There’s nothing more rewarding than creating your own unique design and seeing the finished product. T-shirt designs let you use your creativity to the full, but to make them you will need to find the best transfer vinyl for the job.
Here we review the best heat transfer vinyls to help you choose the right one for your project.
Our Top 10 Heat Transfer Vinyl Recommendations
The Firefly Craft Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle is a package which helps you get started with your designing.
These iron on vinyls are 12” x 20” in size so you can use them for any slogan or logo and they can be used with a heat press as well. There are 15 rolls, each of which is a different color. In each roll you will receive 1 each of black, deep pink, elastic foil gold, fluorescent green, gold, lime green, mint green, pink, purple red royal blue sky blue, teal white and yellow.
The vinyls are suitable for use with all plotting cutters, including:
- Cricut Explore Air
- Silhouette Cameo
This vinyl is great for clothes and t-shirts, as it is designed to be stretchy so it will move with the fabric once it has been applied. It’s as easy to work with larger designs as it is with smaller, complex ones, as the vinyl makes weeding quick and simple.
Whatever size of image you create, you will get more designs for your money thanks to the larger size of these rolls.
This is a great pack to get you started on any project, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby clothes, household linen, cushion covers, cards and signs.
This Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle contains 25 sheets of vinyl. Each sheet is 12″x10″ in size, so you can work on larger designs for t-shirts or smaller designs for home wear. For creators who work from home these sheets are a manageable size for any project.
The width also means they are compatible with most cutting machines, including Cricut, Silhouette and Cameo.
There are 16 different colors in the pack so you can get started on any project you want. The colors are:
- 4 x white
- 3 x black
- 2 x red
- 2 x green
You will also receive one sheet each of royal blue, sun yellow, neon hot pink, neon orange, silver, deep gold, lilac purple, orange, lime green, baby blue, navy blue and dark yellow.
You also receive a Teflon sheet to protect your heat press from excess dye.
The vinyls work perfectly on most fabrics, including cotton, polyester and cotton blend, but always check the temperatures in your heat press guide before you use them. To get the best result with these vinyls, the best temperature to use is 305°F/150°C
If you are making children’s clothes or items, these vinyls are SGS certified, so they are eco friendly and free of any harmless chemicals. Once applied, they can be washed in a washing machine but it’s best to wait 24 hours to allow them to set in place.
The Heat Transfer Vinyl: 20 Pack is another excellent choice for all projects. The sheets are 12″ x 10″ in size, so they suit any cutter, including Silhouette and Cricut.
The pack has 18 different colors to work with, including 2 x black and 2 x white sheets. The other colors included are silver/grey, gold, brown, grass green, light pink, fuchsia, red, orange, yellow, purple, aqua, royal blue, sky blue, neon yellow, pink and green. The pack is perfect for t-shirt designs, clothing, home wear and household items.
Included in the pack is a free Teflon sheet to protect the plates on your heat press. The vinyls are machine washable and have been designed not to fade, crack or peel for up to 50 washes so you can be confident that you will have a design to last.
These vinyls are also safe to use on children’s items, as they are SGS certified and contain no harmless chemicals.
CAREGY Heat Transfer Vinyl for T-Shirts is a bundle of 36 Sheets of HTV. These sheets can be ironed on or used in a heat press. The optimum temperature to press them is 302 degrees Fahrenheit, but always check your heat press instructions first.
The bundle includes 28 different colors, including 4 x black and 4 x white. There is a huge choice of colors for any project, including 3 shades of red, 2 shades of orange, 2 shades of green, 4 shades of blue, pink, purple, silver, gold and many more.
The sheets, which are 12” x 10” wide are perfect for t-shirts or sweatshirts but you can also create several smaller designs from each sheet for use with children’s clothing or home accessories. They are slightly thinner than other vinyls so they are easy to cut and easy to weed out if you are using letters or intricate designs.
The vinyls are all waterproof and are suitable for washing machines.
This Heat Transfer Vinyl Holographic Vinyl is wonderful for making unique designs. Each sheet has a holographic pattern and there are a total of 13 different colors. The sheets are 10” × 12” in size and are perfect for t-shirt designs or clothing.
The vinyl is 0.4mm thick and has a 3 dimensional look to bring all your designs to life and they even have their own flash effect when they catch the light.
For those who care about the environment, this vinyl is made from eco-friendly materials which contain no harmful chemicals. They are also UV resistant so perfect for children.
Due to the pattern on these sheets, they are best hand washed to protect them and help them to last longer.
The CAREGY HTV 12″ x 25ft Roll – Iron On Heat Transfer Vinyl (White) is perfect for busy crafters or designers. The 25 foot roll will last you a long time, whether you create large or smaller designs.
The vinyl is 90 microns thin, and is easy to cut and weed, so intricate and smaller designs are no problem. It sticks at a lower temperature than some other vinyls, just 305°F, and peels off while hot. It works with most fabrics, including:
- Polycotton blends
It is a PU composition and has been CPSIA certified so it is ideal for anyone making children’s clothing or kids items.
This is the perfect vinyl for the base design, or for t-shirts, sweatshirts and other clothing.
This Mashup Glitter 12″x 10″ Sheets Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle works really well for bright designs. The pack includes 16 sheets altogether, with a mix of glitter vinyl, fluorescent and wonderful colors.
The sheets are sized to work with all cutters, including Silhouette Cameo, Xyron, Craft ROBO, Graphtec and Cricut. They can be ironed on or used with a heat press.
