Posted By TeckWrap Craft On September 19, 2023
PU Vinyl vs PVC Vinyl
Table of Contents
- What Are PU And PVC Vinyl?
- Pros And Cons Of PU Vinyl
- Pros and Cons of PVC Vinyl
- PU vs PVC Vinyl
- Texture And Flexibility
- Heat Transfer Properties
- Durability And Longevity
- Color Options
- Uses Of PU And PVC Vinyl
- PU HTV At TeckWrap Craft
- Frequently Asked Questions
Polyurethane (PU) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) are two popular choices that make up heat transfer vinyl films. These serve the same purpose of embellishing compatible fabrics however the difference lies in what crafters want out of their preferred material. PU vinyl is thin and flexible whereas PVC is thicker and sturdier. Making a distinction between PU and PVC vinyl can make or break your project.
With the advent of this amazing material, a plethora of functional and aesthetic solutions became readily available. As the demand for vinyl-based crafts continued to soar, a crucial aspect often overlooked was the choice of the right vinyl material itself. This blog aims to highlight the usage and unveil the nuances that differentiate PU and PVC vinyl so that you can make informed decisions for your artistic ventures.
|PU Vinyl||PVC Vinyl|
|Made with polyurethane||Made with Polyvinyl Chloride|
|It is thinner, around 0.08mm||It is comparatively thicker, around 0.13 to 0.14mm|
|Soft and flexible stature||Slightly hard, sturdy, and robust|
|High elasticity||Low elasticity|
|More breathable||Less breathable|
|More expensive||Less expensive|
|Less variety in colors||More variety in colors and textures|
|Best for intricate designs||Best for large designs and bold lettering|
|It has three layers - a protective top layer, PU vinyl, and backing||It has two layers - PVC vinyl and backing|
|Slightly less sticky||More sticky with high tack|
What Are PU And PVC Vinyl?
In order to understand the difference between PU and PVC vinyl better, it is imperative to study their structure and composition. Here’s a brief description of each:
Polyurethane (PU) vinyl is a synthetic material known for its versatility and remarkable tactile qualities. Created through the polymerization of polyurethane compounds, PU vinyl has a hand in numerous innovations in the fashion industry. This vinyl variant is thin, eco-friendly, flexible, and sturdy. It is soft and breathable and easily moves along with the fabric. It is perfect for making intricate designs.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) vinyl is a synthetic material that exudes both robustness and adaptability. Crafted from compounds, this material is comparatively thicker and achieves its distinct texture due to synthetic polymers and additives. The resulting PVC vinyl is known for its sturdiness, making it a favored choice for endeavors that require both dependability and striking visual appeal. This vinyl is good for making banners and other promotional items that require bold designs and lettering.
Pros And Cons Of PU Vinyl
While Polyurethane is a sought-after material, understanding the intricacies of the product can help you make the most out of your vinyl. Here is a list of features that this vinyl excels in and one where it is limited in its abilities.
Advantages Of PU Vinyl
- Flexible Material: Since PU vinyl is primarily used on fabrics, a flexible and soft texture is needed to give it that smooth appearance. They also make designs comfortable to wear and drape over seamlessly on clothes and accessories. Due to it being quite stretchable, you can use it for workout gear as it will move along with the fabric and will not peel or crack when stretched.
- Heat Resistant: For crafts that require a heat source, PU vinyl comes in clutch. It excels in its heat transfer properties without compromising on its own makeup and design. It also ensures that when subjected to heat and pressure it adheres flawlessly on the fabric’s surface.
- Allows Detailed Design: Replicating or creating intricate decals from scratch can prove quite a task. With PU vinyl, the problem is readily resolved thanks to the thin material which allows for hassle-free manipulation. This way, you can create layered or meticulously crafted designs that fulfill your requirements.
Disadvantages Of PU Vinyl
- Expensive: Budget constraints often become a barrier between the crafter and their project. PU vinyl, with its advanced properties, does tend to carry a slightly higher price tag compared to its counterparts. Nevertheless, the added investment translates to enhanced quality and performance.
- Less Variety: PU and PVC both are used for making HTV. However, PU does not have a lot of variety in terms of colors, textures, and finishes. You may or may not find your desired product in PU vinyl.
- Low Tack: PU vinyl has a slightly lower tack and is not as sticky as PVC vinyl.
Pros And Cons of PVC Vinyl
Within the sphere of arts and crafts, PVC vinyl has remained in a steady position, facilitating numerous projects. On the contrary, there is no one-size-fits-all in the vinyl industry and this product does have its drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons of using polyvinyl chloride.
Advantages Of PVC Vinyl
- Variety and Color Choices: PVC vinyl opens up a spectrum of colors that cater to almost everyone’s palettes. Whether you are seeking vibrant hues or subtle tones, the vast array of options empowers you to bring your creative dreams to life.
- Durability: This vinyl's inherent durability makes it resistant to environmental factors, ensuring that your creations maintain their appearance over time, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Cost-effective: PVC offers the best of both worlds: the fusion of exceptional quality and cost-effectiveness. As a budget-conscious creator, you can be assured that your projects will shine brightly without breaking the bank.
