What Heat Transfer Vinyl Supplies Do You REALLY Need?


So you’ve decided you want to jump into the world of heat transfer vinyl (HTV), but you aren’t sure which Heat Transfer Vinyl supplies do you really need. “Do I need a heat press”?  “Why do I need a Teflon sheet”?  There are so many questions you may ask yourself, so read on to learn what heat transfer vinyl supplies you ACTUALLY need before getting started on your first HTV project.


Must Have’s:

Heat Transfer Vinyl
Cutting Machine
Weeding Tool
Protective Layer
Material for HTV

Heat Transfer Vinyl: The most important material to have is, of course, heat transfer vinyl! We sell a few different bundle options that are great for beginners up to experts. We have an assorted color that is great for variety. Our bundles come in a handy envelope case that keeps your viny organized and wrinkle-free. Click here to check them out! 

Cutting Machine: If you do not have access to a cutting machine, you can use a sharp blade and cut out your design yourself, but this would take quite a while and is near impossible to get straight lines and good curved edges. The two popular cutting machines are the Silhouette Cameo® and the Cricut Explore Air®. Both can cut HTV very well, and both offer software that allows you to design your own or use pre-made ones. Find the Silhouette Cameo® here and the Cricut Explore Air® here.

A Computer: All cutting machines require special software. The software program allows you to design or import images that then tell the cutting machine what to cut. Most machines come with a free version of the software that can be downloaded from their website, for either a MAC or a PC. Both Silhouette® and Cricut® offer this option.

An Iron: HTV requires heat to melt the adhesive side of the vinyl. The easiest way to get started with HTV is by using your home iron. They are inexpensive and effective and user-friendly. Use the cotton settings with no steam. Use a sturdy foundation like a piece of tile to iron onto.

Weeding Tool: If you are ever cutting out a design that has small pieces, a weeding tool helps the process go by quicker. You could use your fingers, but some areas might be very difficult to weed out. You can use either the tip of an X-acto knife, a pair of tweezers, or a weeding hook made specifically for this step. Find one here.

Protective Layer: When working with HTV you need a protective layer between your vinyl and your heat source. This protects your garment surface from getting too hot but still allows the heat to melt the adhesive on the HTV. A Teflon sheet works wonders because it is heat-resistant and can be stored with your vinyl. Our HTV assorted color bundle includes a Teflon sheet for your convenience!   A sheet of parchment paper will also do the trick.

Material for HTV: In order to use heat transfer vinyl, you need something to put your design on! There are so many options for this. The most common is a t-shirt, but any material that will not melt is free game! From purses, shoes, stuffed animals, pillows, canvas…the sky is the limit! Check out our other blog posts for ideas and inspiration on what you can use HTV on.


Nice to Have’s:

Heat Press
Cricut EasyPress®

Heat Press:  For more experienced crafters, a heat press is a great tool to have when using HTV. It provides firm pressure and even heat for the project, so you aren’t having to push hard on a home iron. There is a wide range of heat presses on the market with various features to fit every budget. If you plan to start a small crafting business and fulfill multiple orders, a heat press is a good option. Find one here.


Cricut EasyPress™:  This tool has been on the market for a few years now and crafters are raving about it! It comes in three different sizes and is user-friendly. It provides the same benefits and speed as a heat press and the convenience of a hand-held iron without taking up so much space. The EasyPress™ has precise temperature control and an insulated resting base. Cricut recently came out with the EasyPress 2™. Click here to check out this blog post from our friends over at How To Heat Press to learn more about the new features.


And there you have it! Starting your journey with HTV may seem daunting, but hopefully, this article will help you decide what you really need to get started. For most people, once they get started they never look back!

Once you have gathered your supplies, make sure to check out our 3 part “How To” series, once you are ready to get started.

Heat Transfer Vinyl How To – Part 1 Prepare Your Design

Follow us on Instagram @impressedvinyl and be sure to tag us when you make your first creations!

Happy Crafting!

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