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Heat transfer vinyl allows you to create custom clothing without the hassle of heat transfer paper or sublimation! Simply attach a vinyl cutter to your computer, pick out your favorite heat transfer vinyl, and decorate t-shirts, hats and other fabric items -- it's as easy as that!.



What you need:
  • heat transfer vinyl
  • artwork such as one or two color logos
  • heat transfer press
  • t-shirt or other fabric to receive transfer

     Which Vinyl to Use:
    Coastal offers a wide variety of heat transfer vinyls and it may overwhelming to decide which one will work best for you. The most important thing to look at is the two main types of vinyl - Cad Cut and Print & Cut. You can easily determine which vinyl is appropriate for your job by looking at your image.



    If your image is a logo or a graphic with only a few colors, our Cad Cut vinyl is probably the best choice for you. This vinyl works best with simple images, vector graphics and letters or words. There are many colors to choose from and no printing required! Here is an example of a graphic that can be cut with cad cut vinyl. Notice the solid color shapes:

    You will divide up the colors into shapes like this:    
    How it works:
    You can design your image in any program you want. Images can easily be imported into most cutting software. It's important to think ahead about how your design will eventually be translated into vinyl and how the pieces of your design will need to be separated. Once your image is created, import it into the cutting software for your vinyl cutter and cut each piece out on the desired color of vinyl. Don't forget your image needs to be cut out in reverse (not shown in above picture.) As shown in our example, you would cut the green and yellow parts of the image from the separate rolls of vinyl. Remove the excess vinyl around the images before pressing (this is called "weeding"). Since you now have two separate pieces of vinyl, you will have to transfer by heat pressing two separate times. First, green will be pressed because it's the bottom color. Then, remove the clear backing. Now, press the yellow onto the shirt after carefully placing it over the green vinyl.

    Weeding:
    Weeding is a term used for removing the excess vinyl that is around your image. Vinyl is made up of a vinyl layer, as well as a clear carrier sheet. After cutting, you can easily peel away the vinyl that does not belong, leaving only your image on the clear sheet. See the images below:

    Heat applying:
    Heat transfer vinyl is most effectively used when applied with a heat press. Our heat presses are able to provide the high heat and pressure necessary to ensure a longer lasting transfer.

    All heat transfer vinyls require different times and temperatures for pressing; some are hot peel and some are cold peel. Therefore, it's important to double-check your instructions before beginning your vinyl project.

    Cad Cut Vinyl Rolls:
    Our vinyl rolls come in all different sizes, colors, patterns and textures. We perform continuous tests to make sure that we are only offering the best quality vinyls to our customers. This is why we have chosen to supply Siser, Chemica and Digi-Cut Heat vinyl. With Digi-Cut, you can choose vinyls such as PU (stretchy, perfect for polyester), flock (with a great felt feeling), glitters, metallics, and even patterns like zebra and leather! The possibilities are endless! Flock, Reflective, and Easyweed can all be found in our Siser line. All of our vinyls are soft, thin, and stretchy! Most rolls are 15" wide and can be purchased in 5, 10, and 50 yd rolls, as well as 4, 9, and 22 yd rolls.


    If your image contains several colors, a photograph, or is a very detailed graphic with shades and color, we suggest using our print and cut vinyl. The most important thing to know about print and cut vinyl is that the image MUST be printed on the vinyl with an eco solvent printer. If you do not have an eco-solvent printer, another option would be to use heat transfer paper and cut the image out using your vinyl cutter. This will still give you the professional appearance you're looking for.Click here to learn more.

    Here is an example of an image that would be used with print & cut vinyl. Notice that the color of the text is not a solid color. You would not be able to use cad cut vinyl to create this effect, therefore it must be actually printed onto the vinyl.

    There are many different types of print and cut vinyls to choose from by Siser -- from thick to thin and glitter to metallic! Anyway you go, you will be creating a unique full color graphic with a professional look.