The vinyl has great elasticity, so it is ideal for use on t-shirts and other clothing and the design makes it easy to weed if you are using smaller designs or lettering. The designs and colors of the vinyl make it a good choice for children’s items and gifts, with the glitter sheets making wonderful seasonal items.
The vinyl can be machine washed, and will keep its color and shape for 50 washes or more. Included in the pack are a Teflon sheet and weeding tool, making this pack excellent value for money.
This Siser EasyWeed Heat Transfer Iron On Vinyl gives you the freedom to choose what you want. You can choose 5 different colors and two different types of vinyl. This means you can purchase only what you need for each project and there are a massive 31 different colors to choose from.
There are two different types of vinyl available.
As the name suggests, this vinyl is easy to cut and weed. It comes in 12″ x 15″ sized sheets and lovely bright and fluorescent colors. It can be washed in a washing machine, but it’s recommended you use a lower temperature.
This comes in 10”x 12” sized sheets and in a choice of colors. It has a glitter coating which is perfect for children’s designs and for seasonal items. This can be washed, but it’s recommended that you hand wash only in cold water.
The vinyls can be stuck to most fabrics, including 100% cotton, 100% polyester, polycotton blends and leather and the EasyWeed can also be used on nylon. The size means they are compatible with all types of cutter, including Cricut and Silhouette.
The White Iron on Vinyl Roll – 12″ x 12ft Heat Transfer Vinyl will last for many cuts. It is 12” wide and 12 feet long. The width makes it suitable for most cutters, including Cricut and Silhouette Cameo.
The vinyl is easy to cut and easy to weed and can be used for many different projects. It is also eco friendly and SGS certified, so it contains no harmful chemicals or substances. It can be applied with an iron or a heat press and will stick at temperatures between 305-320 degrees Fahrenheit.
Our final suggestion is the Heat Transfer Vinyl HTV for T-Shirts 12 Inches by 5 Feet Rolls (12 Pack). It can be ironed on or used with a heat press as the optimum temperature is 305°F/150°C.
Another pack with represents excellent value for money, this has 12 rolls, each of a different color. The rolls are 5 feet in length so you can use them for numerous projects.
The rolls have been designed so they are easy to cut, and you can use them for intricate and small images as they are also easy to weed. Each pack includes 1 roll of:
- Sun yellow
- Light pink
- Royal blue
The vinyl is machine washable so it is suitable for use on clothing as it will not fade or peel. It is also SGS certified, so it contains no harmful chemicals.
Using Your Heat Transfer Vinyl
HTV can be used for many different projects. Most vinyls can be either pressed on using an iron, or using a heat press. Using an iron can require you to use a lot of steady pressure to make sure your vinyl is pressed evenly. A heat press is a much easier way and your vinyl will always get even pressure.
Vinyls are popular for making t-shirts, but they can also be used for:
- T-shirts and sweatshirts
- Sports shirts and caps
- Purses and bags
- Cushions and pillowcases
- Baby clothes and blankets
1. Create your design
To create your vinyl, you first need to draw your design, or create it using image editing software. Some printers will print onto vinyl, so check before you print. You also need to make sure your image will appear the right way round so always use the reverse image or flip horizontal option when you design is finished.
Before you start cutting, measure to make sure you know exactly how big your image needs to be.
2. Cutting your design
When you are happy with your image, you need to cut it out. If you have a steady hand, you can place your vinyl on a cutting mat and cut by hand.
For most of us, a cutting machine will do it much better. Most cutting machines will read your image and cut the outline for you. To do this, place your vinyl on a cutting mat. The mat is then placed in the machine, but make sure that you load it with the shiny side of the vinyl facing down.
When the cutter has finished, carefully pull the vinyl off the backing so that your design is fully removed
3. Weed your design
Unless you have a block image, there will be parts of it which need to be removed or tidied up. This is called weeding.
For this you need a weeding tool, or if you don’t have one you can use a craft knife. Make sure you have a sharp blade or you may end up snagging the vinyl, rather than cutting it.
When you have finished weeding, turn it over to see what it looks like. If you are happy with the design, you can go ahead and press it.
4. Press your design
There are 2 ways you can press your vinyl: an iron or a heat press.
Before you start to press, always wash and iron the item you will be using. This removes any dirt and creases and gives you a flat surface for your vinyl.
Using an iron is simple, but it can also be hard work. Heat your iron before you start so it is nice and hot. Some people like to use a Teflon sheet over the vinyl to protect the iron. You then need to press down hard to make sure your vinyl sticks. Make sure you press all parts of the vinyl so that it is as evenly applied as you can.
Using a heat press is a quick and simple way to press your heat transfer vinyl, and it means you can create a lot more designs with less effort.
All machines come with instructions which tell you which settings to use for different fabrics. You will need to set:
- The correct temperature to make sure your vinyl sticks properly.
- The time needed.
- The pressure, though some machines will do this automatically.
Before you start, turn your heat press on and set it to the right temperature. Wait until it has heated up before you use it. When you are ready, lay your item on the lower plate of the heat press and place your vinyl in the right position on top. You can use a Teflon sheet, though some heat presses have Teflon plates as well. Then you close the plates and let the heat press do the work. It will apply even pressure over the whole vinyl so you get a good result every time.
Our Final Word
Working with heat transfer vinyls will take some practice and it’s a good idea to do a test piece first. There are so many ways you can use your vinyl, and you’ll soon find you are making personalized items for the family and gifts for friends. You can even set up your own t-shirt business or create a range of clothing for children.
The only obstacle to what you can do is your imagination.