Using vinyl can seem overwhelming in the beginning, but with a little practice and knowledge, you’ll be a pro in no time. Here are the basics you need to know before you cut vinyl.
If you’re using sticky vinyl (adhesive), you do NOT mirror your image. You use transfer tape to lift the image and apply it to a clean and solid surface. However, if your adhesive vinyl is going on the inside of a window or similar, you mirror the design before cutting. As a general rule, you do not mirror adhesive vinyl.
If you’re using HTV (heat transfer vinyl), you DO mirror your image before you cut and be sure to place your vinyl glossy side down or dull color side up on the mat.
If you’re using printed HTV, it depends. Some will be just like HTV and others will be more like adhesive vinyl but may not have a backing of any kind. If there’s no backing or cover sheet, be sure NOT to mirror and place upright on your mat. You may need HTV transfer tape to lift it off the mat and press it if it’s more than one piece. As with some printed HTV, if you are using vinyl scraps that do not have the carrier sheet, you’ll place the more colorful side up and cut without mirroring. Then, you may need HTV transfer tape to lift the design from the mat and put it on your item.
Please note that regular transfer tape for adhesive vinyl is not the same as HTV transfer tape. One handles heat and one does not. Make sure you have the right one for your projects. In general though, HTV has a carrier sheet and no transfer tape is needed.
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