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Heat transfer vinyl can be described as a special kind of vinyl which could be cut on Silhouette machines. These can then be transferred onto fabrics like clothing, bags and pillow covers to name a few. If you are new to the field, then keep your beginning projects a simple one. Work with something easy. An example would be a T-shirt. This wearable cloth has big open areas and can be easily ironed. There is another plus point as well: you can verify new designs on economical pieces of cloth prior to moving on to something expensive.


You need a few supplies before you start. You will require heat transfer vinyl, the fabric where you will transfer, thin cotton fabric and a hot iron. An important aspect to keep in mind is when you transfer the design, your created design must be in a mirror format. The transfer is made easier if there is no text in the design. Be sure that the design must be flipped horizontally if there is text.


Make the design in the computer first and put every element of the design together in the software. Group them and click “Mirror Left” or “Mirror Right”. Select the original design and delete it. Only the mirrored image is important now.

When the mirrored design is ready, click “Send to Silhouette” control. Change settings o the Heat Transfer Vinyl. It should be either flocked or smooth. The former is somewhat fuzzy. For sharper designs, select Smooth from Heat Transfer Material.

Be aware that the machine manufacturer may not be the best adviser when it comes to printing. The factory may advise you to select a certain blade setting. This setting may not be suitable at all. Another divergence with the manufacturer is that it will tell you to cut it without a mat. It is suggested that you should cut with the mat. The HTV's shiny side must be face down before you start to make the cut.

Make a test cut first before you make a final one. After cutting it, unload from the machine and weed it. Leave design on clear backing. In case you need to cut design pieces apart, so that you want to properly position them on the shirt, now is the time to do it. Lay shirt flat on ironing board and position the design on the place you want. Lay extra piece of cloth and press hot iron for a minute. 

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