10 Heat Transfer Vinyl Tips and Tricks Continued…
So what do you get for making it through the first 5 tips? Five more tips of course! Our previous tips focused on cutting and weeding while the following are all about heat application. Keep reading to make sure you’re using the methods the experts recommend!
Tip 6: Prep your Garment
Always pre-press your garment to create the best application surface possible. A pre-press helps out in more ways than one:
- Removes wrinkles
- Removes moisture
A wrinkle and moisture free fabric allows for the best adhesion between the garment and HTV, as well as a nice and smooth finished look. Pre-shrinking the fabric is especially important when working with 100% cottons since they tend to shrink the most. When you can, opt for a blended t-shirt fabric to lessen the likelihood of a shrunken shirt and wrinkly vinyl.
However, there are some rare instances that a pre-press is not needed. If you’re working with a highly heat sensitive fabric, like some types of nylon, then a pre-press may harm more than help your project.
Additionally, a pre-wash is not always necessary either. If you prefer to wash your blanks, make sure to steer clear of liquid fabric softeners which leave behind a HTV repelling residue.
Tip 7: The Pressure Predicament
Heat Transfer Vinyl needs the combination of heat + time + pressure to equal a long-lasting application. Unfortunately, when pressure gets dropped from the equation the heat transfer vinyl usually drops off the shirt as well. When using a Cricut® EasyPress™, the pressure is only regulated by how much force you manually apply throughout the whole application time. Whereas a heat press can be adjusted to accurately and evenly press more (or less) firmly, and all you have to do is pull the handle down once.
Check out this video for more tips on pressing with a home iron, EasyPress, and heat press!
For your convenience, the time, temperature, and pressure settings can be found on the Siser® App. You might notice that EasyWeed® Stretch needs firmer pressure than regular ol’ EasyWeed. Stretch’s lightweight and slim figure isn’t the only difference between the two materials however! With extra elasticity and a matte finish, EasyWeed Stretch is a favorite for more than just sports related garments (like the cotton tote bag used in the project pictured on the right!)
Keep in mind that while firm pressure is great for Stretch, it’s not necessary for every type of heat transfer vinyl! The weave or texture of the garment does not need to be seen through the HTV to indicate a good press, and in some cases (like Glitter and StripFlock®) it’s simply impossible because of their texture.
Additionally, a clear adhesive halo around the HTV is not a sign of a proper press. The more adhesive squished to the side of your vinyl means the less that’s underneath bonding the vinyl to the fabric. In these cases, you may actually need to decrease your pressure. Check out the following video for more details on pressure!
Tip 8: The “Tack” Trick to Layering
Quick, short presses are best when it comes to layering multiple colors of HTV. When you use this method, we call it “tacking” because you’re giving the material just enough heat and pressure for it to bond to the fabric and release from the carrier. As each new color is heat applied, the lower layers also receive heat, so by the end of the whole process each layer has had between 10-20 seconds of heat and pressure. This is the sweet spot to aim for because you can have too much of a good thing! Adding more and more pressing time to your design is going to begin to dry out the HTV, which makes it more susceptible to cracking and peeling. For most Siser materials, a 3-5 second press is enough to tack a layer down, but with products in the EasyWeed family you can get away with a 1 second tack!
To create the ice cream cone pictured, my heat press was set to 305°F and I adjusted my pressure knob until I had firm pressure on the tote bag. Here’s how the presses went:
- EasyWeed tan- 1 second (hot peel carrier)
- EasyWeed Stretch sweet mint – 1 second (hot peel carrier)
- EasyWeed Stretch lilac – 1 second (hot peel carrier)
- EasyWeed Stretch passion pink – 1 second (hot peel carrier)
- 10 second press (don’t forget your heat transfer cover sheet!)
Tip 9: Mixing Materials With Different Application Settings
Mixing and matching different types of heat transfer vinyl often creates some of the coolest looks. Many people get excited while creating and cutting their artwork, but when it comes to heat applying they’re nervous to bring the handle down. When in doubt, set your heat press for the HTV in your project that calls for the lowest recommended temperature. Then work your way from the thinnest material (like EasyWeed Stretch) to the thickest material (Brick™ 600.) You may need to adjust your pressure along the way, especially if you use a heat transfer pillow. If any of the HTV still wants to grip the carrier instead of the fabric, you may need to increase your pressing time by a few seconds.
