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HELP! What vinyl do I use and how??? Part 1 - HTV

We have all started at the beginning. All started with the thoughts, what the heck is HTV? What do I use to make a mug? What? Wait! I cut HTV mirrored but NOT the adhesive? Wait a second what the heck is adhesive?

I am here to help with ALL of these questions! I will break down what and how to use for all of them! 


HTV stands for Heat Transfer Vinyl but is also sometimes called Iron On.

This is the only item you will need to cut in a different way. Yep it is a bit of a weirdo that way. Likes to stand apart from the rest of the crafting world BUT that is okay. The important thing to remember with ALL HTV is to Mirror and to cut shiny side down.

Yes this is confusing at first AND really most times you use it because there is one thing you will forget to do about 75% of the time! That is to MIRROR! So let's just say it now over and over again MIRROR MIRROR on the machine .... (If you have a way that has helped you remember to mirror your projects comment below to help our friends out!)


Mirror your project!

        This can either be done by flipping your design in your design software OR by flipping the mirror switch on the selected mat when cutting. The reason you mirror it is because when you are cutting it you are cutting the back of the vinyl NOT the front. So when you put the HTV on your material the part you just cut - which is the adhesive side - will be adhered to your project. Once you make a mistake with it you will completely understand and honestly mistakes are how we learn the best. 

Shiny Side Down!

        Sometimes it is hard to tell which is the shiny side of the material. When I was first learning and if I couldn't tell, the easiest thing I did was to peel a small bit of it back. The part that peels off is the part that goes up and the rigid sticky sheet, which is called the carrier sheet, goes against the mat. The part you see through the carrier sheet is the color and design of the material you are using. When looking at your design you have cut through this carrier sheet you will be able to tell if it is cut properly. You want to be able to see your design properly as if you are looking at it on your material. 


        There are differing opinions on this BUT most people find weeding HTV easier than adhesive. The one down side to weeding HTV is that it is not sticky like adhesive vinyl is so it is a bit more of a pain to get off of your weeding tool. A tip for weeding is to have a piece of tape with the sticky side up on the table, it works great to remove the little bits from your weeding tool. Also make sure you get all of the little inner bits and that none of the bits you weeded have been left on the carrier sheet. (They WILL be pressed into your fabric) When you are finished weeding also look at the design through the carrier sheet to make sure that you have gotten all those little bits and inner pieces.

If you have any tips for weeding HTV leave a comment so others can know as well. 


         Okay so now you need to take EVERYTHING I just said and ignore it! Yep that's right, IGNORE IT!

Wait. What? I am so confused! 

Pattern HTV plays by different rules than regular HTV. It just has to be different in everyway, with its cool designs, lack of mirroring and no attached carrier sheet. While regular HTV has a carrier sheet attached to it, Pattern HTV's carrier sheet comes separately. So when it comes to cutting Pattern HTV think of it like you would adhesive vinyl. After creating your design and you send it to the mat DO NOT mirror it. Place the HTV Pattern side UP! This is important - Do not mirror and Do not put the pattern side against the mat. 

Cut your design with the Pattern design facing up so that you can see it.

Now is the time for your carrier sheet to SHINE. Get it because it is the shiny part you put down on the mat lol ... alrighty then. Take your carrier sheet and cut a piece that is just big enough to cover the design that you just cut out. (The carrier sheet is ONLY used to cover your design so you can take it from the mat to your material to press it.) Peel the sticky more rigid part of the carrier sheet off. This is the part that will go onto the Pattern HTV you just cut. Burnish it and remove from your cutting mat. Voila - it is now ready to press on your garment! 

Here is a little rundown of a few of the Siser HTV products that we offer. 

Easy Weed - Your everyday, run of the mill HTV. Great for anything really.

Stretch - This HTV has a bit of give to it. It is great for Onesies and T shirts. 

Stripflock - Has a nice felt like feel to it. It is thicker than regular HTV and is great when you want add texture or thickness to your design. It is also great for coloring shirts for kids. 

Brick 600 - Similar to Stripflock in thickness BUT this has more of a leather feel to it.

Metal - This is a thin product and is very much like foil. 

Glitter - This product is a thick and chunky like glittery HTV. It is also one of the few HTV products that CAN'T be layered on. 

Sparkle - Similar to Glitter HTV however this is not as thick or as chunky as the Glitter and this CAN be layered on. Also if you want to give any color of HTV Easy Weed or Stretch a bit of sparkle, use a piece of White Sparkle over top and it will turn into a glittered design!

Holographic - A funky spin on HTV giving a multi colored element to your design. This is NOT able to be layered on. 

Adhesive HTV - This material is like double sided tape that can be ironed! When used with heat foil it gives an amazing distressed look to your design. (I will do a post and video about this one soon)


Here are a couple little tips:

If you don't have the carrier sheet that comes with the Pattern HTV then you can use the sticky carrier sheet from your regular HTV. 

You can also use the carrier sheet from your HTV or Pattern HTV to help when using Printable HTV/Iron On Vinyl. 

When you look up the different types of HTV on our website there are temp and time settings for each one. 

Stayed tuned for part 2 - Adhesive Vinyl

Happy Crafting Y'all!



  • Keeping giving good advice and information… I’m enjoying the reading. Crafting made easy and explained. Happy Crafting Fun for All…

  • I’m so glad I read this before trying my patterned iron-on. I never knew about the carrier sheet. I would have wasted so much. Ah, so thankful.

    Lynsey Wighton

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