Tips on Using Metallic Heat Transfer Vinyl

tips for metallic heat transfer vinyl

 

Hey Rozzy Crafters! Have you been staring at the Rozzy Crafts’ metallic heat transfer vinyl, dying to try it, but too scared that you’ll mess it up? Don't worry, if you follow these simple steps you'll be certain to create a beautiful and shining project!

Rozzy Crafts’ Metallic Heat Transfer Vinyl is available in 10 vibrant colors (from left to right, top to bottom in the picture above): gold, aqua, black, hot pink, copper, pink, silver, green, blue, and red.

In the picture below you can see the individual colors and how they look after being pressed on to a grey t-shirt. All of the colors are vibrant and reflective.

This post goes through the best practices for using metallic HTV in detail. But, in summary:

  • Always do a test cut prior to cutting your full design to check that your settings will work with your machine, blade, and sheet of vinyl.
  • For Cricut machine users, cut using the Light Cardstock setting. For Silhouette machine users, cut with the blade set at 3, speed set at 7, and thickness set at 10.
  • Weed your design slowly and carefully to prevent tearing of the vinyl. Don't put too much horizontal tension on fine/detailed segments of HTV. 
  • Press at 310℉ for 15 seconds, remove the carrier sheet, and press a final time for 15 seconds at the same temperature.
  • Check that the texture of your material can be seen through the vinyl, this assures that your vinyl is completely adhered.
  • Cold peel your vinyl to prevent the edges of your design from rippling.
  • Hand wash your garment or on the delicate cycle inside out. Hang dry only, a dryer can cause your vinyl to wrinkle, especially large designs.

This tutorial will now go more in depth on the reasoning for each of these tips and how to avoid the issues that arise if you do not follow them.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

GETTING STARTED:

You firstly want to decide on a design for your shirt. The possibilities are endless! You can do a design with all metallic HTV or mix and match with other styles of HTV like matte or glitter. You can use any kind of design you want to. Any design looks even better in metallic!

I used all Rozzy Crafts’ Metallic HTV for my shirt. I used the aqua, hot pink, silver, and gold. I got my design from the Cricut Design Space Images tab and also added the fork from the Images tab as well.

MAKING A TEST CUT:

Prior to cutting your design, you should always do a test cut to make sure your settings will work. A small square and triangle shape will suffice. Always remember that each sheet of vinyl, each machine, and each blade are different and the settings can vary each time you use it.

If you are a Cricut user, you have to create the test cut by inserting a square and triangle from the shapes tab on the left side toolbar. Then, resize your triangle to be inside of your square and slice. This will leave you with three new shapes. Keep the square with the triangle cut out of the middle of it and delete the two triangles that are created. Resize it to be 1” by 1” so that you are using a minimal amount of vinyl. Make sure that your shape is a different color then the rest of your design so that it will cut on a separate mat. Once you are in the “Make It” portion of Design Space, you can adjust where on the mat it will cut. You can place it to be outside of your design so that you can utilize the rest of the sheet when you go to make your actual design. The best placement I have found is for it to be in the top right corner of your vinyl sheet.

For Silhouette users, yours is much easier. When under the Send Panel, simply click on the “Test” button that is in the bottom right corner of your screen. This will generate your test cut for you, a square with a triangle cut out in the middle. Your test cut will default to the top left corner of your vinyl, but you can adjust its location in the Send Panel to be anywhere on your material. The best placement that I have found is for it to be in the top right corner of your vinyl sheet.

For both machines/software, the following instructions are the same. Load your vinyl/mat and hit cut. Once the test cut is complete, unload your mat or vinyl, remove your sheet from the mat if you are using one. You want to feel the back of the sheet to make sure that the cut didn’t go all the way through the carrier sheet. It is okay if you feel a small amount of indentation from the cut, but if you can feel total perforation, then your cut is too deep. After checking the back of your sheet, weed the square by starting in a corner and pulling back and up. You are wanting the find that the vinyl comes up easily, the corners of the shapes don’t snag when weeding, and the triangle still remains adhered to the carrier sheet. If one or all of those things is untrue (i.e. its difficult to weed, the corners of the shapes snag, or the triangle comes up win weeding the square), then your cut is not deep enough. If it is too deep, or not deep enough, adjust your settings accordingly and try again.
I recommend doing a test cut no matter what kind of vinyl you are using and every time you are cutting a design. Each sheet of vinyl, cutting machine, and blade can vary on exact settings and each may not be the same every time you use it. Take a little time in the beginning of cutting your design to save yourself time, vinyl, and hassle in the end.

CUTTING YOUR DESIGN:

Now that your design is ready and you know how to do your test cut, it’s time to cut your vinyl. I used a Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut my vinyl. I did a little experimenting and found that the perfect settings for Rozzy Crafts’ Mettalic HTV was Light Cardstock.