Want to see how this beast was made? Watch the video here!
Tip 10: Decorating Heat Sensitive Fabrics
It seems that the most popular fabrics these days are also the most heat sensitive! Some polyesters, rayon, modal, tri-blends, nylon, and others can have a negative reaction to heat. In these cases, our standard recommended heat settings (typically ranging from 305°-320°F and pressing for 10-15 seconds) could result in heat marks, scorching, or melting. But when you use Siser HTV there’s no need to worry! A couple adjustments to the heat application process are all you need to prevent problems!
To use the lower heat application method, turn the temperature down to 280°F and press for 15-20 seconds. When you use a lower temperature you must make up for it by increasing your pressing time. See this process in action in the decorating rayon with EasyWeed Stretch blog post.
Want to know more about possible heat sensitive fabrics? See this post for 4 more decorating tips.
Ten tips later and you’re an HTV expert, right?! If anything, you’re at least well read! But a true HTV expert practices with their tools of the trade. So it’s time to take everything you’ve learned and apply it to your next project! We’d love to see what you make whether you tag us with #siserna on Instagram or show it off in our Facebook Group: Siser N.A HTV & EasyPSV.
Keep every tip handy by pinning the image below.
im ironing glitter onto silk like capes. do i need a towel in between the vinyl and iron? what should i use?
Hi Renee! I’d recommend using parchment paper in between the heat transfer vinyl and the iron. Additionally, you may want to read these tips for applying to heat sensitive garments and use the lower temperature application method mentioned.
Lets say I’m making a shirt with easyweed and glitter. It’s not layered. Do I press this design all at 320, 15 seconds? I was worried about the temp being higher than recommended for regular easyweed? I’m new to vinyling and am nervous about pressing or layering different vinyls with different temp times. Thank you so much.
Hi Christie! Although 320°F for 15 seconds likely won’t harm EasyWeed® (HTV can be applied in a range of temperatures.) When layering HTV, a good rule of thumb is to use the lowest temperature called for. In your case that’s 305°F for EasyWeed®. I’d suggest pressing for 15-20 seconds. Good luck!
do you have pint and scan htv for ink jet printers?
Thanks for reading the Siser Blog, Robin! We do not offer inkjet printer HTV. The Print and Cut materials we offer are only compatible with eco-solvent, solvent, and latex inks.
Hi! I just tried easy weed stretch on a shirt that has 95% rayon and 5%spandex. I used 280 degrees. It didn’t stick to the fabric no matter how long I pressed or how much pressure I used. I even switched to an iron at one point! Nothing worked. Do you have any ideas as to why and what I could do next time?
Hi Diana! Sorry to hear of your troubles! EasyWeed® Stretch requires firm pressure. I’d suggest increasing your pressure and using a heat transfer pillow to ensure you’re avoiding problem areas like seams, buttons and zippers. You may want to check this blog post out for more tips on pillows and pressure.
I used Siser Stretch Heat Transfer Vinyl on a s shirt. It came out great except I forgot to weed two small tear drop shapes. Then I used a small iron and was able to remove them. In doing so, I have a few tiny wrinkles. Is there any was to get rid of wrinkles?
Hi Mary! If you put a heat transfer cover sheet or parchment paper back on top of the HTV and press the wrinkled area for 1-5 seconds, that should smooth things out.
I have some polo shirts 60% cotton & 40% Polyester, what temperature and pressure would I use with Siser Easyweed for a 2 colour (not layered) application (I will have to press them in 2 separate presses). Thank you so much for your informative videos and tips!
Hi Michelle! For a cotton/polyester blend, you can use the standard time: 305°F and medium pressure. Since you have to do 2 presses, I’d recommend tacking the first color for 1-3 seconds and hot peel the carrier. If the second color can be placed without the carrier overlapping the first color then you can do a full 10 second press. If the carrier does overlap though, I’d recommend tacking the second color for 1-3 seconds and then covering everything with a heat transfer cover sheet and pressing for a final 10 seconds. This will eliminate any carrier creases on the first applied color.
