Making creative heat transfer custom projects on canvases has been a great way of channeling your inner creativity. You would agree with me that having your designs on a canvas e.g., fabric, ceramic, etc. It is exciting, & can be done either via Heat transfer vinyl or heat transfer vinyl. Both methods have their peculiar similarities, which is giving you well-defined design prints; however, this article details its differences more. First, there is a general misconception about heat transfer vinyl (printable) working effectively on a desktop printer, and this is false. Printable Heat transfer vinyl cannot work in a desktop printer, be it laser or inkjet. However, Heat Transfer Papers are a perfect fit for desktop printers. Taking a cue from their names, HTV is vinyl while Transfer Paper is made from Paper. For HTV, a wide-format printer is the best fit, and HTV (printable) is used to create Digital Printed Transfers.
Printable HTV is produced and distributed in rolls of vinyl, and it makes use of wide-format printers, which are mostly quite expensive e.g., Latex, Solvent, or Eco-Solvent. Most times, HTVs are either polyurethane or PVC i.e., poly vinyl chloride material that design cut can be made from. Heat Transfer Vinyl is produced in single color types, and there are also specialty choices such as glitter, holographic, glow in the dark, reflective, 3D puff, or patterned. HTV is available also in a wide range of finishes e.g., metallic, flock, easy weed, etc. In terms of conformability and softness, Vinyl films are standard 100 compliant, which means they are kid-safe. Custom projects made from HTV such as t-shirts are less expensive and quite thick i.e., they are less flexible. Heat Transfer Vinyl is mostly used in transferring design graphics.
Heat Transfer Paper is also referred to as Sublimation Paper, requires an extremely high temperature of about 400F or more so as to make sure the design ink is transferred seamlessly. Standard sublimation papers or heat transfer papers used for laser printing that can transfer at lower temperatures of about 250F to 300F to ensure the ink adheres to the canvas e.g., textiles effectively. It is always recommended to consult the instruction page of the heat transfer papers to be certain about which of the temperature type best for your project. Unlike Heat Transfer vinyl, Transfer Papers permits full-color designs in just a single layer. Transfer vinyl, on the other hand, has zero multiple layers of vinyl i.e., user can only use in a single press. Also, transfer papers give your custom project that impeccable look that is not achievable using just heat transfer vinyl. With Heat transfer papers, the cost is not an issue. All you require is an inkjet or laser printer. No special link is required, no need for grand ink shopping, your casual print ink you use in printing your document can be used.
There you have it! Some of the differences between heat transfer media i.e., Paper and vinyl. Although both are great methods, how you want the end product of your project depends on the heat transfer process chosen e.g., HTV has glitter, holographic types of vinyl, hence giving you that pop factor in your design.