Customizing items has definitely gone a long way, far from the very basic methods of the yester-years to more revolutionary and fancier methods that we have nowadays. It can be no doubt that still top on the list that people likes to have in custom-made are shirts or fabric-type materials such as canvas bags.
Though most people prefers using printing on cloths using pigment inks and textile paints, some people actually prefers using heat transfer vinyls. Why? Because its cost efficient in a way that a yard of material goes a long way! And it’s less mess. The clean-up is basically just throwing away excess. And it’s not as complex, and you can definitely mix and match and choose your vinyl type and texture for added pizzazz and effects!
Want to try it for your own? Well here’s a rundown on how this simple process is done!
First is you have make your design on any photo editing software available. It can be Photoshop, Corel or Illustrator, or ideally the software if you have your own cutter plotter. Once you are sure with your design and its scale, flip it in mirror image. Why? Because the design will come off in the right side image when you lay it down on your surface; making the position the right way.
Now once you have your design set up on your heat transfer design. As stated earlier you can use a cutter plotter for this. But if you don’t have one you can just cut up your design manually.
For those who will be using a cutter plotter, just start up with the default setting to test the sharpness and preciseness of your blade. At this point you should be able to see the cuts made on the heat transferable side, sometimes not on the clear backing side, but don’t fret! Because the blade cutter of your cutter is very precise the lines created are very fine and smooth.
Now is the time when you’re almost getting there! Weed out your heat transfer. This means that you have to remove the excess vinyl which is not part of your design. You can use a weeding tool ideally for this, because its tip is very on-point and fine, but using any instrument with a sharp tip should be fine, too. After doing so, you will be left with just your design sticking on the clear backing.
This is probably the part where you’d be getting excited! Take your design with the heat transfer vinyl’s clear backing side facing up, by which you can probably now envision on how it will turn up on your machine., which now not in mirror-image type of view. Now after you’ve lay it down, trim the clear backing as close as you can to your design so that no residue will be left on the other parts of the heat transfer vinyl.
Now is the fun part! Set your heat press on the specification of the type of heat transfer that you are using, heat it up to the recommended temperature and press accordingly. You should definitely use wax paper on top of your shirt just to not “overcook” your design on the fabric.
Now that’s done, set aside your shirt to just cool it off a bit, and tadaa! You now have your vinyl printed shirt ready for use or for selling! You can definitely try using different types of vinyls and heat transfer to get different effects, but the process is still the low-down.