I have a neon cad flex heat press vinyl and its not sticking to my shirt. the temp is on 305 , 15 second duration with medium pressure i dont know what to do.
Hi Johnathon! When the application temperature and time are correct, we often find there’s a pressure problem. I’d suggest using a heat transfer pillow inside the shirt to create an even pressing surface. This video explains more about using pillows. Additionally, please note that CADflex is a cold peel, so if you remove the clear carrier while it’s still warm, you may experience lifting HTV.
What about 100% cotton t-shirts that say they are pre-shrunk, do they need pre-washing?
Hi Karen! It’s not necessary to pre-wash shirts before applying HTV. However, we do recommend pre-pressing the garment for 1-5 seconds before applying the HTV. A pre-press removes wrinkles and lingering moisture in the shirt so it can create a better bond with the adhesive on the heat transfer vinyl.
Is the quality of easy weed different at Michael’s than what is available on line? It seems much thinner.
Hi Sherry! The quality of Siser materials at Michaels stores is the same as what you would get from any other authorized distributor or reseller. Be careful who you buy from online though, as there are many people selling HTV that claim to be Siser brand but are not, check out this post for more information. If you need to find an authorized distributor in your area, please email Info@SiserNA.com.
When I got my vinyl off the mat, some of it pulled off of the carrier sheet. What did I do wrong? First time usimg siser easyweed.
Hi Tanaya! If you peeled your vinyl off the mat and some of it stayed behind, then the HTV was cut too deep. I’d suggest reading over this beginner cutting post for more details on adjusting your cut settings.
im having a problem i set my temp at 305 for 14sec melted everything is my pressure to high the carrier everything melted dont know what to do please help
Hi there! Sorry to hear you’re having troubles. I’d suggest using a thermometer gun to gauge your heat press temperature to see if the read out is accurate. If the temp is right, it may be possible you have ingenuine HTV. Can you please send pictures as well as your application settings and who you purchased from to our tech team at Support@SiserNA.com so they can help troubleshoot this case?
After I heat press my tees, the htv seems to wrinkle after it cools on the shirt. What am I doing wrong?
Hi Andi! I’d recommend pre-pressing your shirts for a few seconds before applying the HTV. Additionally you may need to increase your pressure or use a heat transfer pillow.
I’m having issues with easyweed peeling or cracking after a few washes. I can’t even put it in the tumble dryer at low heat as it will lift after one dry!
Is there a way to tell if there is an issue with your press as soon as it’s done? The grain shows through the vinyl once I’ve pressed but that’s all I really look for.
I pre press. Don’t pre wash. Press at 150degrees but often I press for longer than 15 seconds (‘to make sure’).
Hi Lisa! It sounds like you may be over pressing the HTV. If HTV is pressed for too long/too hard, a significant amount of adhesive can be squished out from under the vinyl which causes lifting and the HTV becomes more brittle as it’s exposed to more heat. You do not always have to see the grain of the shirt fibers through the HTV for it to be a good application. In fact, this usually indicates you are close to over pressing and in worst cases you may experience “strike through” which is the fabric of the shirt pushing through the face of the HTV. I recommend following our application instructions on the website for each product since they have been tested to provide the best and longest lasting results.
So when I press my HTV on a black hoodie you could see lil black dots on the vinyl why is that ? :(
Hi Danny! Can you please send a picture of the issue along with your application steps to Support@SiserNA.com so we can help troubleshoot best. Thank you!
I use Siser Easyweed with a Cricut Easypress and almost all of my tshirt designs wrinkle terribly after washing them. They look pretty and smooth when they are first pressed, but a wrinkled mess afterwards. I do prepress before I use the vinyl, but can’t understand what I am doing wrong! Please help!
Hi Carissa! Wrinkling HTV is a common affect that occurs from the laundering process and can happen when applied with an EasyPress or a heat press. It’s possible to remove the wrinkles by placing a heat transfer cover sheet on top of the applied vinyl and pressing for a few seconds.
