Posted By TeckWrap Craft On October 31, 2023
HTV vs Adhesive Vinyl
Table of Contents
- Understanding HTV And Adhesive Vinyl
- Pros And Cons Of Heat Transfer Vinyl
- Pros And Cons Of Adhesive Vinyl
- Differences In The Application Process Of HTV And Adhesive Vinyl
- The Different Tools Needed
- To Mirror Or Not To Mirror
- Placement Of Vinyl On The Cutting Mat
- Placing The Vinyl Design On The Substrate
- Similarities Between Adhesive Vinyl And HTV
- The HTV At TeckWrap Craft
- The Adhesive Vinyl At TeckWrap Craft
- Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to crafting and personalization, the two popular options widely used are Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) and Adhesive Vinyl. These have distinct characteristics and specific applications. HTV has heat-activated adhesive and is used on fabrics whereas Adhesive Vinyl has pressure-sensitive adhesive and is used to decorate any hard surface that is smooth, clean, and dry.
In this blog, we'll compare HTV and Adhesive Vinyl, the two remarkable materials that are used for making amazing crafts. We will help you understand the differences between these so you can decide which one is best for your project.
|Heat Transfer Vinyl||Adhesive Vinyl|
|This vinyl has a shiny smooth side with a transparent carrier sheet and a dull adhesive side.||This is a thin vinyl sheet with a paper backing.|
|HTV works best on fabrics made of cotton, polyester, and cotton blends.||Adhesive Vinyl works best on hard surfaces that are smooth, non-porous, clean, and dry.|
|It has a heat-activated adhesive.||It has a pressure-sensitive adhesive.|
|The design has to be mirrored in the software before the HTV is cut using an automated machine.||There is no need to mirror the design when the Adhesive Vinyl is cut in a machine.|
|When placed on the cutting mat, the dull adhesive side of the HTV should be facing up.||The paper backing of the Adhesive Vinyl faces down when it is placed on the cutting mat.|
|It needs a source of heat to adhere to the substrate such as a heat press or dry iron.||It needs transfer tape to adhere to the substrate with slight pressure applied with a squeegee.|
|HTV is either warm peel or cold peel which tells you how long to wait before removing the carrier sheet after the application of heat.||You can remove the transfer tape from the Adhesive Vinyl once you are sure that your design has adhered to the surface perfectly.|
|You can design fabric items such as t-shirts, canvas shoes, tote bags, onesies, and soft home decor with it.||You can apply it on surfaces such as walls, drinkware, sanded wood, glass, acrylic, scrapbooks, and mirrors.|
Understanding HTV And Adhesive Vinyl
In order to comprehend the difference between Adhesive and Heat Transfer Vinyl, it is important to be fully aware of their structure and working mechanism. Below is a brief description of each:
Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)
Heat Transfer Vinyl, often referred to as Iron-On is a material with an adhesive backing designed to be applied to fabrics using heat and pressure for a specified duration of time. It is a versatile material that allows the transfer of intricate designs, colorful graphics, and detailed patterns on cotton, polyester, and poly/cotton blends.
HTV comes in numerous amazing colors and finishes to give your garments a unique look. These include Glitter, Metallic, PU, Puff, Glow in the Dark, Reflective, Chameleon Shimmer, Flock, Color Changing, and Pattern Heat Transfer Vinyl. These are commonly used for creating custom apparel like t-shirts, bags, hats, and home decor items such as pillowcases, couch throws, koozies, and more.
Adhesive Vinyl is a material that is used to decorate hard, smooth, clean, and dry surfaces. It has a pressure-sensitive adhesive backing that requires slight burnishing with a squeegee to adhere to the substrate. It is a versatile product that can be used for a wide range of applications on substrates like glass, metal, plastic, and wood.
It can be permanent or removable. Permanent Adhesive Vinyl is more sturdy and long-lasting and can bear the harsh environmental elements making it perfect for outdoor use. Removable vinyl, on the other hand, is designed to be easily taken off without leaving any residue behind. It's suitable for temporary applications.
Adhesive Vinyl is also available in a myriad of different colors and finishes such as Matte and Glossy, Pearl, Candy Color, Opal and Holo, Color Changing, Textured Metallic, Chameleon, Glow in the Dark, Shimmer and Glitter, Rainbow Stripes, Smart, Pattern, and Reflective. These are used for making stickers, decals, labels, and various other aesthetically pleasing DIY projects.
Pros And Cons Of Heat Transfer Vinyl
HTV is a highly sought-after material for fabric designing. It is durable and long-lasting. In order to get the most out of it, you must know its plus points and downsides:
Advantages Of HTV
- HTV is easy to work with and gives high performance. It can withstand repeated washes and wear, making it an excellent choice for clothing and textiles. When properly applied, it can last for up to 50 wash cycles without fading or peeling.
- It is available in a wide range of colors and finishes. This extensive color palette allows for creative and eye-catching designs and numerous options.
- It's perfect for intricate designs and lettering due to its thin and flexible nature. It stretches and moves around with the fabric. You can create delicate and detailed designs without sacrificing quality.
- HTV creates a smooth, vibrant finish on fabric. The end result is a professional, customized look.
