What is textile vinyl ?
Textile vinyl is a thermo-adhesive plastic material of any color, which after cutting and / or printing, we transfer to a fabric regardless of the composition of the garment.
In general, it is a polyurethane (PU) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) sheet that includes a carrier. There are many types of textile vinyls and a great diversity of finishes, although we can separate them into two groups: cutting textile vinyl and printing textile vinyl. For the first ones we will use a cutting plotter to cut out the outline of the design on a solid color vinyl. If you want to stamp an image that consists of several colors, you must cut out the design of each color and then stamp them successively to form the complete image.
On the other hand, printing vinyls are specially manufactured so that they can be printed on their surface using solvent, eco-solvent and latex inks. Then a cutting machine is used to cut out the desired shape.
In both cases, once the vinyl is cut, the peeling (or depilating) process is carried out, which consists of removing all the material that is not part of the design from the conveyor.
Finally, the vinyl is ready to be printed on a wide variety of fabrics by using a transfer plate.
Advantages of the textile vinyl
- The vinyl can be printed on any textile material such as cotton, polyester, lycra, etc.
- Fast transfer time.
- Possibility of stamping on any light or dark color, including black
- Excellent print quality with great durability, allowing intensive use and washing of garments.
- This is an inexpensive technique, especially if you don't need to print a large quantity of the same product.
Technology and tools necessary for the transfer of textile vinyl
- Computer to do the editing of the images.
- In the case of cutting vinyl, a cutting plotter will be necessary that will cut the outline of the image through the blades.
- In the case of printable vinyl, a printer with compatible inks for that purpose will be required. There are printers that incorporate a cutting plotter to make the plot of the printed image. In the event that the printer does not include it, it will be necessary to use an external one later.
- Peeling and Disposal Tools.
- Thermal transfer iron.
- The garments to carry out the print: t-shirts, pants, vests, sports equipment, bags, etc.
Textile vinyl transfer process
1.- Preparing the vinyl and printing: Once the design has been chosen, the image needs to be processed on a computer. With the help of a vector software, the outline of the image where the cut will be made must be obtained. It is important to clarify that the design is inverted to make the cut on the back. In the case of printing vinyl, there is one more step, which is to print on the vinyl.
2.- Cutting: The correct blade must be used for the vinyl to be cut. In addition, the cutting parameters, such as pressure and speed, need to be adjusted. Once the plotter is ready, the vinyl is laid with the conveyor side down. Once the cut is finished, the process of discarding the excess is carried out with the help of special tools.
3.- Application: To transfer the vinyl to the textile material a thermal transfer plate is used. Depending on the type of vinyl and the material where the stamping will be carried out, the temperature, pressure and ironing time must be adjusted. The garment is then placed on the iron and the design on it with the protractor facing up. We recommend using a protective paper so that the temperature does not affect the fabric. Once the transfer is complete, the design is peeled, which consists of removing the conveyor from the garment.
What garments to print?
One of the advantages of textile vinyls is that it can be printed on almost any material. There are a wide variety of vinyls to apply to garments made of 100% cotton, 100% polyester, cotton-polyester blends, leather, lycra or spandex, and there are even some that can be applied to sublimated polyester. If applied correctly, the vinyl will not peel off and will last longer than the life of the printed garment.
However, depending on the effect you want to obtain, the type of garment or the use that will be given to it, it is recommended to select the most suitable type of textile vinyl to achieve the desired finish and the greatest durability.
In Sublimet you will find specified in the information of each product what the application recommendations are. We have a wide variety of vinyls for all types of garments, labor and security, technical fabrics, raincoats, parka, windbreaker, awnings, clothing for free time, sportswear and advertising. You can also choose between the different finishes, matte, glossy, fluorescent, glitter effect, velvety, varnished effect, slate-type, metallic, phosphorescent, waterproof, holographic, reflective and many more.