Heat transfer vinyl, or HTV, is a type of vinyl that’s transferred by heat onto cotton or polyester-based fabric. Usually, ironing the vinyl on is the most common heat transfer method used with HTV. People use this technology to custom create T-shirts, hoodies, bags, caps, and other fabric items.
HTV comes in many different kinds and textures, with the basic smooth vinyl being the most popular. Other types of HTV include glitter, holographic, flocked, and more. So what exactly is flocked HTV? And how do we use it? We’ll get into all of this below, so let’s delve straight in.
What Is Flocked Heat Transfer Vinyl?
Flocked HTV is a form of heat transfer vinyl with a unique 3D texture to it. The closest texture resemblance we can think of is that of suede, but the material is generally raised and has a soft, fuzzy texture. Flocked HTV is usually thicker than regular vinyl, and it adds a world of character and dimension to your designs.
How to Use Flocked Heat Transfer Vinyl
Similar to regular vinyl, you first need to cut your flocked vinyl sheet using a vinyl cutter, then use either a heat press or a hand iron to transfer your design onto the fabric.
Cutting the Vinyl
Usually, every flocked HTV manufacturer will specify the cutting and pressing requirements for their specific type of vinyl. Some of the most common machines used to cut vinyl are the Cricut cutting machines. Similarly, you can use the Silhouette Cameo 4 or the Brother SDX125 to cut your vinyl.
Whichever machine you end up using, its software should assist you in choosing the appropriate cutting settings for your vinyl. Once again, remember that flocked vinyl is much thicker than regular vinyl and will thus require different cutting settings. Finally, before moving on to the actual design, try cutting on a test piece and adjusting the settings.
Applying the Flocked Vinyl
So by now, you’ve prepared your design, mirrored it, and cut and weeded it out of your vinyl. The next step is heat transferring the design to your fabric. You can use either a hand iron or a heat press to apply your design. Note that different manufacturers may call for different instructions.
Applying Flocked HTV Using a Hand Iron
The first step is to set up your hand iron. For starters, you want to set the heat level according to the fabric you’re applying the vinyl to and make sure the steam function is turned off. Next, find a flat, hard surface to work on; an ironing board isn’t recommended at this step.
Now, if your vinyl isn’t already covered, place a Teflon or parchment sheet cover over your design and position it on your fabric. Using the hand iron, press the vinyl down for 30 to 60 seconds. To maintain your design, it’s vital to use a pressing motion at this step instead of the regular side-to-side sliding.
You’re almost there; just a few more steps to go. Once you’re done pressing, allow the vinyl to cool for a few seconds before attempting to peel it off. Now, cold peel the application sheet in one go to reveal your masterpiece.
Applying Flocked HTV Using a Heat Press
Applying your flocked HTV using a heat press employs a similar procedure to the hand iron method. First, you start by setting up the heat press and placing your fabric on it accordingly. Now, position the design in its desired location and cover it up using either parchment or Teflon paper.
Once all of that is set up, press your design with medium pressure for about 15 seconds on 300°F – 315°F. Next, open the press back up and give your vinyl a few seconds to cool off. Finally, peel off your application sheet in one go, remove your product from the press, and admire your creation.
If you’d like to preserve your design, there are a few things to keep in mind when washing your flocked vinyl fabric. Firstly, make sure you do the washing with cold water on the inside-out fabric. Moreover, avoid using any chlorine bleach detergents.
When it comes to drying the fabric, air-dry hanging is always the best option. Otherwise, use the lowest drying settings on your dryer if you have to. Finally, make sure that at least 24 to 48 hours have passed after applying your vinyl before you attempt to wash it.
To sum up, flocked heat transfer vinyl is a great way to add some depth and character to your design. Also, the application process is easy and reproducible; all you have to do is design, mirror, cut, heat transfer, peel, and enjoy.