Are you looking to customize your t-shirts, tops, coffee mugs, golf caps, and other personal use items with striking graphics? If yes, then you can either entrust the printing job to a professional company or carry out the task yourself. Whether you transfer the prints on your own or hire a firm, a quality fabric cutter and HTV or heat transfer vinyl will be invariably needed for the job.
Of course, you can transfer the imprints and illustrations on different fabrics and materials using conventional printing methods and techniques. However, if you want your impressions to look exactly like your original creations after passing them onto t-shirts or caps, then a fabric cutter is your best bet. And you’ll also need the best heat transfer vinyl to enable the fabric cutting machine to transfer the imprints with perfection.
Contrary to what you think, prepping heat transfer vinyl for printing onto a variety of surfaces is not complex at all. In case you already own a fabric cutter or heat presser, you can use HTVs for writing many personalized designs. In this review, we explore the five popular heat transfer vinyl brands, along with a buyers’ guide.
Buying Guide For Purchasing the Best Heat Transfer Vinyl
What do you need to keep in mind while shopping for premium heat transfer vinyl? What are the crucial factors that you will have to take into consideration before you make up your mind? Some of the aspects that you should consider include color options, durability, thicker or lightweight vinyl, adhesive quality, and so on.
Another consideration that you must give due weightage or significance is customer comments and suggestions. It does not need to be emphasized that others may have used the product or products you’re thinking of purchasing. Reading feedbacks and opinions of customers and users regarding the products will give you a fair idea about their quality.
Customers’ experiences vis-à-vis the heat transfer vinyl you’re considering buying will help you to understand whether the same will suit your needs. Following are some essential facets that you should give due importance to when you start shopping for the best heat transfer vinyl:-
Heavy or lightweight vinyl?
The type or types of printing projects that you’ll be working on will determine whether you’ll need heavy or lightweight vinyl. For instance, if most of your printing projects involve transferring prints onto t-shirts, then thin, lightweight HTVs will be perfect. Additionally, if you need to print elaborate and sophisticated graphics that call for accurate cuts, lightweight vinyl sheets are ideal.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to pass on impressions and illustrations onto plastic, ceramic, and paper stickers and decals, then you’ll excellent results with thicker vinyl.
The majority of HTV brands available in the market offer you heat transfer vinyl bundles in a variety of colors. You do not need to invest in a variety of brands to print your projects in different colors. You’d be better off choosing a brand that provides vinyl sheets in a range of traditional as well as unconventional colors.
Adhesive strength or quality
The best heat transfer vinyl you’ll come across offers vinyl backed by a heavy-duty adhesive and a protective liner. HTVs reinforced with robust adhesives ensure that they’ll retain their integrity and will not peel off even after multiple wash cycles.
Product Reviews Of the 5 Best Heat Transfer Vinyl Machines
If you want to see your innovative and creative designs in print on t-shirts and tops, then choose the PrimeCuts permanent adhesive-backed vinyl sheets. Fame Crafts have designed and created these DIY heat transfer vinyl sheets with meticulous care, enabling you to develop your personalized t-shirts. This heat transfer vinyl package comprises of 20 sheets, each having a distinct color like red, blue, green, neon yellow.
With this Fame Crafts heat transfer vinyl sheets, the possibilities of giving shape to your design concepts are nearly unlimited. Fame Crafts’ transfer vinyl tends to be extremely slim and highly pressure-sensitive, which facilitates the transferring of incredibly small characters, figures, letters, icons, and representations. These heat transfer vinyl sheets by Fame Crafts happen to be incredibly durable and resilient, their thinness and lightness notwithstanding.
- Twenty heat transfer vinyl sheets in total, each measuring 12” x 10.”
- Every vinyl sheet has a distinct color
- Lightweight, slim, and pressure/heat sensitive vinyl
- Ideal for personalizing hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts
- Heat transfer vinyl sheets shaped out of durable polyurethane; remains intact even if washed multiple times
- Can be used with ease for transferring imprints on different apparels
- Lightweight and thin yet extremely durable and heavy-duty
- Sold with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Not suitable for printing on decals and stickers
- These heat transfer vinyl bundle does not include a user manual
The Permanent Adhesive Backed Vinyl Sheets by PrimeCuts are your best bet to express your creativity in the best possible manner. There are many good reasons to go for these permanent adhesive-backed vinyl sheets by PrimeCuts. For a start, you can access these heat transfer vinyl sheets in 30 different colors capable of lasting for years.
