Glossary

Glossary

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) Definition

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV), also known as heat transfer film or iron-on vinyl, is a type of vinyl material with an adhesive backing used in garment decoration and textile printing. HTV is designed to be cut into designs or letters using a vinyl cutter or plotter, weeded to remove excess material, and then heat applied to a substrate using a heat press or iron.

HTV is characterised by the following properties:

  • Adhesive Backing: HTV features a heat-activated adhesive backing that bonds to the substrate when subjected to heat and pressure.
  • Flexibility: HTV is flexible and stretchable, allowing it to conform to the contours of garments and textiles without cracking or peeling.
  • Durability: HTV is durable and wash-resistant, making it suitable for long-lasting designs on apparel and textiles.
  • Variety: HTV is available in a wide range of colours, finishes, and specialty effects, including matte, glossy, metallic, glitter, and fluorescent options.

The application of HTV involves the following steps:

  1. Design Creation: Designs are created digitally or drawn manually, then converted into vector files for cutting using a vinyl cutter or plotter.
  2. Cutting: The HTV material is loaded into the vinyl cutter, and the design is cut from the material, leaving the desired shape on the carrier sheet.
  3. Weeding: Excess material around the design is removed using a weeding tool, leaving only the desired design on the carrier sheet.
  4. Heat Transfer: The design is placed onto the substrate, such as a garment or textile, and heat applied using a heat press or iron. The heat activates the adhesive backing, bonding the HTV to the substrate.
  5. Peeling: Once cooled, the carrier sheet is peeled away, leaving behind the transferred design on the substrate.

HTV is commonly used in various applications within the garment decoration and textile printing industry, including:

  • T-shirts and apparel
  • Team uniforms and jerseys
  • Bags and accessories
  • Home textiles and décor
  • Personalised gifts and merchandise

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