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Adding Weeding Lines in Silhouette Studio (Why and How)

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

Did you ever try to weed a large piece of vinyl only to end up with the excess sticking  - and maybe even ruining - your cut piece because you couldn't keep it out of the way?   You almost need 3 or 4 hands at times to help weed or at least a close pair of scissors to cut the excess.  With weeding lines, you're essentially having the machine cutting the excess into smaller sections so it's much easier to work with.

In just a few steps you'll be on your way to easier weeding.
Open up Silhouette Studio.

Holding down the shift key down draw a straight line.  Shift just makes sure it's perfectly straight.

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, draw a line

Click the icon to open the Replicate window.  Scroll down and click on the advanced options. Do not panic. :)

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, replicate

Decide how many lines you want in total. I'm going to start with 6.  So where it says 'Number of Copies' type 6. 

Moving down I pick 'Custom Position' and then I set my position with the X and Y coordinates.  I'm not good at math or geography so don't ask me too much about this nonsense...but keep X at 0 (If you wanted lines across the page instead of down the page you'd change the X number).   Change the Y to the distance you want the lines. I'm going with 1 inch. (You will likely adjust these in a future step.)

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, replicate

Now select the line you drew.  And then you're ready to hit 'Replicate' (which is just slightly further down in the window out of my screen shot). And you'll get 6 horizontal lines evenly spaced 1 inch part on your page.  (Wipe your brow, you did it!)

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, replicate, spacing

At this point you can go find your design and open it. If you opened your design first before drawing your lines, you need to make sure it's 'in front.' I do this by Cutting/Pasting it.

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

The position of the design and the lines is what is going to help you weeding it.  So...what you are looking to avoid is creating extra small spaces. I have circled the problem areas.  If you leave the lines like they are now you'll have to weed two little pieces of the counter inside the R instead of one since the line splits right down the middle of the counter.  Same thing for the counter in the O.

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

To avoid this, you'll have to move some of the lines slightly.  Click on the line you need to adjust and use your arrow key (NOT YOUR MOUSE) to nudge the line up or down depending on what is needed.   Ideal the line will go through the middle of the letter and not the counter. ("But aren't I cutting the letter in half?" you ask...hold on there).  I can't avoid going through the middle of the O, but at least the weeding line makes is so the two pieces aren't so small.

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

Once all your lines are positioned nicely select all of the lines but NOT the actual design you want to cut.  Right click and make the lines a compound path. Be sure you DO NOT include the design in the compound path.

Finally, highlight the lines and the design > Click the Modify Window icon and choose 'SUBTRACT ALL'.

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, modify, subtract all
You can see that now you have weeding lines in all of your excess/negative area, but not through your design.  The space between the weeding lines will come up as 1 inch sections of horizontal vinyl rather than one large piece of vinyl that would otherwise be going around your entire design.

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

Here's how it looks as you are weeding...(apologies this was from a different project, but it's the exact same technique).

So as you can see on this other large piece I worked on, using weeding lines, it makes weeding large (or even smaller) areas much easier because you are not fighting to keep the vinyl away as you pull up the rest of the negative space.

Weeding lines, Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I received a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!

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