Posted By Ahijoy On April 19, 2023
Can You Apply Premium Vinyl On Shirts?
The simple answer to this question is that you cannot apply premium vinyl on shirts. Since it is adhesive craft vinyl, it will not bind with the fibers of the fabric and will come off within a short span of time. It will be just like a sticker on your shirt and might not even withstand a single wash. In fact, it might start peeling while you are still wearing the shirt. In order to understand why premium vinyl is not suited for shirts, let us see what its properties are.
What Is Premium Vinyl?
Premium vinyl refers to a high-quality material with a pressure sensitive adhesive backing. Also known as adhesive vinyl, it is mostly applied to hard and smooth surfaces, such as metal, ceramic, glass, wood, plastic, and walls. It is typically used for making decals, labels, and signages. It comes in a variety of colors and finishes, including matte, glossy, metallic, and glitter. It can be cut into different shapes and sizes with a vinyl cutter or plotter. The application process involves directly putting the vinyl onto the surface using transfer tape and applying pressure with a squeegee.
Some of the key features of premium vinyl include its ability to conform to curved surfaces, its adhesive strength, and its characteristic to be removed without leaving any residue behind or damaging the surface it was applied to. It is often used by professional designers, businesses, and homeowners who want to create high-quality, long-lasting graphics or decorations.
With premium vinyl your creativity knows no bounds! This diverse product has opened up multiple avenues for crafters and you can use it in almost any art project. But as far as embellishing garments is concerned, it is not such a viable option.
Types Of Premium Vinyl
There are two types of premium vinyl sold in stores and online that classify as craft supplies. These are permanent and removable adhesive vinyl. The main difference lies in their strength of tack and how easy they are to remove from a surface.
Permanent vinyl, as the name suggests, has a stronger adhesive that makes it difficult to remove from a surface once it has been applied. It has the ability to withstand outdoor conditions, including exposure to sunlight, heat, and moisture. It is often used for applications such as outdoor signage, vehicle graphics, and window decals. It is typically more expensive than removable vinyl due to its higher durability and longer lifespan.
Removable vinyl, on the other hand, has a weaker adhesive that allows it to be easily removed from a surface without leaving any residue or causing damage. It is ideal for temporary applications, such as wall decals, window clings, and temporary signage. It is also popular for use in rental homes or apartments, where the tenant may not be allowed to make permanent changes to the space.
Benefits Of Using Premium Vinyl
Though premium vinyl cannot be used on shirts due to its low adherence to fabrics, it holds many benefits as far its other uses are concerned.
- It is not very expensive and can be easily procured for various purposes.
- It can be applied to almost any hard surface, including wood, aluminum, some types of concrete, marble, ceramic, glass, and plastic.
- The process of applying premium vinyl on a substrate is very straightforward. All you need is a transfer tape and a squeegee.
- It does not require any heat source to adhere to a surface.
- It is more sturdy and durable and can even be exposed to harsh weather conditions.
Using Premium Vinyl On Shirts
If you plan to use premium vinyl on a shirt, you must know that it will not last long. It will easily peel off and will certainly not withstand washing primarily because it is made to adhere to smooth substrates. The surface of a shirt is often porous and textured, which can make it difficult for the vinyl adhesive to bond effectively.
Furthermore a shirt is flexible and can stretch and move, which can cause the vinyl to peel or lift over time. Premium vinyl and its adhesive are not flexible in the same way. They might not be able to keep up with the movement of the fabric.
Premium vinyl on a shirt might come off in a day or two and is only a short term solution. Hence it is best used as a stencil on the fabric when using other means of embellishing the shirt such as fabric paints or paint pens. An adhesive vinyl stencil will adhere to the fabric securely enough that the colors won’t bleed through and once you are done designing, you can lift it off easily.
