How to “Layer” Heat Transfer Vinyl That’s Not Recommended for Layering

Most Siser® heat transfer vinyl (like our #1 EasyWeed®) can be directly layered right on top of more HTV, but there are a few special products that don’t play nice with others. What do you do with those tricky materials? We recommend the Knock Out Method for best results. This method is good for eliminating bulk and weight in any design, but is vital to a lasting application when it comes to certain Siser HTV such as: Holographic, EasyPatterns®, and Glitter.

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile you may have heard about this method before in the St. Paddy’s Basketball jersey post or the even older polka dot pumpkin t-shirt post, but as I mentioned those posts are pretty dated, but this method is always relevant so it’s a good time for a refresher on the 3 most important points to having success with the knockout method. Check them out below!

Step 1: Set up Your Cut File

Knockout method layering cut file in Silhouette StudioKnockout layering cut file with offsets








For a seamless look, add a small offset to each layer so the edges overlap slightly.

Knockout method layering with gap outlines

For a more segmented style, you can create a larger offset on the objects and use them to knockout sections so that the gaps appear to be an additional outline color once applied on the garment. I like this style because it allows thicker HTV (like Glitter and Holographic) to have more movement.

Step 2: Select Your Blank

Knockout method layered Glitter HTV shirt.

Cotton/Polyester blend shirt from Boxer Craft.

The more cotton in the fabric, the more it will shrink during heat application and the washing process. Shrinking cotton can cause small gaps between layers. That’s why we recommend a small overlap on seamless designs. They account for the shrinking and possible gaps.

If you like this design made with Glitter HTV Black Silver and Red, you can download it for FREE HERE.

Knockout method layered Glitter HTV on a tank top.

Polyester/Viscose blend tank top from Bella+Canvas

If you want to keep the fabric outlines as even as possible with your segmented design, 100% cotton isn’t going to be your best bet. But you could use a polyester/viscose blend like the tank top above!

Do you love this giraffe made with NEW Glitter HTV colors: Ember Orange and Lilac? You can get it for free from Caluya Design here!


Step 3: Use Short Presses

A heat press is best for 1 second tacks.

We call short presses anywhere between 1 and 5 seconds “tacks”. With a heat press you can do a 1 second tack, but a home iron or EasyPress will likely need a 3-5 second tack to release the HTV from the plastic carrier. These short presses, reduce the amount of shrinking so your layers line up as planned. When all the colors are applied, place a heat transfer cover sheet on top and press for and additional 5-10 seconds.

Need more tips for layering? Here’s 5 more in this blog post!

Want to watch how the knockout method works? Click the video below!


Keep these 3 tips handy by pinning the image below to Pinterest.

Fake the layered look with heat transfer vinyl with the knockout method. Get our top 3 tips for your cut file, blank, and application on the Siser Blog!