I had a similar issue and was just wondering in your experience if prewashing can prevent this, or would it still happen? I know there are debates about pre washing or not :)
Hi Janet! Pre-washing 100% cotton t-shirts may lessen the initial shrinking, but it will still shrink over time. Additionally, residues from detergents and fabric softeners can be deposited on the fabric during the wash and may affect the HTV’s bond. We do not recommend pre-washing, but some do prefer it.
Hi! I am having peeling problems as well with Easyweed Stretch..I do not pre-wash, Shirts are 100% cotton, I spray and wipe with rubbing alcohol to get any film off and then dry the shirts with the press. Wait a bit, then pre-press about 3-5 seconds. I then lay the image, and press using recommended settings; 305 degrees for 15 seconds with firm pressure and a hot/warm peel. STILL PEELING AFTER WASH! :( Help! Lol
Hi Tabitha! I’m so sorry you’re having problems with EasyWeed® Stretch! Please be sure to use the new application settings (updated October 2019) of 320°F with firm pressure for 20 seconds. The pre-press is a necessary step, however pre-washing or pre-treating the shirts with rubbing alcohol is not necessary to a successful application. I hope these updated settings help you!
what do you suggest in terms of temperature and time on a gildan 100% cotton t-shirt, i am having issues with peeling.
Hi Sierra! The temperature, time, and pressure settings will depend on the kind of HTV you’re using. Our recommended settings can be found on each product page of our website. The most common issue that leads to peeling is a pressure problem. Heat Transfer Pillows can be used to fix those issues.
Hi there, I’m having issues with pressing a two color shirt. The shirts are a poly/cotton blend. My temp is at 305, the white easyweed goes on fine with a 3 second rack. The cardinal however is not going on so well, I’m pressing for 10 seconds and the corners are not sticking.
Hi Allena! I’d suggest trying a warm/cold peel on the carrier of the Cardinal color. Additionally, it could be a pressure problem that may be alleviated with a heat press pillow.
Hey there! I used the white htv sport for black 100% cotton masks for a company, and the letters are falling off! I did apply a low heat before applying the vinyl and also pressed accordingly with the iron on a lower temp so it wouldnt press through!
I am receiving some of them back to fix and would like any suggestions as to how to fix this problem. Kind of embarrassed that this is happening with them!
Hi Rebecca! I’m so sorry you’re having problems with EasyWeed® Stretch! Please be sure to use the new application settings (updated October 2019) of 320°F with firm pressure for 20 seconds for best results. If you have any further questions, please contact our product support team at 586.203.8171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well I forgot and washed my shirt and yes I even used liquid fabric softener.😩 If I rewash the shirt again with only detergent will it even adhere?
Hi Connie! It will probably still adhere, but it is more likely to peel after washing. You can re-apply any lifting HTV with a cover sheet and 1-5 seconds presses.
I just completed my first order of shirts for a customer. I followed my directions that came with my heat press. 305 degrees for 15 seconds for siser easyweed stretch. Later to find out it should have been 320 degrees and 20 seconds. Will my product last? Should I press again??
Hi Cheyenne! I’d recommend pressing them again with the updated settings to ensure the application. Also make sure to use firm pressure and a heat transfer cover sheet to protect the HTV that no longer has the plastic carrier.
You say the instructions were updated in 2020 for the easyweed but the app still uses the old temperature and time for pressing. Can this get fixed?
Hi Andrea! EasyWeed’s application settings (305°F, medium pressure, 10-15 seconds) have never changed. EasyWeed Stretch’s (320°F, firm pressure, 20 seconds) were updated in Fall 2019 and are shown correctly in the Siser App.
I pressed two layers with a total pressing time of 30 seconds one of easy weed and one of glitter will
Hi Susan! If the proper pressure and heat were applied then the HTV is not likely to peel, but without knowing what kind of heat element (home iron, Cricut EasyPress, or Heat Press) pressure and temperature were used, I cannot guarantee the results of the application.
Hi, I am using the Cricut EasyPress 2 and I am wondering how many seconds should I leave the press on when tacking Siser Easyweed? I know you mentioned they can tack for only a second but you use the heat press for that. So I would like to ask the equivalent of it. Thank you!
Hi Rae, that’s a great question! With a Heat Press you can do a 1 second tack, but with a Cricut EasyPress or Home Iron a 3-5 second tack is recommended.
