Avoiding HTV Application Errors: Cutting Surface and Test Cuts
The application of heat transfer vinyl (HTV) to most surfaces is relatively simple and straightforward. This doesn't mean that the occasional minor issue won't crop up, however -- but as long as you know some simple basics on how to manage these concerns, you won't really have anything to worry about.
At Vinyl Outlet, we're happy to not only provide customers with the widest selection available of heat transfer vinyl and related products, but also to offer tips on important areas like these. In this two-part blog series, we'll run through a few minor issues that some of our customers may run into while applying heat transfer vinyl, plus some simple tips on how to avoid these concerns and move forward with a great product.
One of the single most common mistakes we see made by people applying HTV is loading it into the cutter with the wrong side up. Heat transfer vinyl has a shiny side and a dull size -- the shiny side is the carrier, while the dull side is the product and adhesive, which is what's actually cut.
Always load HTV into your cutter with the dull side up and cut in REVERSE. If you don't cut in reverse, when you flip your image over to apply, it will be backwards.
This is more of a tip than a common issue: When you're starting a new HTV application project or you're working with a new type of HTV, it's always a good idea to do some test cuts before you cut the full design.
Test cuts will help you determine if your blade depth and force are set correctly. Different vinyl products and styles will have varying thicknesses, so it's important to find the settings that work best for each one. You want to set your blade to cut through the HTV but not the clear liner.
And finally, test cuts are also a great way to determine weeding and transferability. These are also themes we'll spend a bit more time on in part two of our series.
For more on how to remedy or even avoid certain minor issues you may experience during the heat transfer vinyl cutting process, or to learn about any of our HTV, permanent vinyl or other products, speak to the team at Vinyl Outlet today.