With so many vinyl options out there, it can be hard to determine what is the best Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) for custom apparel.
At first glance, you may think that all HTV is made the same and will produce similar results on your custom shirts. And that can lead you to purchase the least expensive option automatically.
However, just like any other custom apparel product, not all HTV is made the same.
Before we get into the different types of vinyl, we want to take a step back and go over what HTV is and how it works.
Perhaps you’re new to the custom apparel business. Or maybe you are an expert in a different medium such as embroidery or rhinestones and want to expand your offerings?
Heat transfer vinyl comes in a number of colors for retail or wholesale custom apparel businesses.
Step 1) Load – You’ll load the color or pattern of rolls or sheet vinyl into your professional cutter.
Step 2) Create –Using your favorite graphics software; you’ll create computer-generated outlines of the lettering or graphics and map them onto the vinyl.
Step 3) Cut the Vinyl – Using your favorite cutter (suggest: Cut-N-Press Bundle) as the directly onto the vinyl.
Step 4) Peel – From there, you peel away any cut areas which are not part of your design
Step 5) Apply – Using your heat press, apply the design to the shirt or sweater or another garment. The heat and pressure will bond the material onto the fabric.
Vinyl comes in rolls for commercial purposes (typically 15” x 5 yards and up). The professional cutters have placements on the back of them which can hold the rolls and allows for a quick change-out. These holders save time without having to reload continually. Some vinyl jobs use dozens of feet at a time.
However, it’s possible to get smaller sheets from hobby stores 12” x 12” as well. Hobbyists, who have one of the home use cutters, such as the Cricut or the Cameo, typically go with this option.
Buyer Beware: Buying vinyl from the hobby stores will be significantly more expensive, and the smaller cutters aren’t meant to handle the workload of the commercial ones.
Typically when working with vinyl, you’re applying one color to the fabric, unlike DTG (direct to garment) printing where you have full-color designs.
You can buy opaque or solid color HTV vinyl in dozens of colors and thicknesses. But you’re not limited. There are some exciting new options in heat transfer vinyl.
Typically you’ll see sports jerseys and most custom shirts using the primary solid colors. But nowadays, HTV has glitter options which are bright and sparkly. They are fabulous for cheer mom shirts, cheerleading or dance schools, or anything garments for younger girls.
If a new customer wants school shirts, for example, you can toss them the idea of having glitter shirts for the moms (perhaps as a fundraiser).
The Triton Rapid Peel vinyl is a huge step up from using other products such as Siser and Cad Cut.
You’ll notice the difference when creating complicated vinyl designs. But your most noticeable benefit comes with how easy it is to peel and weed it
Once your project has been cut out, there is hardly any worry about ripping the vinyl or it taking forever to peel away.
Along with glitter vinyl, HTV comes in unique patterns.
There is animal print patterns, camouflage, and geometric patterns (polka dots, chevron).
You can even combine or layer HTV to make some genuinely stunning custom shirts.
If you’re upgrading from a hobby machine like a Cricut, and are used to buying vinyl from the hobby stores, you were likely limited in the choices for HTV.
Moving to a commercial cutter and getting your supplies from a reputable & professional HTV supplier means that you can expand your options, and get a better quality vinyl as well.
There is a difference between merely creating shirts for yourself and your family, and filling an order of 50+ shirts for a customer.
Customers demand more and by getting the best HTV you can meet their demand with fewer hassles.
Just make sure you practice with the htv if you’re new to this medium and make sure to ask lots of questions to your suppliers. You WILL get a consistent cut when using Triton vinyl. Each shirt or sweater will look the same as the last one.
The Triton HTV washes well, the colors stay bright, and won’t peel away from the shirt. Triton vinyl is quite thin, so it’s pretty much flush with the fabric once it’s pressed on, which gives the finished garment a soft touch.
The Vapor fabrics vary from athletic Micro-Fiber to cotton-like feel and are flexible enough to be worn as a base layer in the winter or to keep you dry and cool in the summer.
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