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!