You can also use premium vinyl on a shirt when you are making a costume and do not want any permanent changes to the garment. Thus the look of the shirt can be changed temporarily for a few hours or a day, until it’s time to take it off. You can cut the design in premium vinyl and stick it to the shirt. Once you’re done with the costume, you can pull the vinyl off, wash the shirt, and it will be as good as new.
For such a temporary application, all you need to do is create your design using the software of your cutting machine. Do not mirror or flip the image. Place the premium adhesive vinyl on the cutting mat and cut the design. Weed out excess vinyl using the weeding pen available at Ahijoy.
Now it is time to apply the transfer tape. Remove the backing and place the tape on your design. Smooth out the creases with a squeegee. Remove the backing of the premium vinyl and apply it onto the shirt. Burnish it with a squeegee again using pressure to make the adhesive bond with the shirt. Also remove the creases in the process. When you are sure that the vinyl has adhered, remove the transfer tape.
As mentioned earlier, premium vinyl is not the best option for adding a design to shirts or other garments. If you want a long lasting solution and a durable design on your shirt, use heat transfer vinyl. Let us tell you how you can work with it to create amazing decals for shirts.
Heat Transfer Vinyl For Shirts
Heat transfer vinyl, also known as iron on film, is a similar material to premium vinyl, but its adhesive is only activated when you apply heat to it. It is specifically designed to be used with a heat press or iron to transfer the vinyl design onto fabric. It is typically used for creating custom T-shirts, hats, bags, and other fabric-based items.
HTV comes in a variety of colors and finishes, including matte, glossy, glow in the dark and color changing varieties. Moreover, it works best with cotton, polyester, and cotton/poly blends. There are many reasons why HTV is one of the best options for using on shirts.
Benefits Of Using HTV On Shirts
There are many benefits of using HTV on shirts: Here are a few:
- Heat transfer vinyl is designed to be applied to a fabric. Its heat activated adhesive strongly bonds with the fibers of the shirt and stays put for more than 50 washes.
- It is stretchable and moves along with the fabric without cracking or peeling.
- HTV is durable and long-lasting. When properly applied, the vinyl can withstand repeated washings and normal wear and tear without fading.
- It comes in a wide range of colors, finishes, and textures, which makes it easy to create unique and customized designs. It can also be cut into different shapes and sizes to fit any design or pattern.
- It allows for precise and detailed designs to be created, which can be particularly useful for intricate or complex logos or images.
- Though not as easy as premium vinyl, applying HTV is also hassle free. It can be done with a heat press or a dry, household iron. The vinyl adheres quickly and securely to the shirt, and can be easily removed if necessary.
- HTV is a cost-effective way to create custom designs or logos on shirts, especially when compared to other methods such as screen printing or embroidery. Premium vinyl is also more expensive than HTV.
- Heat transfer vinyl can be applied to a variety of fabric types, including cotton, polyester, and blended fabrics, which makes it a versatile option for a range of shirt types.
Different Types Of HTV For Shirts
Within the category of heat transfer vinyl, you will find a plethora of options waiting to be discovered. At Ahijoy, our vinyl is made from high quality PVC making it shine brighter than the rest. With an unparalleled range at your fingertips, you might be overwhelmed. Therefore, we have compiled our best-selling HTV products that will give your shirts the flair they deserve.
Bring on all the glamor with the glitter heat transfer vinyl at Ahijoy. Specks of lustrous sparkle illuminate any fabric, instantly transforming it. Whether it is a shirt, tote or hat, a glitter decal can uplift even the most basic outfits. Our glitter vinyl comes in many vibrant shades, and we even have Neon Glitter and Glitter Stripe HTV available.
Witness magic happen before your eyes with this one-of-a-kind HTV. This range has two subcategories: sunlight sensitive and temperature changing HTV. When you wear a stunning decal from our collection and step outside, expect to be blown away as the shade changes from pink to purple. There are other colors available as well.
This opalescent and enchanting range can add a funky touch to your wardrobe. The multi-colored decal can add dimension and uniqueness making statement shirts, jackets and more. If you want to embody a dystopian and futuristic style, this HTV can help you do just that.
