Compare and Contrast Siser® HTV vs. EasyPSV™

It’s no secret we recently launched a new line of vinyl called EasyPSV™! This pressure sensitive vinyl opens up a new avenue of decorating possibilities that weren’t possible with HTV! Since EasyPSV does NOT need heat to activate the adhesive, it can go on items that would typically melt (or have other adverse affects) from the high temperature of a heat press or home iron. For example, painted drywall and plastic baggies can be decorated with PSV but not HTV.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to vinyl is- if the object you want to decorate can handle the heat without negative affects (melting, discoloring, etc) then you can decorate it with HTV. With everything else, you’ll typically turn to PSV as the solution. However, if you’re a savvy crafter, you may have noticed some people recommend HTV for decorating wood and others suggest PSV. So who’s right? Well, they both are! There are some items you can decorate with HTV or PSV. Choosing which vinyl you use can depend on your preference, the colors your project calls for, or it can even just come down to what you had on hand. The handy chart below is a quick overview of what we recommend* only be decorated with heat transfer vinyl compared to pressure sensitive vinyl. The substrates in the center can be decorated with either one!

when to use heat transfer vinyl versus pressure sensitive vinyl decorations

*Others decorate ceramic, glass, and more solid surfaces with HTV, however we at Siser® do no recommend it. It is also important to note that HTV and PSV are not dishwasher or microwave safe. 

Take this wood sign for example. Let’s say I want to decorate it and keep it outside on the door of my craft shed. It’s going to have to endure direct sunlight, rain, and whatever else Michigan weather throws at us. For these reasons, it’s best to use EasyPSV Permanent which is made to hold up through the outside elements. HTV is an indoor cat for the most part. So if I wanted to keep this sign inside my craft room, then I could have considered HTV.

blank white wood sign

EasyPSV™ permanent decorated wooden sign

EasyPSV™ Permanent Totally Teal and Midnight Violet Glitter look craft-tacular on this wood sign!









That’s not to say heat transfer vinyl can never see the light of day, it’s just not meant to last through consistent weather exposure. For example, a tote bag can go out and about with you, but is best stored indoors after a day of shopping.

blank white cotton tote bag

EasyWeed® and Glitter heat transfer vinyl decorated tote bag

Turquoise EasyWeed® and Eggplant Glitter HTV really pop on this cotton tote bag.










Aside from decorating, it’s important to remember the cutting differences between HTV and PSV. Heat transfer vinyl is always cut with the glossy, carrier side down. This way the blade cuts through the adhesive side of the material, so you’ll always need to mirror your artwork when working with HTV.

Turquoise EasyWeed® HTV goes carrier side down on the Silhouette cutting matWeeding excess HTV from the carrier to reveal the mirrored image









Pressure sensitive vinyl is always cut with the glossy, color side up and the liner side down. This way the blade cuts through the face of the vinyl, so you do NOT have to mirror the image when using PSV.

Totally Teal EasyPSV™ Permanent goes liner side down on the Silhouette cutting mat

Weeding the excess PSV from a positive image (not mirrored)









I hope this post made our two types of vinyl more clear to you! You can pin the image below for safe-keeping.

And for those who’ve been coveting the Born to Craft artwork this whole post- I have good news for you! The cut file is available from SoFontsy, Silhouette School’s sister site, which offers cut files and fonts that are perfect for craft cutters! This particular cut file was created by Persia Lou and can be purchased here. I think it’s too cute, and is just in time for National Craft Month this March! Don’t forget to tag your crafts with #SiserNA and we might share your work on our social media!

Compare and contrast heat transfer vinyl with pressure sensitive vinyl to discover which vinyl suits your project best!

By |2018-04-10T09:17:15-04:00March 14th, 2018|EasyPSV Removable, Heat Transfer Vinyl|11 Comments

About the Author:

Lily is Siser's go-to crafter. Her ideas and abilities to incorporate HTV into her projects is inspiring. Well versed in Heat Transfer Vinyl, Lily embraces the methods and materials to deliver creative content week after week!


  1. GT Lassiter April 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    Great Information, as a newbie I have not had any success using the Siser HTV, nor the Cameo 3. When cutting the vinyl it doesn’t stay straight while using the Auto Blade. Can you offer any tips or feedback with using your materials kn th Cameo 3.

    Thank you.

    • Lily April 2, 2018 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Hi there! Sorry to hear you’re having a rough start! When cutting HTV or PSV, we’d suggest using a sticky cutting mat for best results. Ensure the mat is evenly aligned under the pinch rolls, and the vinyl should not shift during the cutting process. This blog post is a great place to start for beginners and illustrates the pinch rollers I described.

      • donna January 12, 2019 at 9:44 am - Reply

        its all about the pinch rolls, they have to be secured down with lever at the side or the vinyl and mat will slide around all over the place. I learnt this by experience.

        • Lily January 14, 2019 at 8:32 am - Reply

          Great tip, Donna! Ensuring the cutting mat is aligned under both pinch rollers and locking the rollers in place with the lever will keep the mat straight when moving in and out.

  2. Katherine K Hess April 6, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    I am trying to find wine/burgundy color glitter vinyl that is temporary, not HTV or permanent. Does it even exist?
    Thank you

    • Lily April 10, 2018 at 11:15 am - Reply

      Hi Katherine, to our knowledge a removable glitter pressure sensitive vinyl doesn’t exist. However, we’d suggest layering Glitter on top of Removable EasyPSV as a solution for your project.

  3. Katie April 12, 2018 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Heat Pressing with HTV onto fabric is my new favorite crafting project! I’ve been creating some great t-shirts for my family! Your graphic of which type of vinyl to use for which media is very helpful! Thanks!

  4. Alison Squires October 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    How do you recommend applying HTV to cardstock? I have tried with a hand iron, and placing a towel between the transfer and the iron (to help not damage the paper). That didn’t work -so tried to do it without the towel, and the back sheet started wrinkling up. Just assumed it wouldn’t work at all, but now I see that you guys say it’s possible! Help!

    • Lily October 4, 2018 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Hi Alison! Applying HTV to cardstock is a little trickier than with a heat press, but it can still be done! Make sure you’re working on a firm, smooth surface so the paper doesn’t wrinkle. Set your iron to the setting below cotton (for us it’s wool) and use a piece of parchment paper or a thin cotton pressing cloth/tea towel to cover the HTV while pressing. Make sure to lift and press the iron in sections (do not slide) to get even heat distributed across the vinyl. The center of an iron is hottest and it gets cooler around the edges. A pressing time of 10-15 seconds should do the trick. I hope you’ll give decorating cardstock with heat transfer vinyl another try!

  5. Leah October 13, 2018 at 12:19 am - Reply

    I would like to add a name to a polypropylene bag and I am not sure what type of vinyl to use for this project? Any suggestions would be great. Many thanks.

    • Lily October 15, 2018 at 8:17 am - Reply

      Hi Leah! We’ve decorated polypropylene bags with EasyWeed® And ColorPrint™ Easy in the past, but you can really use any HTV. Just make sure to lower the temperature to 270°F and press for 15-20 seconds to avoid melting the polypropylene.

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