Then again, you’ll find it very easy to make the most of these ‘weed and peel’ adhesive vinyl, thanks to their quality. The vinyl sheets are delivered to you in a wide range of colors, including but not limited to maroon, burgundy, and beige. The sheets have been crafted using quality vinyl and come equipped with a built-in premium liner for shielding the adhesive.
- All purchases backed by 100% money-back guarantee
- All vinyl sheets are perfectly flat; capable of using straightaway
- 40 vinyl sheets in total in 32 striking colors
- High- quality liner and adhesive backing
- Completely flat and hence compatible for using with different fabric cutter types
- Scrupulously designed and crafted for ease of use
- Remains permanently stuck and incredibly hardy
- Stays perfect indoor and outdoor for 5 and 4 years respectively
- The thinness of the sheets makes them practically unsuitable for use on metallic and ceramic surfaces
- Many customers have reported not receiving all the 40 sheets
The Craft Heat Transfer Vinyl Bundle of 15 by Firefly is one of the most versatile heat transfer vinyl you’ll come across. You can use these vinyl sheets for heat transferring prints on fabrics, boards, papers, leather, fleece, glasses, tumblers, and mugs. You can make optimal use of these Firefly Craft heat transfer vinyl for customizing your personal use items like caps, tees, and sports jerseys.
At the same time, you can take advantage of these HTVs for passing on impressions on different items made of glass, cardboard, and rubber, etc. These HTV sheets from Firefly Craft are compatible with nearly all brands of fabric cutters, including Silhouette Cameo and Cricut Explore Air 2. Every Firefly Craft heat transfer sheet is made of premium quality vinyl, which in turn facilitates easy weeding and peeling.
- Works with a range of fabrics and materials
- Compatible with both commercial and hobbyists’ fabric cutters
- Designed to be user-friendly
- Large 12” x 20” size
- Every pack contains 15 sheets of premium PU HTVs in a riot of colors
- Every vinyl sheet has a different color; print your designs in a constellation of colors
- Customize a wide variety of personal items from t-shirts to pillows
- Convenient to weed and peel off
- Companionable with nearly all plotting cutter brands
- Many customers have complained that the prints started peeling off soon
- Quite expensive for a bundle containing 15 vinyl sheets
Siser claims that their EasyWeed HTVs is their bestselling heat transfer vinyl sheets, and for practical reasons. You can comfortably apply EasyWeed vinyl sheets onto different surfaces and materials at lower temperatures and pressures, compared to other HTV brands. On the other hand, these HTVs retain their texture even after you have rinsed them several times.
EasyWeed also happens to be slimmer than most other HTVs offered by Siser’s competitors. Every EasyWeed HTV comes with a carrier that is extremely sensitive to pressure, thus letting you transfer your customized designs on a variety of surfaces.
- Stays intact even after repeated wash cycles
- Slimmer than competitors’ vinyl sheets
- Carrier is remarkably pressure-sensitive
- Every bundle contain twelve 12” x 15” sheets
- Every layer is of a distinct color
- Can be used right out of the box
- Applies with a low pressure
- The backing can be peeled both at high and low temperatures
- Stays perfect even after multiple wash cycles
- Many customers have complained of receiving fake instead of the original Siser EasyWeed sheets
- Vinyl is quite tricky to cut and weed
If you’re looking for an HTV brand that provides vinyl in a comprehensive array of colors, then settle for Oracal Vinyl Rolls. You can order the 5” x 12” sheets in rolls of 10 per lot in sixty-three different colors plus one custom color. When you choose Oracal Vinyl Rolls, you can rest assured you’ll be able to give shape to your print concepts in a palette of colors.
- 64 striking colors including one custom color
- Thicker and durable vinyl
- Large 5” x 12” sheets
- High-quality vinyls made in the US
- Original Oracal vinyl sheets designed in Georgia, US
- Available in 64 different colors
- Heavy-duty thick vinyl highly resistant to scratches and grazes
- Works with a range of materials and fabrics
- Thicker plastics may be unsuitable for some fabrics
- Challenging to achieve precision cuts owing to the sheet’s thickness
We sincerely hope that this review on the five popular heat transfer vinyl will enable you to choose a suitable brand. Do take note that your expense on HTVs could add up, especially if you need them consistently. So you should be very particular about selecting a product that best fits your needs and preferences.
If you want quality lightweight HTVs, you can choose Fame Crafts, PrimeCuts, or Siser. On the other hand, if you need heat transfer vinyl for printing on decals and stickers, opt for Oracal or Firefly Craft HTVs.