Are you struggling with weeding heat transfer vinyl?  Read on for some tips and tricks to make the process go smoothly:

 

Always Perform A Test Cut

After selecting your cut settings, it’s important to always perform a test cut. This will ensure a good cut every time without wasting a large amount of HTV. If your test cut didn’t cut smoothly, adjust the blade depth or the force (for thicker materials) and do another test cut until it’s perfect.

To perform a test cut, select your cut settings. Then before clicking on the Send button, click Test and your machine will cut a tiny square with a triangle in it in the corner of the HTV.

 

 

Here you can see two test cuts I performed:

Use a pair of craft tweezers and begin weeding the test cut. As you can see here, the middle triangle started to lift off as well. This means the test cut wasn’t deep enough.

Repeat the test cut and adjust the blade depth or increase the force. This second test cut was much better:

Keep those adjusted cut settings and proceed to cut your design on the heat transfer vinyl.

Always Begin With The Large Outer Area

After cutting your design, peel off one corner of the HTV and peel all vinyl that is not part of the design.

Again, with a proper, clean cut the weeding should go smoothly.

Now it’s time to move to the next biggest pieces of the design. Use your fingers or the weeding tools to peel out the larger inside pieces.

Use The Proper Tools

Weeding goes much faster when you have the right tools. A weeding hook, a pair of craft tweezers, and some masking tape are ideal. Some crafters prefer a light table, but that is not a necessity if you have a well-lit room.

After you have gotten the outer vinyl peeled off, as well as the larger areas, take a piece of masking tape and wrap it around two of your fingers, sticky side out. Use your non-dominant hand (generally the hand you do not use to write)

Now take your craft tweezers or weeding hook and start peeling out the little insides that are not part of the design. Since heat transfer vinyl is very thin, there is some static to it. Thus, when you start peeling out tiny pieces, they might stick to your hand or weeding tool – that’s where the tape comes in. Just stick the tiny weeded pieces onto the tape, and you’ll have all those pieces contained. You will also find the weeding process goes by so much quicker when you can just peel and stick the tiny parts.

After you’ve finished weeding, just slide the tape off and into the garbage. You’ll be so happy you won’t have a bunch of tiny pieces escaping all over the place!

Create Weeding Lines For Large Designs

If you are cutting out a very large design, it’s smart to create weeding lines. This way you aren’t trying to weed out an entire sheet of HTV, with parts getting re-stuck and creating stress for everyone.

 

If you have the Business Edition of Silhouette Studio, there is a preset in the software that will add weeding lines for you. It is on the row of icons and looks like an A and b with dotted lines around it.

Click on the icon and the Weed Settings window pops up. You can select whether your weed lines go horizontal or vertical–depending on what type of design you are cutting.

For this example, the design has a few horizontal words so the presets showed the horizontal weed lines worked best.

The padding means how closely you want the outer lines to be. More padding means the outer lines will be farther away from the design.  If you do not have the Business Edition of Silhouette Studio, no need to fear! You can create weeding lines by using the Draw a Line tool. This icon is located on the left-hand side.

Click the line icon and hold the shift key down while you draw a straight line between the words. You can repeat for anywhere on the design, depending on how many weeding lines you’d like.

Once you have extra weeding lines, you can proceed to do your test cut and real cut! Then you’ll end up with a perfectly weeded design that is ready to be placed on almost any surface!

We hope this helps you on your HTV journey! For more information on cutting HTV, check out our 3-series Blog Posts here.

Happy Crafting!!!

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