seconds
  • Siser Holographic: 15-20 seconds

7. Remove the Carrier sheet

Remove the carrier sheet by peeling it away from the vinyl. The end result is a stunning vinyl design!

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