If you are a Silhouette user, the equivalent setting would be blade set at 3, speed set at 7, and thickness set at 10.

TIPS FOR CUTTING AND WEEDING:

Here are some tips for cutting metallic HTV, specifically Rozzy Crafts’ Metallic HTV.

Make sure that your cut is completely through the vinyl and slightly perforates the carrier sheet. Metallic HTV is much thicker than matte HTV, it is more like glitter HTV. To verify that it is cut correctly, feel the back of your sheet of vinyl once it is cut (the side that has color if using Rozzy Crafts’). You should be able to feel the cut lines through the carrier sheet, though it should not cut completely through it. When you look at the back of your sheet (the side with color) you should be able to clearly see all of your cut lines.

Just like matte or glitter HTV, your cut should be mirrored.

When weeding your vinyl, be sure to remove it slowly, especially around fine details. Like all varieties of vinyl, the small details can remain attached to the excess you are weeding and not to the carrier sheet. They are easily placed back on the carrier sheet by using the tip of your weeding tool.

Weeding slowly can also prevent the metallic HTV from tearing. Much like glitter, if you weed the excess too quickly it can tear, causing some of the coloring from the top layer of the metallic to remain attached to the carrier sheet. This is an issue that is hard to fix without scrapping your entire sheet. However, it is easy to prevent. Make sure you use the correct settings, do a test cut prior to cutting out your full design, and weed the excess slowly. If your cuts are not deep enough, it can cause the coloring of the vinyl to separate from the backing and remain on the carrier sheet. You can see in the picture below what I am talking about.

PRESSING YOUR DESIGN:

I pressed my designs onto a regular t-shirt (100% cotton). I pressed the design using a Cricut EasyPress. The most successful setting that I have found for the Rozzy Crafts’ Metallic HTV is a temperature is 310℉ for 15 seconds. Make sure to add medium amount of pressure on a flat surface. Let the vinyl cool completely and peel back the carrier sheet. Do another press at 310℉ for 15 seconds with a Teflon sheet covering your vinyl to equally distribute the heat and protect your vinyl and your press/iron.

If you are using a heat press, start with the same temperatures and times as above, it may need slight adjustment, but not by much. If you are using a home iron, set your iron to the highest setting (typically cotton) and without steam. It is not exact when it comes to temperatures, so make sure to test a small portion before applying your design.

TIPS FOR PRESSING:

No matter which kind of press or iron that you use, make sure that you are cold peeling. This means that the vinyl has cooled down to the touch. If you do not follow this part of the instruction it could result in your vinyl not completely adhering and/or may cause your vinyl to wrinkle when peeling, especially fine details and small text.

You want to use the minimum amount of heat for the minimum amount of time. This will prevent the vinyl from shrinking (all vinyls have this complication if you overheat it or heat it too long). It will also prevent the carrier sheet from shrinking/melting, which occurs if you overheat or heat it for too long. Always test your settings if you are using a new brand of vinyl that you are unsure of. I keep a scrap t-shirt that I use to press small swatches of new vinyl onto to find the perfect settings before pressing my final design. With Rozzy Crafts’ Metallic HTV, I recommend pressing for 15 seconds at 310℉, but test a small swatch on your material you’re your press before pressing your final design.

To ensure that your vinyl is well adhered, you want to see the texture of the material through the vinyl. It’s a little hard to explain, but see the picture below to get an idea of what you should be looking for.

I would NOT recommend layering metallic on top of metallic or any other variety of vinyl on the metallic. The metallic is so smooth even after pressing, it is not a good surface to adhere other vinyl on top of. The knock out method should be used to create the illusion of layering without the adherence issues or the bulk that layering can cause. If you don’t know how to use the knock out method here is a link to our blog post, HOW TO LAYER HEAT TRANSFER VINYL WITHOUT THE THICKNESS.

WASHING YOUR GARMENT:

Garments with metallic HTV on them should be hand washed only. If you must, you can wash them inside out on the delicate cycle, but it is not recommended. Garments should be hung to dry. Washing machines and dryers can cause the vinyl to wrinkle, this is especially true for large designs. The shirt in the picture below was only put in the dryer for five minutes and already had noticeable wrinkling.

If you do accidentally wash/dry them, you can eliminate some of the wrinkling by re-pressing the garment at 310℉ for 15 seconds. Make sure to put a Teflon sheet between the vinyl and your press to protect both the press and the vinyl. It will not remove the wrinkles completely, but it can improve them.

Again, this isn’t the recommended avenue to take, hand wash and hang dry is the best way to keep your vinyl looking great after each wear.

CONCLUSION:

I hope this tutorial has answered any questions you may have had regarding Rozzy Crafts’ Metallic HTV and has inspired to you go order some for your next project! As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments or on Facebook!


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