Tips and Tricks for Decorating Rayon with Siser® Heat Transfer Vinyl

It’s no secret Siser® HTV can be applied on rayon! When combined with cotton and polyester the oh-so-popular triblend is created (which we’ve talked about before in this blog post.) When rayon is all mixed up with cotton and polyester like that the adverse reactions from heat application are less visible…most of the time. Polyester and rayon are both heat sensitive fabrics, so they can discolor from the high heat of the press. Not to worry though, you can still decorate those fabrics with Siser® HTV. Keep reading for tips on how!

Oftentimes rayon shirts will be blended with spandex. If the garment has 5% or more spandex we recommend using EasyWeed Stretch HTV for best results. And that’s exactly what I did with this coral J. America t-shirt that’s 95% rayon and 5% spandex. This blend of fabrics is a good choice for designs that will be printed across the chest since the shirt has plenty of stretch that the HTV can move with.

Be careful of that stretch though when you’re laying the shirt on the heat press platen. You don’t want to apply to a stretched out garment. It should lay naturally without any pulling. Additionally, ensure anything that could cause improper pressure is off the platen. In my case the bottom hem was easy to keep off the platen but the deep v-neck and sleeve seams were still on the edge, so I remedied the issue with a heat transfer pillow inside the shirt. The pillow elevates the pressing area above all the seams. Proper pressure is an important aspect in all HTV projects, but firm pressure is especially vital to applying EasyWeed® Stretch. Spending a little extra time adjusting the garment and your heat press will save you heartache from the washer later!

pre press rayon to remove wrinkles and moisture

When everything is situated, cover the shirt with a piece of parchment paper. You can use a heat transfer cover sheet, but it will hold the heat from the press a bit more, and we want to use the lowest heat possible for this delicate fabric. Press the shirt without any HTV for a few seconds at 280°F to smooth out wrinkles and draw out any moisture. A pre-press allows your HTV to stick it’s best.

press first layer of EasyWeed Stretch for a few seconds

Now you probably noticed I mentioned 280°F for your heat press and not the standard 305°F for EasyWeed Stretch. This significant drop in temperature is what’s going to prevent discoloring the fabric. Since the heat is lower the pressing time must be longer, otherwise the heat transfer vinyl will not stick. So after centering your first color (shiny side AKA carrier goes face up) place the parchment paper on top and press for 3 seconds. This will allow the HTV to bond to the fabric just enough to peel the carrier hot.

peel carrier hot from white EasyWeed Stretch HTV

Place the second color (Sweet Mint for me!) and repeat the process above.

how to layer EasyWeed Stretch on rayon t-shirt

After peeling the second carrier the HTV may look and feel bonded to the shirt, but it needs a little more time to really sink in and call rayon “home.” 😉

Press each layer for only a few seconds

Recover the area with parchment paper for one last press. When pressing at 280°F we recommend adding 5-10 seconds to the suggested pressing time. Since these layers have only had 6 seconds collectively, I pressed for another 10 seconds to really bond the HTV to the rayon.

layered EasyWeed Stretch on a rayon v-neck t-shirt

Super soft and light weight EasyWeed™ Stretch looks and feels almost like screen printing!

Take a look at what would have happened if I followed the same pressing steps, but with my heat press set to 305°F. The shirt on the left has an obvious box of lighter color caused by the high heat. The photo on the right shows the results of the pressing process we went over in this post.

heat press heat transfer vinyl to rayon side by side comparison

I know which one I’d rather wear!

When applied properly, EasyWeed™ Stretch will last beyond 30 washes and can even outlast the garment!

This method of heat application is really handy to know for heat sensitive fabrics and the rules can be applied for other Siser® HTVs like Glitter, StripFlock®, and Holographic! Don’t lose these useful tips; pin the image below.

Rayon is stretchy, trendy, and unfortunately heat sensitive. No worries though, this method will save your tops from heat marks and not only works for rayon, but polyester and other heat sensitive fabrics!

If you’re decorating rayon we’d love to see your projects. Use #SiserNA on Instagram and we might feature your post!