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Applying HTV with a Household Iron

Applying HTV with a Household Iron

Do you want to start using HTV but you don’t have a heat press? Don’t worry, you can use a household iron to apply your heat transfer vinyl. Yes, using a heat press is easier and faster, but it is possible to achieve a quality press with a household iron if you do it correctly! Here are a few do’s and don’ts for using a household iron with HTV.

  1. Make sure your workspace is set up for pressing. You will want to avoid any surfaces that will suck up the heat from your iron and take the heat away from your garment. For this reason, we do not recommend pressing on an ironing board or granite countertops.
  2. Some HTV does apply at different settings, but standard heat transfer vinyl should be applied on the “linen” setting of your household iron.
  3. Instead of applying your HTV by ironing like you iron a shirt, you want to mirror a heat press. This means you should be pressing and holding on the area you are pressing for 25-30 seconds before moving to the next area. For this reason, we recommend covering your garment with a cover sheet, kraft paper, or a tea towel. This will reduce the chances of burning your shirt or other substrates.
  4. Pressure, pressure, pressure! One of the main reasons that HTV doesn’t always adhere well when you use a household iron is that there was not enough pressure. You’ll want to really put your weight on the iron. Much more pressure is required to press vinyl than to iron clothes. Keep in mind, when you are using a heat press, there are several pounds of pressure used. When applying vinyl, you don’t want the glue to just adhere to the top layer of the garment, you want to melt that glue down into the under fibers of the garments.
  5. Keep in mind that many irons will not maintain a consistent temperature over the entire surface. Most household irons will get the hottest right in the center. For this reason, you’ll want to make that is the area of the iron that you are using to apply your vinyl.
  6. If you realize some parts of your transfer aren’t sticking when you are peeling your carrier sheet, just put the carrier sheet back down, and press again.


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