The Trick to Weeding Fine Detail

♪Reverse! Reverse! Slide to the left! Slide to the right! Reverse! Reverse!♪ …. Ok, I digress, I just wanted to get the “Cha Cha Slide” stuck in your head. Plus, I wanted to focus on the operative word of the song: “Reverse.” How can doing something backwards help you move forward? Keep reading for my weeding tip and you’ll find out!

Have you ever printed a design on your Siser Print and Cut material, and found it nearly impossible to weed the fine detail? That’s completely normal. I always love to test the boundaries of how intricate or small I can print and cut my designs. It may be cut successfully, but when it comes time to weed, that’s a whole other story.

A trick I like to use is called “reverse weeding.” Here’s how it’s done:

I started by printing my left chest design on our latest Print and Cut material, ColorPrint Soft Opaque. My design dimensions are 4.5W x 2.5H. I also used 100% CMYK value for my black contour. If you’re familiar with cutting on overly saturated colors, then you know that lifting may sometimes occur. Today, this happened to me…

Excess soft opaque material lifting

If you look closely, you can see some lifting around my design.

I cut my vinyl down to a smaller piece, and Instead of weeding the cavities and excess material now, I laid the entire piece over my TTD High Tack Mask

Lay unweeded CP soft opaque on TTD High Tack Mask

On a flat hard surface, I laid my TTD High Tack Mask down with the adhesive side up, and then starting from one end I rolled my printed transfer over the adhesive.

Get your Siser Squeegee out!

Swipe and press squeegee over transfer

With firm pressure, slide your squeegee across the transfer. This is creating a bond between the transfer and mask.

reverse weeding excess material from TTD High Tack Mask

Peel the backing and outer excess material from the mask, leaving only the cavities to weed away with your Siser Weeder.

how to weed very small cavities

With this particular design, I am dealing with very small cavities. Some shops having cutting specifications that would turn a job like this away because of the pain of weeding it. The reverse weeding will alleviate any of those issues, and will prevent you from turning away jobs because of your cutting specs.

Place transfer on paper backing for storage

Place your transfer back on the shiny side of your TTD High Tack Mask’s paper backing if you are not applying right away.

ColorPrint Soft Opaque and TTD High Tack Mask t-shirt

Essentially, reverse weeding is giving you the “EasyWeed Experience” of a pressure sensitive backing by transferring ColorPrint Soft Opaque from it’s static backing to TTD High Tack Mask before weeding. That way if you do have lifting it is very simple to lay that piece back down since you will be working on the pressure sensitive mask.

Next time you second guess a design you need to print and cut, give reverse weeding a try!

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