I just did 30 shits of 100% cotton with easyweed matte at 305 (siser red) for 15 secs with a press pillow and the logo came off after a wash. What did I do wrong? Too long? Pressing pillow?
I’m so sorry to hear that, Rose! Do you know how the customer washed the shirt? We recommend normal-low washer and dryer settings. Since HTV is applied with heat, it can also lift from heat. Additionally, liquid fabric softeners can interfere with the adhesive bond but dryer sheets are okay. If you need further troubleshooting, please send any pictures of the lifting HTV to Support@SiserNA.com and we will be happy to help get to the bottom of the issue.
Do your products wrinkle or break after washing? I will be doing some private company shirts for a concrete business, and these shirts will be washed many times. What is the best HTV to use for logo? will your products last through all the washing without breaking?
Hi Ashley! When applied properly, our materials will last through at last 50 washes. If the shirt/material gets wrinkled during laundering, turn inside out and iron. It will look good as new!
I’ve been looking for an official Siser answer to this:
Some people say that in order for the HTV to adhere better to the fabric is to press on both the front and back. And some people say not to press from the back as it may cause the adhesive to melt.
I’ve seen both statements been thrown around but which one is true/correct?
Hi Kitty! While we have had some products in the past that needed to be pressed from the back, we do no currently recommend that application step for any Siser products.
Do you have to peel your HTV off immediately or can you wait a few hours?
Hi Kesha! You can wait to peel the carrier cold on all types of Siser HTV.
I am pressing a design on front and back of 100% cotton shirt, easyweed.
The back of some of them is lifting up, not the corners but randomly thru out the design.
I pressed the back design first.
Should I change time when doing front and back or use the usual time on both.
Hi DeenaCheri! Are you using a heat press or home iron to apply the HTV? It sounds like there may be cold spots in your heating element or not enough pressure applied to the lifting areas. I’d suggest re-pressing for 5 second increments with a cover sheet on top of the HTV until the lifting areas are stuck down. The HTV on the front and back of the shirt will need a full 10-15 seconds of heat and pressure to be applied properly.
Hi! I just bought the glitter htv, I made a body suit for a customer and when she went to try it on the wording stretched. Should I have stretched the fabric before placing down the htv? Please help! I need to make another one before halloween! Any help and tips would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Samantha! Glitter HTV is not made to stretch with the fabric like EasyWeed® Stretch is. Stretching the fabric before placing the HTV may help, but I’d suggest using Sparkle™ since it still gives the glitter look, but stretches a little better with the garment.
Hello, I pull my sheet off of the print after I am just done pressing it and now it feels like paper and crinkles really easy. I don’t know what I did wrong.
Hi Matthew, if you could reach out to our support department at email@example.com, they can better help you out with this issue.
I’d like to add easyweed to a cotton shirt. But the shirt will need to be washed first… will this still work? The shirt can be washed in just water, no soap, then air dried.
Hi Kerry! Pre-washing isn’t a necessary step for HTV, but some people do prefer to pre-wash their garments. As long as you avoid liquid fabric softeners, your pre-washed garment should work with the HTV as usual.
I am using glitter htv. I have used it many times before with no problems. This time once I pealed away the backing sheet the transfer design was sticky. Any suggestions?
Hi Lisa! I am not sure what would be causing this issue, but if you email Support@SiserNA.com our awesome product support team may be able to help troubleshoot this scenario.
Hi! I applied Siser EW Stretch matte to a cotton/ poly/rayon blend tank. 320°F firm for 8-seconds (& parchment cover sheet) then remove the clear transfer & immediately heat again (again with parchment) for about 12-seconds.
The material peels off like a sticker & has no hope for wash.
I’m not seeing any over-melting indicators that I’m pressing too hard, but could it be possible that that’s where I’m going wrong?
Hi Desirae! When you heat pressed the tank top, did you use a heat transfer pillow? The most common cause of HTV not sticking is due to a pressure problem. Even with a firm pressure, if any of the seams of the tank top were on the lower heat press platen they could prevent proper pressure- especially in cases of racerback style tank tops. This video shows how heat transfer pillows can help you get the best press.
I did not use a pillow but will try that next! Thank you for the advice :)