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Silhouette Vinyl Types and Transfer Paper vs Transfer Tape


Vinyl, vinyl types, transfer paper, transfer tapeSo...it's come to my attention that we need to talk about vinyl...all types of vinyl.  I do have a whole section on the blog about vinyl...but I've had some questions recently about what the best time of vinyl is for this or that project. And honestly it depends on a few different factors including how the vinyl will be used, where it will be used, and even your personal preferences. 


Adhesive Vinyls: 

So indoor adhesive vinyl is the same as removable is the same as 631 is the same as matte vinyl.  Just different ways of saying the same thing.  It's most often used for vinyl wall decals and indoor signs that won't be exposed to the elements or too much handling. 

Outdoor adhesive vinyl is the same as permanent vinyl is the same as 651 is the same as glossy.  Outdoor vinyl isn't just for outdoors, despite it's oft-referred to name.  I use it for pretty much everything besides indoor signs and wall decals. That includes dishes/outdoor projects like mailboxes, outdoor signs, jewelry...etc.  

Oracal 631 and Oracal 651 are the industry standard and what I would suggest for ease of use, a wide variety of color and size choices. 

Heat Transfer Vinyl 

Heat Transfer Vinyl or HTV is vinyl that's applied to clothing and apparel with the use of heat - in the way of an iron or heat press.  I suggest Siser Easyweed brand which can be found on Amazon, Expressions Vinyl and many other vinyl and sign suppliers.

And while we're talking vinyl I thought I'd throw in a few notes about transfer tape or transfer paper which is essential when working with vinyl so here goes... 

Transfer Material

Transfer tape and transfer paper are used to move an adhesive vinyl design from the vinyl backing to the surface where it needs to be applied.  The transfer material sticks to the front side of the vinyl lifting it off the vinyl backing so it can be applied. 

Transfer tape is clear and non gridded and comes in a roll without any type of backing.   It's easy to see through which makes applying the vinyl relatively easy.  

Transfer paper has more of a sticky paper feel and is gridded to "help" with alignment.  The grid lines only work if you apply the transfer paper exactly evenly which I rarely seem to be able to do.  Transfer paper has a backing which needs to be removed before the transfer paper can be used to pick up and transfer the vinyl. 

Contact paper - found in the Dollar Store or other discount stores - also be used as a method to transfer vinyl designs.  It can also be used as a substitute stencil material. 

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