Heat Transfer Vinyl vs. Adhesive Vinyl: Which to Choose?

Heat Transfer Vinyl vs. Adhesive Vinyl: Which to Choose?

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Heat Transfer Vinyl vs. Adhesive Vinyl: Which to Choose: Comparing the characteristics and best uses for these two popular vinyl types

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) and Adhesive Vinyl are two popular types of vinyl used for various crafting and DIY projects. They have distinct characteristics and best uses, which make them suitable for different applications. Let’s compare the two:

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)


1. Heat Activation: HTV requires heat to adhere to surfaces. It has a heat-sensitive adhesive on one side that activates and bonds when heat is applied.
2. Textile Applications: HTV is mainly used for creating designs on fabric and textiles. It is commonly used for making custom t-shirts, tote bags, and other fabric-based items.
3. Carrier Sheet: HTV often comes with a carrier sheet that holds the vinyl design in place before it’s applied. The carrier sheet is removed after heat pressing.
4. Variety of Finishes: HTV comes in a variety of finishes, including matte, glossy, metallic, glitter, and more.
5. Cut in Reverse: The design is typically cut in reverse (mirror image) before application, as it’s flipped onto the fabric for heat pressing.

Best Uses

1. Apparel: HTV is excellent for adding personalized designs, numbers, names, or logos to clothing items like t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and sportswear.
2. Fabric Crafts: It’s ideal for making fabric-based crafts like tote bags, aprons, pillow covers, and baby clothes.
3. DIY Projects: HTV can be used for creating custom home decor items such as throw pillows, banners, and wall art on fabric surfaces.

Adhesive Vinyl


1. Self-Adhesive: Adhesive vinyl has an adhesive backing that sticks to surfaces when pressure is applied. It does not require heat for bonding.
2. Smooth Surface Application: It’s mainly used on smooth surfaces like glass, plastic, metal, wood, and more.
3. No Carrier Sheet: Adhesive vinyl doesn’t come with a carrier sheet like HTV. The vinyl design is applied directly to the surface.
4. Variety of Finishes: Like HTV, adhesive vinyl also comes in various finishes, such as matte, glossy, metallic, and more.
5. Regular Cut: Designs are typically cut with the adhesive side facing up, as they are directly stuck onto the target surface.

Best Uses

1. Home Decor: Adhesive vinyl is great for creating decorative elements on walls, windows, mirrors, and glassware.
2. Personalization: It’s used for adding personalized decals to items like laptops, water bottles, phone cases, and more.
3. Signage: Adhesive vinyl is commonly used for creating signs, banners, and labels on a variety of surfaces.
4. Scrapbooking: It can be used to add intricate designs to scrapbooks, photo albums, and other paper-based crafts.

Final Words

In summary, your choice between Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) and Adhesive Vinyl depends on the type of project you’re working on. If you’re creating designs on fabric or textiles, HTV is the way to go. If you’re working with smooth surfaces like glass, plastic, or wood, and want to create decals or decorative elements, adhesive vinyl is more suitable. Always consider the application requirements, material compatibility, and the final look you want to achieve when choosing between these two vinyl types.

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Graphic Cutting Vinyl FAQ

The normal size is 12×12″/ 30.5×30.5CM, 12×60″/30.5x152CM, 0.61x50M/24″x163FT, 1.22x50M/60″x163FT, we can make customize size and brand.

The  SINOVINYL® graphic cutting vinyl with 6 advantages:
1. Removable:

When you stick on the wall, glass or any other smooth surface, you can remove it any time, and without the glue leave on the surface.

2. Friendly materials:

The SINOVINYL® graphic cutting vinyl raw material made by PVC and solvent glue, no smell, no formaldehyde.

3. Long durability:

Use for outdoor 2-3 years, for indoor up to 5 years.

4. Easy to application:

SINOVINYL® graphic cutting vinyl is easy for cricut vinyl cutter plotter, easy to cut and application on the wall, glass or any other smooth surface.

5. Multi colors:

With more than 100+ colors, super gloss and super matte surface.

6. Versatile widely use:

SINOVINYL® graphic cutting vinyl can be use for vinyl cutting plotter, letters and patterns cutting, outdoor and indoor graphic poster sign, wall and glass decoration, home decor, furniture, car decal sticker etc.

Commonly used are drug labels, food labels, shampoo labels, barcodes, battery labels, outer box labels, product labels, semi-finished products labels, temporary labels, home wall decoration labels, wall stickers, furniture labels Stickers, advertising decoration labels, computer lettering labels, outdoor decoration labels, packaging equipment labels, etc.

