Heat transfer vinyl is a material designed to be used in a vinyl cutter. It contains a heat-activated adhesive that will bond to the fabric after being heated in a heat press. First, the design is cut IN REVERSE on the vinyl cutter. The graphic then needs to be weeded. The vinyl that is not part of the finished design is pulled away from the backing material, leaving only the areas that are to be part of the graphic.
It is often a good idea to pre-heat the garment that will be imprinted. Usually, 30 seconds or so in the heat press will be enough. The material is then placed face down, with the clear backing material over the top, onto the garment to be decorated. A Heat Press Teflon sheet is then placed over the material. This will allow heat to pass through the sheet and into the graphic, without damage to the garment. After the correct amount of time has passed, remove the garment from the press. The clear backing material can be removed, and the heat transfer material stays behind.
Heat transfer material is fantastic for short-run customization applications, such as adding numbers to team jerseys, where it would not be cost-effective to screen print. Heat transfer products are available in many different colors and styles, including metallics, glitter flake colors, and in an array of traditional colors and finishes.