You can spice things up and embellish your shirt with the distinctive patterned HTV at Ahijoy. Especially for children, these imaginative patterns can help foster their creativity. Our patterns include Starry Sky, Buffalo Plaid, Rainbow, Camouflage and Leather which has animal prints. Even for adults, stepping out of the box can help you make a trendy fashion statement.
Glow In The Dark HTV
Another one of our innovative vinyl collections, this HTV offers a magical experience. Simply turn off the lights and watch your decals come to life. We also have a Puff version which makes a 3D decal on any shirt you stick it on. This range works great on costumes and party wear. You can apply it to daily wear shirts as well.
Applying Designs With HTV On Shirts
Using HTV on a shirt is a very simple process. It might not be as easy as using premium vinyl, but you can master it without much effort. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Prepare The Shirt
Start off by making sure your shirt is completely dry and free from stains. Iron the shirt to make sure it is devoid of all moisture. This helps in perfect adherence and longevity of the vinyl.
Step 2: Prepare The Design
Next, prepare your HTV design on the computer. You can use the software that comes with your favorite cutting machine for this. Do not forget to mirror your design.
Step 3: Cut And Weed The Design
Load the HTV on the cutting mat and cut your design. Weed out the extra vinyl using weeding pens at Ahijoy.
Step 4: Transfer The Design On The Shirt
Once the final design is ready, place it on top of your shirt and then put either a Teflon sheet or parchment paper on top to protect the vinyl from excessive heat. Adjust the iron or heat press settings according to the instructions and apply it on top of the sheet. Timing and pressure differ for different HTV vinyl films so make sure to check the instructions.
Step 5: Your Shirt Has Been Transformed
Wait a few seconds then remove the parchment paper. Slowly remove the carrier sheet if the vinyl is a warm peel. However, if it is a cold peel HTV, you have to wait for the shirt to completely cool down before removing. Now, your newly upcycled shirt is ready to wear!
How To Maintain The Shirt With The Vinyl Design?
Regular maintenance can add more lifespan on your HTV clothing. Here are some tips to clean and store your shirts so that they do not damage easily.
- Do not wash your shirt straight away. Wait at least 24 hours for the design to settle and cure before doing so. Washing immediately will result in the decal peeling and cracking.
- Wash the shirt with hands for best results. Do not wash it in the machine.
- Another tip for washing HTV shirts is to turn them inside out and use cold water. This will protect your design from fading and peeling.
- Do not use the tumbler as it can shrink your decal. Instead place the shirt on the clothesline and let it air dry away from sunlight.
- Dry cleaning and applying bleach is to be avoided. If you encounter a stain, spot clean with mild soap as these products can wash the color off your shirt.
- When using an iron, do not apply heat directly on the vinyl or use a high temperature setting. This will cause the design to melt.
Difference Between Premium Vinyl And HTV
Premium vinyl and HTV are two very different kinds of films. Here’s how they are quite distinct from each other:
- Premium vinyl has a pressure sensitive adhesive backing whereas HTV needs heat to activate its adhesive.
- remium vinyl needs an additional transfer tape to be applied to appropriate surfaces. HTV does not need it as it has a clear or opaque carrier sheet that helps in transfer.
- When cutting premium vinyl, you do not have to mirror the design. In HTV, it is mandatory.
- Premium vinyl is typically used for making vinyl decals, signs, and labels that can be applied to a variety of surfaces, such as walls, windows, cars, and water bottles. HTV is often used for creating custom designs on t-shirts, hats, bags, and other fabric items.
Frequently Asked Questions
Premium vinyl cannot be applied on shirts. It is best for outdoor use and on substrates that are hard, smooth, clean and dry. Shirts do not offer that kind of surface. They are porous and textured, hence premium vinyl will be just like a sticker on them. You can make signage, window decals and home decor items with it but you cannot embellish a shirt or any other fabric.