Film stickers are mainly used for decorative decals on cars and motorcycles, logo characters on shopping malls, reflective films on highways, and markings on containers.

The common signs at the entrance of stores, road signs, and advertisements posted on the street in our lives are all instant stickers, which are characterized by their own adhesive on the back, which can be pasted or used with transfer film after uncovering the back paper.

The transfer film is an intermediate carrier that carries the printed or printed pattern. After the lettering is made, a layer of transfer film will be attached. A layer of chemical elastic film transferred to the printed article is used. Simple In other words, tear off the backing paper and transfer the pattern with transfer film to something, such as a glass door, and then tear off the transfer film to make the cutting vinyl neat and standard in the glass door, and the pattern will never be crooked or twisted. Unfair imagination.

How to correct use of vinyl transfer film:

1. Before starting to paste, please prepare some tools: scissors, knives, cards or bank cards. At first cut the excess vacancies around the pattern with scissors, so that you can compare and paste them.

2. Stick the transfer film on the pattern, and use a card or bank card to repeatedly scrape the transfer film back and forth to make the pattern and the transfer film stick together better, and there will be no bubbles after sticking to the wall;

3. If the wall powder falls off or the transfer film will be stuck together with the wall paint when the transfer film is torn off, please fix it before applying the wall sticker; peel off the transfer film with the pattern slightly from the bottom paper of the pattern, if the pattern has the center that is not stuck to the transfer film can be assisted with a knife. Before proceeding to step 4, first filter the leftover material cut from the transfer film to the wall of the corner to test the function of the wall, and then paste it after making sure that the wall is ok. When attaching a pattern with a large contrast area, the pattern can be reversed, and the bottom paper of the pattern can be peeled away from the transfer film and the pattern;

4. When you paste the pattern, you can first glue a corner of the transfer film to the wall, paste it on the selected position, and use a scratch card to smooth out the air bubbles between the wall sticker and the wall;

5. When tearing the transfer film away from the wall, try to be as slow as possible. You can tear off the transfer film while pressing the pattern, and definitely don’t tear off the pattern together.

How to use the vinyl transfer tape?

1. Why we need to choose the good quality cricut cutting diy craft vinyl of the release paper?

We use the cricut vinyl cutter plotter, the backing bood one side is with glue, we need to choose the release paper, avoid sticking to the pad.

How to choose the good quality self adhesive DIY craft vinyl on cricut plotter machine?


On the market has 3 types of the release paper,  PET release paper, double PE release paper, normal release paper.

Double PE release paper is similar as PET release paper, now we show you the difference of the Double PE and normal.

How to choose the good quality self adhesive DIY craft vinyl on cricut plotter machine?

So we need to choose the Double PE coating release paper cricut cutting diy craft vinyl.


2. How to differentiate the cricut cutting diy craft vinyl double PE coating release paper and the normal?

The Double PE coating release paper it feels smooth when touched by hand and shiny under light.
How to choose the good quality self adhesive DIY craft vinyl on cricut plotter machine?


3. How to choose the good quality of the cricut cutting diy craft vinyl?

To test with pure color pvc vinyl, you can stretch the cricut cutting vinyl by hand. Good quality vinyl has a certain degree of stretchability(the left of the picture). If it can easily break or become white after stretching, the quality of vinyl is not good(the right of the picture).


Now we know how to choose the right quality of the cricut diy craft cutting vinyl.

The price for diy craft vinyl is based on the vinyl types, for our diy craft vinyl items, the size 12×60″/0.305×1.52m, the price is from US2-US6 per roll.

Please contact us to get detaile offers.

How to use graphic cutting vinyl?

Computer designed images are loaded onto the vinyl cutter via cords or over wifi depending on the model. Then the vinyl is loaded into the machine where it is automatically fed through and cut to follow the set design.

The vinyl cutter uses a small knife to precisely cut the outline of figures into a sheet or piece of vinyl, but not the release liner. The knife moves side to side and turns, while the vinyl is moved beneath the knife. The results from the cut process is an image cut into the material.

  1. The material is then ‘weeded’ where the excess parts of the figures are removed from the release liner. It is possible to remove the positive parts, which would give a negative sticker, or remove the negative parts, giving a positive sticker. Removing the figure would be like removing the positive, giving a negative image of the figures.

A sheet of transfer tape with an adhesive backing is laid on the weeded vinyl. A roller is applied to the tape, causing it to adhere to the vinyl. The transfer tape and the weeded vinyl is pulled off the release liner, and applied to a substrate, such as a sheet of aluminium. This results in an aluminium sign with vinyl figures.

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