    How it works:
    You can design your image in almost any program you want. Images can easily be imported into most cutting software. The software should have a print and cut feature allowing you to tell the cutter where exactly to perform the cutting on your image. When printing on print and cut vinyls, there is no need to reverse your image. Once your image is printed and cut, peel off your image as though you are peeling off a sticker. Then carefully lay it face-up on your garment, cover with a teflon sheet and press. Be sure to check the instructions for your specific vinyl for accurate pressing times and temperatures.

     Uni-Mask:
    Uni Mask is a clear carrier sheet for print & cut heat transfer vinyl products. It's best used if your image has multiple pieces that need to be kept together. Instead of placing each piece by hand on your garment, you can use Uni Mask to aide in the process. After printing and cutting your image, remove the excess vinyl from around your image leaving only your image on the backing. Place the Uni Mask over the top of the image and rub over back and forth and across the entire image several times with a blunt object such as a credit card. This ensures that the image will stick to the Uni Mask. Lift the Uni-Mask from the vinyl backing, carefully picking up all pieces of your image. If any pieces do not adhere, try rubbing over again. Place Uni Mask down on your garment and press.


     Heat Presses 
    A heat press is a machine that presses a transfer onto an imprintable substrate. By using high temperatures and heavy pressures for a certain amount of time the transfer is permanently embedded into the product. Heat presses are recommended for professional and satisfying results simply because standard laminating devices and home hand irons cannot reach the temperatures required for a reliable transfer. Standard transfers require anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees F and demand serious force in pressing, often from 40-80 psi. These temperatures and pressures are simply not possible with other heated devices. We categorize our heat presses by the manufacturer-Geo Knight, Hix, Mighty Press, Stahls MAXX, and Hotronix. How do you choose which one is right for you? Here are a few points to think about before you make your purchase:

  • The size of the heat press platen: Depending on the size of your transfer paper, you will need to select your heat press size accordingly. Standard heat press sizes are 9" x 12", 11" x 15" and 16" x 20", with a number of different sized inbetween. If your heat transfer paper is 8.5" x 11", you will need a press that is at least 9" by 12". We also offer mug presses and cap presses so you can create different items with out transfers.

  • "Bells and whistles": Higher end presses will have features such as digital readouts for times, pressure, and temperature, as well as automatic release when the timer goes off. Other, less expensive, presses have manual time controls with analog dials to manage the output. Regardless of the high-end features or not, the heat presses will all get the job done.

  • Clamshell, Swinger or Draw: Our heat presses come in three different forms - Clamshell, which opens and closes like a clam, Swinger, in which the upper heat platen swings away from the lower platen, allowing more space to arrange your items and transfer papers and Draw which literally pulls the lower platen out from the heat press in order to organize your materials. Each of these has their pros and cons, however they all work wonderfully to give your product the professional and finished appearance you are looking for.



    Vinyl won't transfer
  • Check if the vinyl is a cold peel or hot peel. If the vinyl is a cold peel and you peel it hot, the vinyl will not stick to the garment and, instead, will stay on the carrier sheet. If the vinyl is a hot peel and you wait too long, the carrier sheet will not peel off the garment. If this occurs, put it under the heat press for 2-3 seconds. This should heat up the vinyl enough to allow you to peel off the cover sheet without problem.

  • Sometimes when a hot peel vinyl has came in contact with humidity, the adhesive side will become less adhesive and not stick. Let the transfer cool for a minute and try to peel again.

  • Check the time and temperature. All vinyls have different heating requirements and need to be pressed by those specific standards.

  • Some fabrics, such as polyester, require a special vinyl such as Digi-Cut PU. If you're transferring onto a unique fabric, contact Coastal Business Supplies to see if vinyl will work for your project and, if so, what type of vinyl you should be using.

  • Double check that your heat press is heating up to the correct temperature. You can do this with a simple iron thermometer.






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