Sue Kirkwood of Grafityp UK demonstrates how to create impactful prints using a combination of different heat transfer vinyls

Grafityp UK is the UK partner of Siser, and a leading reseller of its heat transfer vinyls (HTVs), which can be applied to a huge range of different garments. Designs can be created using a single type of vinyl, but for an even more creative end result the company suggests combining different types of vinyl with different finishes. This enables you to produce eye-catching effects comprising, say, areas of flock, glitter, metallics and fluorescents. “This technique is suited to numerous markets and applications,” explains Sue Kirkwood, product manager at Grafityp UK. “It’s a really good technique to master because it will enable you to create many different multi-coloured and multi-textured designs, without the need to print.”

Although Siser HTVs are easy to work with, Sue says that it’s vital to follow the correct application procedure in order to get the best results. “It’s important to apply the materials using the correct settings, as this may affect how the films bond to the different fabrics.” Weeding can be tricky and time consuming, but Sue has the following tip to speed the process up: “If you have small, intricate details to weed, it can help to place the material on a heated surface – this will make the weeding a lot easier.”

To illustrate the potential of combining different types of vinyl, Sue applied the following Halloween-themed design on a Russell 100% cotton T-shirt using Siser Glitter 2, Flock Pro, PS (Easyweed) Film (which are all certified Oeko-Tex standard class 1 films), and PS Lumen, which is glow-in-the-dark. Once applied, this spooky, seasonal design is durable and the finished T-shirt is washable at 40°C; it can also be tumble dried.

Step-by-step: Combining heat transfer vinyls
(1) The design needs to be in vector format, which can be cut on a vinyl cutter/ cutting plotter

(2) In your cutting software select the sections that need to be cut first and set the design to mirror cut

(3) Load the correct colour in the vinyl cutter face down, so that it’s ready to be mirror cut
(4) Select each section of the design and send separately to the vinyl cutter. We used a GCC Expert cutter
(5) Weed the excess material so you’re just left with your cut design
(6) Pre-heat the garment to remove any moisture. We used a Siser TS-One heat press
(7) Place the neon yellow text onto the garment to heat press at 155oC for five seconds, then remove the polyester backing. We applied this first, then placed the other parts of the design, because this makes it easier to get everything in position
(8) Add each of the remaining sections of the design to the garment and heat press for a further 15 seconds
(9) Remove the polyester backing to reveal the finished design