How Do You Properly Iron On Heat Transfer Vinyl?

Heat transfer vinyl or HTV is incredibly easy to use, and with more ways to cut out designs than ever, more crafters are using it for their DIY projects! Here’s how you can ensure that every HTV craft comes out a success. 

What You Need To Properly Iron On HTV 

Before heating the iron, make sure you have the following items:
  • A sturdy surface, like a table
  • A mat or towel to protect the surface beneath your project. If you’re using HTV often enough, think about investing in a heat transfer pillow.
  • Heat transfer vinyl
  • A Teflon sheet, towel, or multiuse paper to protect your iron.
  • And of course, the material you're putting vinyl on!
Look at the steam holes on your iron. These determine where the heat comes from, and you'll want it on a nice flat, even surface. Some models have holes all in the middle, but you want them to be on the outside or have no holes at all! When they’re bunched in the middle, the result will be uneven. 

Check The Heat Setting

If you’ve determined the iron is good to use, the next part to check is the heat setting. Many crafters think that heat transfer vinyl needs a lot of heat and that the longer they apply it, the better the result will be. This isn’t true! The reality is that more heat will ruin the heat transfer vinyl’s adhesive. Many types of HTV won’t need more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit but check with the supplier information to be sure.  Once you’ve got the iron’s heat setting down, you’re almost ready to apply the HTV! Prepare your fabric by ironing it first so that it’s nice and smooth with no wrinkles that would affect the final product. While the material is warm, fold it in half and press it down to make a line down the middle. You’ll need this as a guide!

Applying The HTV

Once you’re ready, take your heat transfer vinyl and, with the sticky side facing out, lightly fold it in half. This won’t ruin your vinyl, but the fold in it will help you line up the design with the line you’ve made on your material. This will make sure the vinyl is straight! Next, put Teflon sheet, towel, or multiuse paper on top of your HTV; this will protect your iron from getting melted vinyl on it. Press down firmly but not too hard for about 10 to 15 seconds. If the iron didn’t cover the entire design, don’t worry - press it down on these parts, even if they overlap. Press these areas for 10 to 15 seconds also.  Once you’ve pressed all the HTV, you can peel off the vinyl’s carrier sheet. Check to see what kind of peel the HTV recommends; you can peel most types whether they're hot or cold. Once you've peeled the carrier sheet, you’re finished! The process is very easy - just make sure to use the right heat setting and the proper amount of pressure!

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