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6 Tips for Weeding Small HTV Designs (Mandalas & Zentangles)

If you struggle to weed HTV designs that are small intricate and very delicate I have a couple of tips for you today.

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These five tips will specifically help you if you’re looking to weed things like mandala designs, zentangles, and other intricate designs - which often include a lot of small pieces and can be difficult and challenging to weed.

Best Silhouette CAMEO Cut Setting for HTV

It all starts with getting a good cut. One of the biggest things that causes small delicate and intricate designs to mess up is cutting without enough force or a deep enough blade. When cutting HTV with a Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait use a blade depth of two and a force of 14. These settings should allow you to cut cleanly and successfully weed extremely tiny pieces of HTV.

Make sure you weed a little piece of your HTV while you’re cutting mat and material are still in the cutting machine. By doing this, if you need to send the material through for another pass you’re able to do so.

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If you remove the mat and HTV and then realize the cut isn't clean, you won’t be able to load the material back in the machine and have it cut in the exact same spot.

Use an Overhead Light

One thing one thing that definitely makes it easier when weeding is to be able to see exactly where the cut lines are. Using an overhead light such as an Ottlite is a huge help when weeding.

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Weed on a Warmed Heat Press

Weeding on the bottom platen of your heat press while it’s warmed up will allow you to more easily remove the HTV from the carrier sheet.

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The radiant heat from the heat press slightly warms your material allowing it to release easier.

Best Weeding Tools for HTV and Vinyl

You also want to make sure that you’re using the correct tools. Very sharp tweezers and a very sharp hook or needle will help ensure you’re getting all those little tiny small pieces.

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Know Where to Weed with a Preview

Finally keep your computer close by while weeding. Keeping your design in the workspace filled in with a solid color will allow you to see exactly the pieces of your design that should be weeded out and those that should be kept behind.

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Make sure your design is filled with the same color as your HTV. This will make it very obvious which parts of the cut vinyl need to be left behind and which need to be weeded out. Even with as small as this Zentangle Christmas tree SVG is, I was able to know exactly which areas to weed away by referencing the design in Silhouette Studio.

Snip and Clip...A Lot

Finally, make sure when you're weeding you keep a pair of scissors close by. This is specifically important when your wedding things like mandalas and zentangles where there are usually long pieces of HTV that go in lots of different directions.

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You want to be able to snip the vinyl as you weed so that you’re not pulling in multiple directions at the same time. Pay close attention and weed slowly and "with the grain". As you pull the vinyl in that direction don’t be afraid to snip the vinyl with a pair of scissors. This will really help prevent your vinyl from pulling up pieces that are not supposed to be weeded out.

Use all of these tips when you’re cutting small intricate designs like mandalas and keep in mind, when it comes to very small designs, don’t worry if there are little teeny pieces that you accidentally weed out or aren’t able to weed out.  Only you will know that that piece was cut and either didn't get weeded out or was weeded when it shouldn't have been.

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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive 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!


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