When to use HTV  vs Adhesive Vinyl

When to use HTV vs Adhesive Vinyl

Hey guys, it's Jessica at And one of the things we get asked all the time is which vinyl should I use, where? 

So, I'm gonna go through if you should use Heat Transfer Vinyl or Adhesive Vinyl. 

Let's start with Adhesive vinyl

Adhesive vinyl's made of three parts. It's got the front, the vinyl color. And then the back, the paper backing. And then it also has the adhesive layer, right here. 

The sticky part, is right on the back of that vinyl. And that makes it so you can cut out any image or lettering or whatever you want, onto this vinyl part, just through the vinyl and the adhesive. You don't wanna cut through that backing part. And apply it to any surface you would like.

Surfaces that are best for adhesive vinyl are anything with a smooth surface will work great. 

This water bottle was done with a permanent adhesive vinyl, you can hand wash it.

You've also got this little plastic dog dish. It's got a nice smooth surface to take that adhesive vinyl. 

This little tray works great as well as you can put it on wood. Like this wooden letter that I got from Hobby Lobby and covered it in a patterned vinyl. You can put it on a little bit rougher wood. It might take a little more elbow grease but you can get it to stick.

And you can also do it on canvases. And you can also put adhesive vinyl on walls, cars, windows. Anything that's smooth, adhesive vinyl will stick.

Okay, next up, is Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat Transfer Vinyl works a little bit differently. HTV has a clear carrier sheet over the top and then the vinyl is actually behind that. And your adhesive is on this back side. It doesn't feel sticky. It's not gonna feel sticky until you heat it up.

Heat Transfer Vinyl, can basically go on anything that can withstand the heat; So obviously it can go on tshirts. It is recommended for cotton, cotton polyester blends or just polyester.

But you can also use it on cute little bags... 

Hot pads, since they can withstand the heat....

This is a burlap bag, so it's got a quite a bit of texture to it, heat transfer works great.

You can also put heat transfer on wood pieces... 

So this is a decoration, and you might ask, why would you use heat transfer on wood? I really like to use it on wood because of the glitter. I like the glitter and the sparkle.

You can also use heat transfer on canvas. Some people find that putting heat transfer on canvas is easier than putting adhesive on canvas. 

It is also very popular for use on pillows and Pillow covers.

Basically anything that can withstand the heat. The Siser usually starts at about 285 before that adhesive starts to activate, so anything that can withstand that temperature, you can put it on. 

I wouldn't recommend it for car windows, or walls, things like that, but anything that is fabric-y or anything that can withstand the heat, you can put heat transfer on. 

So for obvious reasons, you wouldn't wanna put adhesive vinyl on a tshirt. It's going to pill off, it's not going to get that nice stick to it because it's not a smooth surface. If it was for like a one-day party, sure. But for general use, go with heat transfer on fabrics. Now I mentioned wood signs. You can use adhesive or heat transfer vinyl on wood signs. Totally personal preference. And one of the biggest questions we get is canvas. Would you use heat transfer or adhesive on canvas? That is totally up to you. Some people find heat transfer easier to use, if you're gonna use vinyl on canvas, adhesive vinyl on canvas, I would definitely paint it first and let it dry really well. And that gives you a good surface for it to stick to. 

For water bottles, I would definitely go with adhesive. There are specialty ones that can withstand heat transfer vinyl, but it has a special coating on it that will accept that. So use a permanent adhesive for glasses, mugs, cups, whatever, it'll stick great.

Plastic surfaces, I would not use heat transfer on this because it's going to melt. So keep with adhesive for that one. So if you guys have any questions about what you can put heat transfer vinyl on or adhesive vinyl on or which one would work better, let us know in the comments down below. Hopefully this helped you decide for your next project.

Jan 14th 2019 Expressions Vinyl - Jessica

Recent Posts