If you recently got into vinyl sheets for crafting or are experienced with the medium and want to up your game, it can be daunting no matter your comfort level. With so many types and varieties of vinyl to choose from, plus so many things you can make ranging from mugs, wood working, glass etching and more, there’s much to consider. Take solace in knowing there’s just two basic types of vinyl—adhesive and heat transfer—you really need to understand. Here’s how to decide which you need and why.
For Budding Fashion Designers
This holds up well in the wash without fading, peeling and cracking. It will keep the same color and won’t come off after repeated washing cycles. HTVRONT
As a general rule of thumb, heat transfer vinyl (HTV) works on fabrics and materials that will stand up to the heat of your iron or heat press (think t-shirts and tote bags). So you mainly want to consider the look and design for HTV. For example, holographic and metallic vinyl is often stiffer so it’s better for designs made up of smaller pieces rather than large stretches of vinyl. But a stretch vinyl works better on flexible fabric such as spandex and athletic mesh.
For DIY Gift Designs
These are BPA and PVC free, making it a safe product for your family—and the planet. Ohuhu
Permanent vinyl is your best bet for projects that must withstand elements such as sun or rain—think outdoor signs, car decals or items like mugs that go through the dishwasher. Most permanent vinyl has a glossy finish and while permanent vinyl CAN BE removable, it’s important to note it may do damage or remove paint.
Great for Beginners
This product arrives flat and ready to use with an easy to peel liner. IModeur
Go for a removable vinyl application if you’re working on temporary projects—such as an indoor sign for an event—or a smaller, more intricate project that you may need to edit a few times until it’s to your liking—such as a stencil design. In fact, if you’re a beginner, use removable vinyl for your first projects if you can. It’s easier to work with since it’s not as strong as permanent vinyl. And just a style note, most removable vinyl has a matte finish.