Heat transfer vinyl or HTV is a special type of vinyl that can be used to make designs or words onto clothes. Each sheet of HTV comes in rolls, you then cut the design you desire into the vinyl and using heat, press it into clothing. Before pressing any designs into your clothing, you should consider what you need before buying the best heat transfer vinyl possible.
The first thing to consider is the quality of the HTV bundles. Logic dictates that you invest in higher quality bundles. The higher the quality of heat transfer vinyls you use, the better the design will come out leaving you with a final product you can be satisfied with and proud of. Next is color diversity. While certain patterns look good with just one color, you can make things pop more by combining different color combinations. Other things to consider include the size of the machine you are using.
Overview of the Best Heat Transfer Vinyls
While the best is a personal choice, there are quite a few highly rated brands.
SISER EasyWeed Heat Transfer Vinyl, 12”x15” 12-Color Starter Bundle
This brand is perfect for anyone who is just starting out. With 12 colors including lime, silver, black, lemon, forest green, navy brown, greys, lemon, you can kickstart your creative process with any design and color combination. The vinyl is durable which prevents ripping even when dealing with small letters and designs.
Fame Crafts Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle
The Fame Crafts brand makes decorating plain t-shirts easy. It comes with 20 colors ranging from greens and blues to reds and golds. The vinyl is thin enough to cut and weed, but durable enough to withstand over 1000 washes.
12 Color Iron-On Heat Transfer Vinyl Start Pack
This bundle comes with 12 vibrant colors, that will make any design pop. Each sheet is made from polyurethane which is perfect for any and all designs. After application, the vinyl will not warp or tear on the clothing and is durable even when washing.
Angel Crafts 12”x10” Heat Transfer Vinyl Sheets (16 packs)
Angel Crafts’ vinyl sheets are thin which makes cutting out your designs easy. Thanks to the 12-inch by 10-inch dimensions of the sheets, even smaller letters and designs will have a consistent imprint on your clothing. The sheets are also sensitive to heat and pressure making imprinting your designs easier and more cost-effective since you won’t have to buy a heat transfer machine.
Best Crafts 12”x10” feet roll transfer w/Grid
The Best Crafts, aligns with Cameo or Cricut vinyl which is useful for decals or signs on walls, windows or any smooth surface. This uses the most quality materials, is made in the USA and can be used for indoor or outdoor projects thanks to its versatility. It even comes with red grid squares that allow you to align your project.
PrimeCuts 65Sheets 12”x12” Premium Permanent Self-Adhesive Vinyl Sheets
With 65 sheets, PrimeCuts comes with 32 color mixtures for maximum creativity. These sheets can be cut, peeled and weeded in any way thanks to its durable design. Included is tons of adhesive so you can recreate your favorite designs and can last up to 5 years.
Angel Crafts 12” by 8” PREMIUM Transfer Paper Tape Roll With Grid
Angel Craft comes with a set of instructions and grid paper to help you align your project with extreme precision. Its price gives you the best deal possible and it’s durable design allows it to hold up. It’s adhesive allows it to stick to most surfaces.
Vinyl Rolls (Oracal 651)
The Oracal 651 is heavier than most other vinyl wrapping adhesive, but it comes with better scratch and abrasion resistance. Being 12 inches wide, these vinyl rolls are perfect to use on canvas, glass, wood and metal. It is also great for stencil etching. With 47 different colors, this vinyl will test your creativity.
Angel Crafts 5”x50” Premium Transfer Paper Tape Roll with grid
With simplicity in mind, Angel Crafts created this transfer roll. The vinyl is clear so you can lay an abundance of different colors, and it can be applied to everything big and small including, windows, walls, cuts and paper. The paper cuts well and is easy to peel off when finished.
Craftopia 12 inch x25 feet clear transfer paper roll
This is a little more expensive than other heat transfer rolls, but its quality can not be overstated. Its grid lines make cutting easier and its stiff tape allows for better handling.
How to Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl
While using heat transfer vinyl might seem hard to do at first, after you learn the proper steps, you can create any fantastic design.
You will need a computer and vector-based software such as Silhouette or Adobe Illustrator which will help you make your designs. You will also need a press machine or an iron and a vinyl cutter.
Next is preparing your artwork. Using the vector software, you can create designs and images that you will need to make. If you need help coming up with design ideas, there are plenty of online tutorials that can help.
After preparing your artwork, you need to flip and cut. If you have a smaller image, it is recommended that you cut on the mat, but a larger image may require you to cut off of the mat. After this step you need to load the vinyl into the cutting machine. It is best that you test your design first before cutting to make you will get the desired result.
Next is the weeding stage, which just means trimming the design to get rid of any extra edges or parts you don’t want to see in the design. Certain letters like A or O will need to be weeded.
After weeding you then transfer the piece to your project. Using a heat press machine or an iron you press the vinyl onto the piece of fabric and clothing. While a heat press machine can do this in just a few seconds, an iron will take a little longer and you might want to use a high-quality iron for quicker results.