4 Tips for Using Heat Transfer Vinyl With Your Silhouette – What To Do If Something Goes Wrong

heat transfer vinyl - hey

So you are working on an HTV project and things aren’t going according to plan? We’ve all been there. But before you toss your cutting machine and all your HTV out your craft room window, we have some tips that we think can help. Today we are covering fixes for a few of the most common problems people encounter when working with HTV.  From cut setting issues to application issues—we got your covered! Not all Heat Transfer Vinyl is exactly the same, which is why it is so important to take a few minutes up front to ensure you get the best cut and application possible.  As a bonus, we have included a few cheat sheets with the best cut and heat settings to use when working with ImPRESSED Vinyl HTV.




When creating a fun project with heat transfer material, it’s always so disheartening cutting an intricate design only to find out that it wasn’t a good cut and won’t weed! Don’t let that happen to you! Here are some tips to remember:


#1- Double Check Your Cut Settings

Before loading your HTV into the cutting machine, go to your cut settings window. Remember to actually click on the material you’ll be cutting. Sometimes the correct material will already be highlighted, but once in a while, the machine will use previous cut settings. To double-check that your machine will be cutting the right material, make sure you click on it–even if it’s already highlighted. Otherwise, you may end up with a cut that didn’t go all the way through, and we don’t want that! Below you will find the machine settings we recommend.


#2- Always Perform A Test Cut 

After you’ve made sure the correct material is selected in your cut settings window, always perform a test cut first. This will save you a lot of time, material, and frustration in the long run! You don’t want to cut a whole sheet of heat transfer vinyl, just to find out that your blade chipped after your last project! The test cut only takes up a small corner of vinyl and about 5 seconds of time. Definitely worth it!


silhouette studio


If you’ve done all that and you’re still having a hard time getting a good cut, tweak the settings a bit by going up a level on the force, or bring the blade to a higher depth.


silhouette studio


After you’ve tweaked the settings, perform another test cut. Chances are it will work great now!




#3-Allow Your HTV To Cool Completely

Another problem area is when you go to adhere the HTV and it seems to keep pulling up, like this:


You can see the HTV lifting off and the adhesive sticking on. This is most likely due to not allowing the HTV to cool completely before peeling off the clear carrier sheet. ImPRESSED Vinyl™ is COLD peel. Once it is pressed with an iron or heat press, the HTV needs to cool for about 1 minute for good adhesion. If you see the vinyl coming up and the adhesive underneath, press for a little longer and then cool completely. The clear carrier sheet should come up cleanly while the HTV stays put.


#4- Press Until You See The Texture Of The Cloth Underneath The HTV

Sometimes after completing a project, your vinyl will start to peel up. Different types of fabric need different pressing times. For example, canvas and burlap fabric are thick and require a little more pressing time than your normal cotton t-shirt. A good guideline is to press until you can start seeing the texture of the cloth underneath the vinyl, like this:


This picture shows a very, very good press. The vinyl isn’t melted and you can see the texture of the shirt underneath. Don’t you love it when your projects work out?! If you follow these tips, you’ll be an expert in no time and you’ll know how to work around the hiccups of bad cuts, a dull blade, or new material.

As promised, below are a few cheat sheets to take the guesswork out and to help make sure your project is a success!

Cut Settings

impressed vinyl cut settings

Home Iron and Heat Press Settings

impressed vinyl heat settings

Cricut EasyPress Settings

impressed vinyl easy press settings


Remember to tag us in your projects @impressedvinyl and share your creations with us!


Happy Crafting!

Looking for more HTV tips? Check out the posts below:

Add address

United States (US)