Heat Transfer Vinyl - How To Guides
What is heat transfer media
Heat transfer media is designed to move with fabric so it is the perfect media to add some personalisation to a garment and is suitable for most items made of fabric.
Transfer media is typically made up of 3 layers; a clear protective backing, the coloured media and a heat activated fabric adhesive layer. When cutting transfer media on the ScanNCut, the blade should only slice through the coloured layer and the fabric adhesive layer, leaving the clear backing intact to hold the design in place.
Fabric transfer media is cut from the back side of the media, so make sure the clear protective backing is facing down when applying to the mat and the design is mirrored.
NOTE: If applied correctly, an item with heat fabric transfer media is washable at 60°C and suitable for dry-cleaning. Textiles should be washed inside out and are NOT suitable for tumble drying.
Preparing your project surface
We recommend a quick iron of any textiles that may have any creases to allow the application to be applied to a flat surface to minimize any wrinkles or bubbles in the media.
NOTE: The item must be cool before applying the heat fabric transfer media, otherwise the heat will activate the fabric adhesive before you have correctly positioned the item.
Using heat fabric transfer sheets
- Download the ScanNCut files (.fcm) for your project and save these onto a USB to plug directly into your ScanNCut machine or if you have a custom artwork file (.svg) upload this to ScanNCut CanvasWorkspace, edit as necessary and send it to your machine via Wireless.
- Install the Standard ScanNCut Blade into your ScanNCut by following the steps outlined in your machines quick reference guide.
- Place a piece of white heat transfer media in the top left-hand corner of your Standard mat; making sure the media is large enough for the required design. Ensure the heat transfer media is stuck with the clear protective backing facing down (shiny side down), using a brayer will help make the media stick.
- Load the mat into the ScanNCut by following the steps outlined in your machines quick reference guide (remember to hold the mat level while loading)
- Load the design from either the USB (2) or via CanvasWorkspace using your Wireless connection (3) depending on which method you selected in Step 1.
When using heat transfer media your design will need to be mirrored before it is cut. This is because heat transfer media is cut from the back (shiny side down). When we apply the cut media to the fabric, the transfer media is flipped making the design display the correct way once on the garment or item.
You can mirror your design in Canvas Workspace itself or on the machine. We’ll run through doing this on the machine.
- Firstly select your design and click Object Edit
- Select the flip design icon (SDX pictured)
- When active the design will be flipped and the button will be highlighted. Click OK to continue.
- Firstly select your design and click Object Edit
- Do a scan of the mat to ensure that the design does not go over the edge of the mat and is within the heat fabric transfer media.
- We suggest doing a test cut to ensure you have your settings correct for the media you are using. On the main screen choose the ‘test’ button. We usually use the ‘triangle’ test and place it towards the edge of the media so that you can check if the cut was correct.
SDX Settings: The SDX models feature a ‘Half Cut’ setting. We recommend using this setting with heat fabric transfer media so that it will cut through the first two layers and ensure the clear protective backing remains intact. The thickness of the transfer media can vary so you may find you need to adjust the ‘Cut Pressure’ for the ‘Half Cut’ setting.
- Once you have the design lined up on the media, choose the ‘cut’ option and select ‘Start’ or press play to cut out your design.
- Once the machine has completed cutting the design, unload the mat from the ScanNCut and gently peel off the transfer media sheet off as a whole.
- Starting from one corner of the media, peel the unwanted coloured layer away from the clear backing (also known as ‘weeding’).
- Tweezers or fine scissors may be helpful to get into the inner parts of the design or are often helpful to get you started.
- Keep peeling the unwanted sections away, leaving the finished design stuck to the clear protective backing. For this particular design, we have removed the crown so that it can be done in a different colour.
- Repeat the above steps with the yellow heat vinyl media in order to finish with a yellow crown.
- Place the design on the pre-ironed item (refer to preparing your project surface) and position the design to achieve your desired outcome.
- Use a domestic iron set to “cotton” with no steam for 17-20sec, pressing down firmly and evenly whilst moving the iron back and forth over the design. Alternatively you can use a heat press at 160°C (warm iron) for 12 - 15 seconds.
Note: Heat transfer media cannot tolerate heat without the clear backing sheet so ensure you have covered the whole design as you cannot go back over it once the clear backing sheet has been removed.
- Once the design is cooled, gently peel away the clear backing sheet and you're done!
- Now why not have a go at creating your own design in CanvasWorkspace.