Disadvantages Of PVC Vinyl
- Application Hassle: While PVC vinyl has a host of advantages, its slightly thicker texture might pose challenges when it comes to detailing. Fine lines and delicate designs might demand an alternative material to achieve the precision you desire.
- Less Flexible: In comparison to PU vinyl, PVC’s malleability might be somewhat diminished, impacting its adaptability to certain surfaces.
- Not Suitable for Children’s Clothing: It is generally not considered suitable for children's clothing due to potential health and safety concerns. PVC vinyl can contain phthalates and other chemicals that have been associated with health risks, especially for young children since they tend to take things in their mouths.
PU vs PVC Vinyl
Now that you are fully informed on the specifications, intricacies, and usage of each material, it is time to delve into the comparison of PU and PVC. Taking a deep dive into the subject, we will be looking at what constitutes good vinyl and how these two hold up when discussing various factors.
Texture And Flexibility
- PU: Known for its soft and flexible stature, PU vinyl effortlessly drapes onto surfaces and seamlessly blends with fabrics due to its flexibility.
- PVC: Conversely, PVC vinyl offers a sturdy and robust alternative making it difficult to adhere to curved or textured surfaces. However, this characteristic can be advantageous for projects that demand structure such as large letterings and signages.
Heat Transfer Properties
- PU: This vinyl is known for excellent heat transfer properties making the adherence process a walk in the park especially with fabrics.
- PVC: While still effective for heat transfer, PVC might demand a bit more effort to achieve the same level of adhesion.
- PU: When it comes to capturing intricate details and delicate designs, PU vinyl takes center stage. Its thin composition makes it a go-to choice for projects that demand precision.
- PVC: PVC vinyl, with its slightly thicker texture, thrives in the realm of larger designs and bold lettering. It is much harder to produce detailed decals with this material.
Durability And Longevity
- PU: While PU vinyl can withstand regular use, extreme weather or rugged environments could pose challenges.
- PVC: PVC’s robust nature equips it to withstand outdoor elements, making it an excellent choice for projects intended for long-term usage.
- PU: When it comes to color variety, PU vinyl might have a more restricted range when compared with PVC.
- PVC: PVC vinyl offers extensive color options that allow you to find the perfect hue for every project, ensuring your creations are as vibrant as your imagination.
- PU: For the enhanced qualities it brings to the table, PU vinyl often comes with a slightly higher price tag.
- PVC: PVC presents itself as a budget-friendly alternative that does not compromise on quality.
Uses Of PU And PVC Vinyl
While HTV is primarily intended for use on fabrics, the distinct properties of PU and PVC differentiate the types of apparel they are best suited for.
Polyurethane vinyl is typically thinner and more pliable than PVC, making it an excellent choice for applications on garments like T-shirts and athletic wear. This HTV integrates with the fabric, offering an ideal canvas for intricate designs. Its thin and lightweight texture also enables layering, allowing you to craft multi-colored masterpieces.
An advantage of PU vinyl is its child-friendly nature, making it suitable for children's wear. However, it is important to note that due to PU's versatility and unique qualities, it comes at a higher price point compared to PVC.
Polyvinyl Chloride is renowned for its robust and durable characteristics. This HTV option is particularly well-suited for outdoor apparel and promotional items such as hiking gear and banners. It boasts exceptional resilience against external elements and extreme temperatures, surpassing the performance of some alternative materials. The thick and dense nature of PVC also excels in the industrial apparel sector, where it is used to customize items such as boots, overalls, and aprons.
Additionally, PVC is a preferred choice for safety vests and other applications requiring high visibility. PVC stands out due to its affordability and the wide array of options it offers. However, it may not be the best choice for children's apparel or projects requiring a flexible and thin material.
PU HTV At TeckWrap Craft
At TeckWrap Craft, we have premium quality PU heat transfer vinyl in different size options. You can get 5ft rolls in vibrant colors. These also include neon shades that will enliven your garment, making it highly distinctive. It does not peel, crack, or fade with time even after repeated washes making your decal look amazing at all times.
If you are not ready to commit to a 5ft long roll you can also get PU heat transfer vinyl in 12 x 12 inch sheets. You get 30 sheets in a packet. Start with something small, creating cute little decals. Once you get the hang of it, you can move on to bigger projects. You can also get PU HTV sheets in pastel and neutral colors.
If you do not want vinyl sheets in single shades, we have PU Rainbow Stripes heat transfer vinyl in 5ft and 82ft rolls for bulk projects. Different beautiful shades are arranged on the film in a linear pattern. Another colorful option is the PU Marble HTV 5ft roll. You get different shades in one film in this as well giving the marble effect.
For commercial projects, we have a whole collection of 82ft rolls in superb shades that will make your craft truly captivating. All these sheets are durable and long-lasting, offer ease of application, and will give you the best value for money.
Frequently Asked Questions
PU vs PVC - Final Words
In the eternal quest to find the ideal craft vinyl, PU and PVC both hold their own place. At the end of the day, the choice comes down to your preferences, tastes, and project requirements. With the knowledge garnered from this exploration, you are now equipped to shop at TeckWrap Craft for your preferred vinyl. Browse our website to find out more and buy premium quality vinyl and accessories!