How to Put Siser® Heat Transfer Vinyl
on Fabric Face Masks Safely
Everyone’s lives have been affected in some way by the Corona Virus pandemic. We must do our best to help lift each other up (from a distance), stay positive, and stay healthy. The Siser Team has been working hard to put out helpful and heartwarming content to keep you and the kids entertained during this historic time.
But even more important than entertainment is health. The CDC now recommends everyone wears a face covering while in public community settings. So all those sewers who were working hard to provide face masks for medical workers now have double if not triple the orders. Many makers aren’t charging for their masks or charging lower than they’re worth. Adding an HTV logo, monogram, or quote is another way to increase the value of your product or just add a little more personality. Many have already caught on to this and started decorating their face masks. We love the creativity, but we do want to put out a word of caution on best practices so you and your loved ones can stay safe!
There are tons of face mask sewing tutorials out there, but these tips apply to all varieties! I’m using the free Silhouette face mask pattern (it’s very similar to the Cricut face mask pattern) and the Maker’s Habitat version that I learned from a video tutorial.
Face Mask Tip #1: Use CPSIA Certified Iron on Vinyl
The vast majority of Siser products are CPSIA-certified, which means that they are safe for children’s clothing and release no toxic chemicals so they will not cause any bodily harm if small pieces are accidentally ingested.
Note that there are other factors we take into consideration when it comes to face mask applications, and as a result some CPSIA-certified materials may not be suitable for face masks. Suitable materials include EasyWeed® (standard colors), EasyWeed Electric, EasyWeed Stretch, EasyWeed Extra, EasyWeed SubBlock, EasyWeed Glow, EasyWeed Adhesive, EasyReflective®, BlackBoard®, Glitter, Twinkle, Holographic, Metal, StripFlock® Pro (standard colors (excl. black)), EasySubli®, EasyPatterns®, ColorPrint™ Easy, ColorPrint PU (gloss/matte), ColorPrint Soft Opaque, ColorPrint Sublithin, and Hi-5 Print Matte.
Face Mask Tip #2: Use a Heat Transfer Pillow
You can apply the HTV before sewing since the fabric is at it’s flattest and it will be easiest to achieve even pressure. However, if you don’t factor in your seam allowance you may end up hiding part of the HTV, so I prefer to put the iron the vinyl on after the face mask is sewn.
Whether you use an iron, EasyPress, or Heat Press, you’ll most likely want to use a heat transfer pillow to create even pressure if you’re applying on a finished mask because all the seams and/or pleats create uneven pressure.
If you’re able to isolate the pressing area away from the problem areas, then you don’t need a pillow, but if you notice some areas are applying and some are not, it’s time to reach for the pillow.
Face Mask Tip #3: Smile!
Just because your face is covered, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t smile. It’s time to work on your “smize” as Tyra Banks would say!
After receiving feedback from numerous sources and conducting more extensive research, we have determined that there is no immediate danger to applying HTV on the front (mouth and nose areas) of the mask.
The elastic bands can lead to discomfort on the ears when worn for prolonged periods. Crafters are helping solve that problem with clips and headbands to hold the elastic away from the sensitive skin. Check out all the other ways crafts are helping on the Cutting for Business blog.
Please feel free to share this information with anyone looking to apply HTV to fabric face masks, and pin the image below to Pinterest to spread the word. If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment!