HTV Best Practices

HTV Tips and Best Practices 
Heat Transfer Vinyl Tips & Best Practices

HTV Storage
 Vinyl Storage

HTV Width

Vinyl Storage:
Always use a quality vinyl.  Some vinyl may have a shelf-life (depending on how it's stored). See below for some tips.

- Horizontal storage is a great way to store your vinyl rolls to avoid sag and creases.
- Store away from direct sunlight and windows.
- Avoid storing rolls above heating vents, near heating elements or base heaters.
- Store in a humidity controlled room.

- Store sheets flat.
- Keep sealed in package. A silica pack may help.
- Store away from direct sunlight and windows.
- Avoid storing vinyl above heating vents, near heating elements or base heaters.
- Store in a humidity controlled room.


If vinyl is stored improperly such as near direct sunlight or a heater, the adhesive backing will begin to activate and weaken over time before you can use it.

Keep your environment at a controlled room temperature. When ordering HTV by mail, allow it to come to room temperature before using (approx 24hrs).


HTV comes in a variety of widths and lengths. The most common widths are 15 and 20". Choose the appropriate width for your vinyl cutter.


Your Garment:


Before choosing your HTV, determine what garment you will be using first.
High polyester count fabrics requires a low temperature and quick press-time HTV (as polyester fabrics can scorch or melt). Polyester, modal, blends, rayon, nylon and others require a standard heat setting of approx 305-320F for 10-15 seconds.  You want to avoid scorching or melting these synthetic fibres. With heat sensitive fabrics, you could opt to use low temperature products.

Pre-press the garment. This will remove creases and wrinkles, remove moisture and provide an even surface for pressing. Before pressing use a plain piece of parchment or a teflon sheet to avoid marking the garment. However, if you are using a synthetic fabric such as nylon or poly, pre-pressing may harm and is not necessary.

Vinyl Cutter:
When shopping for a new vinyl cutter, it is important to consider the widest width of material you'll ever need to cut when choosing a machine.  Of course, choosing the widest option is the most obvious answer, however, it does come with a price tag and will take up a larger footprint if you're tight on space.

Popular commercial-grade cutters will come in 15", 20", 24" and so on. The Roland brand is a reliable and recommended choice for professionals both small and large. Most vinyl cutters will come with their own software.

Weeding Vinyl:
Using a weeding tool and once your HTV is cut, you will begin removing the excess vinyl, leaving only your design on the carrier sheet.

The carrier sheet is tacky, therefore, if a piece of your design comes off, you can place it back on. You will be left with your mirrored design on the clear carrier sheet, ready for pressing!

Heat Press Temperature:
Using the correct temperature for your HTV and substrate fabric is crucial. Refer to the instruction sheets provided with your HTV.

Allow your press to heat up to the correct temperature before using. If your heat press does not have a reliable temperature gauge, invest in an add-on temperature control unit such as the Geo Knight Digital Pyrometer & Surface Probe Kit.  This unit is universal and will work with most machine brands.  It's also recommended that you check your press for cold spots once a year using a laser temperature gun.

Garments for HTV
Roland VersaStudio BN-20 (Print & Cut)

Weeding ToolHeat Press Best Practices - Temp



Heat Press Best Practices - Pressure

Heat Press Time:
Use your heat press timer function or your cell phone stop watch app and refer to your heat transfer paper or HTV for proper timing using the substrate you are pressing onto.

To Achieve Professional Results:
A). Pre-press the garment.  This will remove creases and wrinkles, remove moisture and provide an even surface for pressing. Before pressing use a plain piece of parchment or a teflon sheet to avoid marking the garment.

Each successful job requires a combination of heat and time.  As each heat press will vary, you should always refer to the paper or HTV instructions and do a test before a production run to find the best setting. Clockwise to increase pressure and counter-clockwise to reduce pressure, (Right-to tighten, Left-to loosen).

