How to Use a Vinyl Cutter for T-shirts

How to Use a Vinyl Cutter for T-shirts

If you are considering using heat transfer vinyl to make custom T-shirts, then you might want to know how the T-shirt vinyl process works and the conditions needed to start decorating your garments. With a vinyl cutter, this is a relatively simple and easy task. You only need a little professional knowledge and some fairly cheap materials to get started. We are here to provide you with exclusive news.

Before you start making T-shirts, you need to know some knowledge about the T-shirt vinyl.


What is T-shirt vinyl?

T-shirt vinyl is also called heat transfer vinyl, it can use different types of transmission materials. Let us categorize them into the following categories: PU and PVC films, hot and cold peeling skins.

 vinyl for shirts

PU and PVC. Polyurethane film is an ideal medium for T-shirt transfer graphics. These PU products tend to be thinner and more stretchable, so they are like a part of clothes. This soft "hand" makes them ideal for clothing graphics. In addition to flexibility and adaptability, PU film also meets the requirements of CPSIA or OekoTex Standard 100. They are safe for children. HTVRONT heat transfer vinyl is made of high-quality PU leather materials.


PVC T-shirt films are usually thicker and cheaper. Thicker means that they are not as flexible and feel not as good as PU. Moreover, they are not considered safe for young children who may wear clothes and appliqués. Therefore, PVC film should only be used to decorate the clothing of adult wearers.


Warm skin or cold skin: The time required for the adhesive to cure before removing the lining can be an important factor in productivity. Most traditional hot-pressed films need to be cooled to room temperature before the lining can be removed. This allows the adhesive to fully bond to the fabric. If you are applying multiple colors, especially in layers, this waiting time can be frustrating. For these more complex designs, warm leather products can save time.


So far, we have only discussed standard spot color graphics on clothing. However, many heat transfer materials have additional punches. Use these to add metallic and fluorescent colors, glitter, patterns or holographic effects to your custom clothing.


How to Use a Vinyl Cutter for T-shirts?

Tools and materials

First, you will need a 100% cotton T-shirt and vinyl cutter at the same time. You can choose a T-shirt, but it is best to start with a blank. There are some vinyl cutters there. You will not need too fancy or expensive things. There are other things to consider. You will need heat transfer vinyl, weeding tools, scissors and a heat press or standard iron.



There are two design methods. You can use practical tools and equipment such as sharp pens, pens, and paper to create designs. Alternatively, you can use software such as Adobe Illustrator or InkScape to create the design digitally.


You will need a personal computer. First, open the program of your choice and create a new file. Make sure that the width and height of the blank image are both set in inches. Now you can add the selected image or text and adjust accordingly.


Cut, weed, press, and peel

Once you are satisfied with the design, you need to export it to the vinyl cutting program of your choice. Likewise, there are some alternative procedures. If you are using a Cricut computer, you can use the free software of the device. To prepare the cutting file, you need to mirror the design to ensure correct printing. You can also set a binding frame around it, which will make weeding much easier.


After the design is printed and cut, it can be weeded, flipped, pressed, and peeled. After weeding, this will leave only the parts needed in the design and you will get a clear backing paper with graphics displayed at the bottom. Please carefully paste the design on the T-shirt and make sure to place it where you want it. If you are still viewing the mirrored version of the mirror, the mirror is upside down and will stick to the heat press instead of the shirt, which may ruin your day. Please be careful not to pull too hard when weeding, as this will tear part of the design.


After the weeding is complete, place the shirt on the heat press platform with the vinyl sticker facing up. If you use an iron, use a larger flat surface. When you are ready, turn off the heat press or press the iron on the shirt and wait for the required time. Then release the high temperature pressure from the shirt, and then carefully pull the plastic sticker off.


The T-shirt is now complete, and the process is easy to repeat, allowing you to create any number of custom designed T-shirts. Got it? It is good! Now go out and make some cool t-shirts!

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