Cutting Vinyl Rolls
Vinyl cut from a roll is cheaper than buying it by the sheet. It’s also much easier to store!
Place your vinyl, paper liner side down, onto your mat and smooth out any wrinkles with a scraper tool or brayer. Make sure that the straight edges of the vinyl line up with the white printed grid on your mat.
PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, and it is a tough, chemically resistant synthetic resin made from ethylene (found in crude oil) and chlorine (found in salt). PVC vinyl is used for a variety of applications because of its affordability, durability and resistance to moisture. In construction, vinyl is often used for cladding, windows and doors Cutting Vinyl Rolls as well as flooring, wallcovering and roofing. It is also found in medical and food-contact products, such as IV bags and tubing. Rigid vinyl film helps protect and encase over-the-counter drugs in blister and clamshell packaging.
Using a vinyl cutter machine to create vinyl designs for shirts or other items requires a number of supplies. The most important is a vinyl cutter, which uses a blade to cut shapes from a roll of vinyl that is fed into the device and follows a computer-designed design. You’ll also need a vinyl cutting mat to stabilize the material as it feeds through the cutter.
To use a vinyl cutter, first open the desired design in a vector graphic program. Then select the correct size and format for your machine. Once your design is ready, cut a piece of transfer tape that is slightly larger than your vinyl design. Remove the paper backing from the tape and apply it to your vinyl design, following the grid lines on the transfer tape to help ensure that everything is straight and lined up. Then burnish the vinyl and transfer tape together, making sure that they are stuck securely.
Heat Transfer Vinyl
HTV, or heat transfer vinyl, is a great choice for those looking to create garments with their own personalized designs. It can be used to make tees, pillowcases, blankets, and more. It is available in a variety of colors, textures and finishes. It can also be layered to form multi-colored designs, but this requires a high level of skill and experience.
The two main pieces of equipment required to use heat transfer vinyl are a cutter and a heat press. You can create your own designs using the software that comes with your cutter (Cricut Design Space, for example) or find premade ones on Etsy or elsewhere online. If you are unsure of how to get started with this, there are many YouTube tutorials and videos available that will walk you through the process.
When working with HTV, it is important to pay attention to the pressing settings outlined by your vinyl manufacturer. The temperature, pressure, and duration of the press can make or break your project.
Another important step is mirroring your design. This ensures that your design will come out correctly on your finished product. It will also allow you to check your cutting mat settings and mirror any images or text you are using in your design. Once you have mirrored your design, load it onto your cutting mat and run it through the cutter.
A little different than regular adhesive vinyl, Gloss Vinyl lives up to its name and comes in a variety of colors and finishes like glitter, holographic, and even glow-in-the-dark! This type of vinyl is a bit trickier to cut and weed than standard adhesive vinyl, but it can be used to make really beautiful projects that will last a long time.
Once you’ve loaded your vinyl and set the correct cutting settings in Design Space, Cutting Vinyl Rolls it’s important to do a test cut to make sure that your machine is ready to begin cutting your project. You’ll want your blade to cut through the vinyl and leave the paper liner backing intact—this is called a “kiss cut,” and it will make applying and weeding your final project much easier.
If your test cut doesn’t go all the way through, you may need to lower your thickness/depth or blade setting, or it could be that your blade needs to be swapped out for a new one. Swapping your blade is a pretty quick and easy step that will help you get back to clean cuts in no time!
Once your project is completely cut and weeded, it’s time to apply the transfer tape. Place the clear plastic protective sheet or paper liner over your vinyl, then press down on it until you can’t see any gaps or wrinkles. Then, use a scraper tool to vigorously rub the transfer tape+vinyl combination in all directions. This will help the vinyl adhere to your surface and help prevent any wrinkling in the future.
If you are looking for a vinyl that is durable, resistant to water, dirt, grease, mild acid and salt, and will last for a long time – then matte is your choice. This type of vinyl is perfect for signs, car decals and other applications that will be used outdoors. It also works well for ironing onto fabric items like t-shirts, bags and pillows.
The main type of matte adhesive vinyl is Oracal 651. It comes in over 50 colors (including glow-in-the dark!), has a matte finish and is compatible with all personal hobby cutters. It’s a great option for outdoor use and is rated for 5-8 years. It can also be used indoors on items you would like to hand wash.
A good tip when working with matte vinyl is to place it with the color shiny side down on the mat. This will help you identify which side to cut and weed.
Once you’ve weeded your design, you’re ready to cut it. Make sure your paper backing is removed and that the vinyl is adhered to the transfer tape. Then click the Make It button in Design Space and follow the prompts to set the base material. Choose your Vinyl setting or, if you have an Explore Air 2 machine, use the Smart Set dial to select the correct materials.