Which Mat Do I Need and What’s the Difference?

When it comes to gathering your supplies, it can seem a little overwhelming at all the options. With a little basic information, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your project.

Silhouette has several different mats: The Regular Mat, the Light Hold Mat, and the PixScan Mat.

The regular mat is great for vinyl. The Light Hold mat is great for paper and more delicate materials. These two are exactly the same except for the amount of stick. The PixScan mat is the most different. It is used to maintain your item’s actual dimensions.I use it for handprints, cutting out photos, and such.

For everyday work, you want the regular mat, but if you are dealing with paper and cardstock, you want to either use an old regular mat that has lost a lot of stick or use a light hold mat so your material is not damaged upon removal.

TIP: To remove your material and prevent curling, turn your mat upside down. Now peel your mat away from your material instead of how we usually do it peeling the material away from the mat. If you keep your material from pulling, it won’t curl. Pull the mat away in small increments to prevent the pulling.

Remember that a new regular cutting mat will be super sticky. Some people prefer to dirty it a bit by touching their pants or using a kitchen towel on it so it loses some of that initial super stickiness. I don’t usually do that, but it is an option.

Renew Your Sticky Mat

We all hate to just toss things in the trash and buy another one, so there are several method to clean your mat and refresh the stickiness. My favorite method is to use a baby wipe to clean the dirt off of it. Use wipes without alcohol though. Let the mat dry completely and you will be surprised at the the stick that comes back to life. Others like to use soap and water to wash their mats. After they dry completely, the stick is back. There are cleaners and all sorts of methods out there these days to renew your mat. So, find something that works for you.

If you have another tried and true method, I’d love to read about it in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading!


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