Layering HTV:
3-5 second quick and short presses with your heat press are recommended for layering multiple HTV designs onto your garment. This allows you to tack each of the vinyl layers down enough that they release from the carrier sheet.  As each layer is applied, the lower layers of your design receive the additional heat.  By the end of the last layer, the entire design has had the intended amount of time and pressure.  We recommend testing as each heat press and HTV will vary in requirements. Using a parchment sheet or silicone sheet is ideal.
Note: If you press layers for more time then is needed, the vinyl will appear dry, wrinkled peeling or cracking.

How To - Step By Step:

Create your design and mirror your image.

Set your cut setting and blade pressure according to the HTV instructions. 
Generally, HTV will have a shiny carrier sheet and is inserted into the cutter with shiny side down.

Weed your design by removing the excess vinyl from the carrier sheet.


-Pre-heat your press and set pressure according to HTV instructions.

-Pre-press your garment to remove creases.
-Set your heat press timer.
-Lay garment on press pad, being aware of wrinkles, seams and pockets.
-Align your HTV design that you just weeded onto your garment (carrier sheet will be on top)
-Use a parchment or silicone sheet to prevent the HTV from sticking to heat press platen.
-Press for given time.
-Remove from press and either hot or cool peel (check HTV instructions).
-Let garment sit for 24hrs before wearing or washing.

HTV Accessory Checklist:

Digi-Cut Revolution - Heat Transfer Vinyl
Your favourite HTV

Grip on Hook Weeding Tool
Weeding Tool

Vinyl Weeding Tool
2-in-1 Tool

Thermo Tape for Mugs and Tiles
Thermal Tape

Squeegee Tool
Squeegee Tool or
Old Loyalty Card

 Teflon Sheet
Finishing & Protective Sheets

Roland Replacement Cutter Blades
Replacement Blades

Universal White Nomex Heat Felt (16
Heat Felt Pad

Application Tape for Wall and Sign Vinyl
Application Tape

Vinyl Letter Removing Solvent
Vinyl Removing Solvent

#5104 Weeding Warming Table
Vinyl Weeding Warming Table

HTV Storage Ideas


Transfer Placement & Alignment Tips:
There are many tools to help with transfer placement, but one simple way is to apply a straight transfer is to fold the garment and press so that you have a center. Then, fold the carrier sheet of your transfer in half and line up both creases. Make sure that the transfer image has the same amount of paper on either side to ensure the transfer will in fact be center of the shirt. Remember to mirror your image where required by the product.

Transfer Placement Tips


Trouble-Shooting Checklist:

CUTTING - Which side is up? The clear, shiny side is the carrier sheet. You do not want to cut this.  Place shiny side down (vinyl facing up).

CUTTING - Didn't Cut all the way through vinyl: 1). 
Your blade is dull, chipped or dirty. 2). Your pressure settings are not set deep enough.

CUTTING - Cut through carrier sheet: Your pressure settings are set too deep.

PROTECTION - I don't have a teflon sheet:
 Use a piece of parchment paper.

HEAT PRESS: HTV keeps lifting off after peel: 1). Peeling it off before it has cooled (if cold-peel). 2). It didn't have enough heat, time or pressure. 3). Pressed too long and vinyl lost its adhesion. 4). Fabric used isn't compatible with HTV.

HEAT PRESS - Which side is up? The clear, shiny side is the carrier sheet. Place facing up on your garment for pressing (dull side facing down, touching your shirt).

HEAT PRESS - HTV is wrinkled or cracking after pressing:
Too much heat, for too long.

HEAT PRESS - Scorching or melting: Synthetic fabrics are heat sensitive and can scorch, burn, melt with too much heat.  Be sure to check your HTV instructions for correct heat press settings, time and compatible fabrics. Using a telfon sheet may help.

WASHING - HTV peels off in washing: 1). Didn't adhere properly in heat press process. 2). Detergent used is too abrasive or harsh. 3). Wash in cold/cool cycle, inside-out. Avoid dryer.

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