- Different layers of HTV can be applied on top of each other, allowing for complex, multi-colored designs. However, specialty vinyl such as Glitter and Puff can only be used as the top layer.
Disadvantages Of HTV
- HTV is primarily designed for fabrics and may not adhere well to non-textile surfaces like glass, wall, or plastic. It's essential to choose the right material for your project. Using HTV on hard surfaces may not produce the desired result and will not be long-lasting.
- Applying HTV requires a heat press or household iron and some practice to ensure robust, long-lasting adhesion. Careful temperature and pressure control is necessary to achieve the desired results.
- If HTV is not applied properly, it can start to peel and crack right away. Hence, you must ensure perfect application.
- It is difficult to rectify mistakes when working with Heat Transfer Vinyl because you cannot simply take it off and continue with the same product. It is difficult to remove.
Pros And Cons Of Adhesive Vinyl
The application and usage of Adhesive Vinyl are quite different. It also has some pros and cons. Read on to find out:
Plus Points Of Adhesive Vinyl
- Adhesive Vinyl can be used on a multitude of hard surfaces, making it suitable for home decor, signage, custom gifts, and more. It's an excellent choice for projects beyond apparel.
- Applying Adhesive Vinyl is relatively straightforward, and it doesn't require special equipment like a heat press. All you need is a cutting machine, like Cricut or Silhouette, to create precise shapes and designs. You can even cut with a scissor if the design is not complex.
- Depending on the type, this vinyl can have long-lasting adhesive properties, making it great for outdoor applications.
- It is available in numerous different colors and finishes. You can choose from matte, glossy, textured, and specialty finishes like holographic or reflective vinyl. This variety gives you a lot of choices.
Disadvantages Of Adhesive Vinyl
- Adhesive Vinyl is not designed for fabric applications. It won't adhere well to clothing or textiles, making it essential to choose the right material for your project.
- Unlike HTV, Adhesive Vinyl is slightly rigid and is not stretchable.
- It may not conform well to rough surfaces. It's important to consider the shape and texture of the surface when applying this material.
- If using permanent Adhesive Vinyl, it can sometimes leave behind residue or damage the surface it is applied to.
Differences In The Application Process Of HTV And Adhesive Vinyl
The process of applying Adhesive and Heat Transfer Vinyl differs considerably. Let’s see what you need to do for each:
The Different Tools Needed
Once the design is cut and the negative vinyl is weeded out, the tools needed for HTV and Adhesive Vinyl will be different. For Adhesive Vinyl, you will have to get transfer tape to apply it on a hard substrate.
For Heat Transfer Vinyl you will need a heat press for the application of heat and pressure. You can also use a dry, household iron. You will also need parchment paper or a Teflon sheet to save the vinyl and the fabric from burning or warping due to excessive heat. This also ensures the even distribution of heat to the whole design.
To Mirror Or Not To Mirror
This is another important difference in the application of HTV and Adhesive Vinyl. For Heat Transfer Vinyl you will have to mirror the design on the software that you are using. If you have the Cricut cutting machine, you will work on Design Space, and for Silhouette you will need Silhouette Studio. You will flip the design horizontally for HTV but for Adhesive Vinyl you will not do so. It will stay in its original state.
Placement Of Vinyl On The Cutting Mat
The placement of the vinyl film on the cutting mat before it is fed into the automated cutting machine also differs for both Adhesive Vinyl and HTV. For Adhesive Vinyl, you will make sure that the paper backing side faces down on the cutting mat whereas the colored vinyl side faces up.
Heat Transfer Vinyl is placed on the mat with the dull side facing up. This is where the adhesive is. The shiny side, which has the carrier sheet, will face down on the mat. This, however, won’t be the case when using printed Heat Transfer Vinyl.
If you have printed a design on your HTV using an inkjet printer, you will not mirror it in the software and the HTV will be placed with the printed design facing up on the cutting mat.
Placing The Vinyl Design On The Substrate
HTV and Adhesive Vinyl differ in the way they are placed on the substrate. You put Heat Transfer Vinyl on the fabric where you want it to be with the dull adhesive side facing down. You place parchment paper or a Teflon sheet on top and place it in the heat press machine to apply heat and pressure for a specified period of time.
With Adhesive Vinyl, you use a transfer tape. You apply the transfer tape to the vinyl design and burnish it with a squeegee. Then you take off the backing of the Adhesive Vinyl and apply it on the hard and smooth substrate. Use a squeegee on it again with slight pressure to make the design stick to the surface. Then slowly remove the transfer tape at an angle.
Similarities Between Adhesive Vinyl And HTV
There are certain similarities between the two films as well such as:
- Both HTV and Adhesive Vinyl are available in a vast variety of colors and finishes.
- They are cut in the same manner. You will finalize the design on the software and then cut the vinyl using an automated cutting machine. If the design is simple and/or you do not have a cutting machine, you can even use a pair of scissors.
- You need the following tools for both of them initially:
- Cutting machine
- Cutting mat
- Weeding tools
- There are certain surfaces on which you can use both HTV and Adhesive Vinyl such as mugs, metal tumblers, canvas, and wood,