How To Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl To Nylon, Neoprene, Wood, Canvas, And Metal

If you are creatively minded you will have looked at various blank materials or products and wondered if heat transfer vinyl can be applied to them.

Luckily for you, we have had many years of experience working with heat transfer vinyl and we have the answers you seek.

How to Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl to Nylon, Neoprene, Wood, Canvas, and Metal

In this article, we are going to talk about how heat transfer vinyl will work on nylon, neoprene, wood, canvas, and metal. So, without further ado let us dive right in!

What Will You Need?

Before we can get into the details of heat transfer vinyl onto various materials we need to go over the important supplies you will need if you are interested in following along.

Below is a short list of everything you will need to heat transfer vinyl onto various materials:

  • Heat Transfer Vinyl – We recommend the Rozzy Craft matte heat transfer vinyl in any color you desire.
  • Vinyl Cutting Machine – You will need a specialized machine that is designed to cut vinyl so make sure you own one or purchase one as soon as you need it.
  • Software – This one goes hand in hand with the vinyl cutting machine, you will need to make sure that you have the appropriate software to make everything work as needed.
  • Cutting Tools For Vinyl – On top of needing a vinyl cutting machine, you will need cutting tools so that you can weed your vinyl designs.
  • Heat Or Easy Press – You will of course need heat or an easy press so that you can transfer the image of your choice onto the materials.
  • Iron – You will need a simple home iron for the heat transfer vinyl process.
  • Teflon Sheet Or Parchment Paper – These materials will be essential for the heat transfer process so make sure that you have them on hand.
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl Application Items – You will need to make sure that you have the products you are applying the heat transfer vinyl to. Whether that is a wooden sign, metal water bottle, bag, or another item.

Before we continue with this article we need to discuss a few of the items we recommend that you have on hand.

The iron for example is optional but it can be extremely helpful when transferring an image on strangely shaped items like cups.

But if you want to use an iron it is highly recommended that you have a strong understanding of the temperature of your iron as high heat can damage some materials very easily.

How Do You Start?

This article is going to focus on heat transfer vinyl onto materials that are not heat transferred often. This is why we have excluded cotton and polyester products.

Heat transfer vinyl onto metal, wood, nylon, or canvas can be quite intimidating which is why these products are the focus of our article.

So, before we get started we need to go over a few things.

The first thing we need you to be aware of is that no matter what you are heat transferring onto you need to start at the lowest temperature at all times and only press for the shortest recommended time.

This is so that there is as little chance of damage or scorching occurring as possible. If some materials are more stubborn than others you can always go back with a higher temperature for longer.

When you are heat transferring you will need to make sure that the image of your choice is mirrored.

This is because when you transfer the image the orientation will be the opposite of what you see when you look at the design head-on.

Now that we have a few of the tips you need to get started out of the way we can finally move on to talking about how heat transferring will work with our first material. So, without further ado, let us get started!

Is It Possible To Heat Transfer Vinyl Onto Nylon?

Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl to Nylon

Heat transferring onto nylon is one of the most dreaded materials to use heat transfer vinyl on.

As you will know, nylon is made from plastic and it can very easily become warped or melt if it is exposed to high temperatures.

But it can be done. Before you go ahead and ruin expensive nylon fabrics when you practice the transfer we recommend that you do some tests using cheap nylon.

If you are heat pressing a nylon bag for example we recommend that you use a pillowcase or towel on the inside so that you do not run the risk of damaging the opposite side of the heat transfer.

Tips When Working With Nylon

Below are a few tips you can use when you are heat transferring vinyl onto this type of material.

  • Temperature – When you are heat transferring onto nylon fabrics it is recommended that you do not exceed 275 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature may seem low but because nylon has a tendency to warp and melt it is always recommended that the temperature you start with is very low.
  • Press Time – When you are pressing nylon it is recommended that you only press for between three and five seconds at a time. You should also allow the nylon to completely cool before you press it again. This will lessen the likelihood that damage occurs to this finicky fabric.
  • Overheating – It is essential that you do not overheat your nylon fabric. But you must not be scared to apply heat as well. You just need to be aware of the temperatures you are pressing at and how long you apply it for, If you get the balance right you should have no issues with heat pressing nylon.

Is It Possible To Heat Transfer Vinyl Onto Neoprene?

This type of material is relatively inexpensive when it comes to price and it can be versatile if you know how to work with it.

Neoprene is a fantastic material that can be used in various settings like birthday parties, weddings, any other event you could imagine.

On top of being ideal fabrics for events neoprene can make excellent gifts as well.

The main downside of using this material is the fact that it can be quite heat sensitive and burn easily. Because of this you will need to be extra careful when using it.

Tips When Working With Neoprene

Below are a few tips you can use when you are heat transferring vinyl onto this type of material.

  • Temperature – WE recommend that you start off using 275 degree Fahrenheit heat for neoprene heat transfer vinyls. On top of that, you will need a Teflon or parchment paper to separate layers and prevent damage to other areas of the neoprene product. If you are using an iron to heat transfer you should only set it to a medium heat and of course use the Teflon or parchment paper to reduce damage in other areas.
  • Press Time – The press time for heat sensitive materials can be tough to discern especially when you have to heat transfer designs onto your product. For neoprene, we recommend no longer than ten seconds of ten seconds at a low temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Before you apply heat to the material again you should allow it to completely cool this should help avoid the risk of damage to the materials.
  • Overheating – neoprene is similar to nylon in the way that it has the tendency to melt or burn when it is exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time. Because of this it is highly recommended that you make sure to press for too short rather than too long. By doing this you should further reduce the risk of melting or burning your material.

Is It Possible To Heat Transfer Vinyl Onto Wood?

Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl to WOOD

If you have been paying any attention to the trends you will have noticed that rustic farmhouse decor has become increasingly popular.

For this reason applying heat transfer vinyl to wood could be quite a lucrative choice in material.

If you want to make fun, unique and popular products using heat transfer vinyl then you might want to know how it works with wooden signs or plaques.

Tips When Working With Wood

Below are a few tips you can use when you are heat transferring vinyl onto this type of material.

  • Temperature – Wood is not a particularly finicky material and like cotton it can easily withstand a great deal of heat. We recommend that you start with using 315 degrees Fahrenheit and if you feel the need to increase you can later on.
  • Press Time – Since wood is not overly heat sensitive you can have longer press times. We recommend that you start with fifteen seconds. You should allow the vinyl to completely cool down before you apply heat again. On top of that we recommend that you take the carrier sheet off between your presses.
  • Sanding – With wood you should make sure that your material is smooth so that any paint, varnish or splinters have been removed before you heat transfer. But you do not need to remove all the paint if that is the look you are going for. All you need to do is make sure that the area you are applying the vinyl is free of paint. This allows you more freedom in your designs.

Is It Possible To Heat Transfer Vinyl Onto Canvas?

Once again, if you have been taking note of what has been trending as home decor you will have seen that heat transfer vinyl on painting canvases has steadily been rising in popularity.

But painting canvases are not the only items that are made from these materials. There are a plethora of bags or totes that are made from canvas that you can apply heat transfer vinyl to.

Tips When Working with Canvas

Below are a few tips you can use when you are heat transferring vinyl onto this type of material.

  • Temperature – When you are using heat transfer vinyl on canvas it is recommended that you start at 305 degrees Fahrenheit. Canvas in general is quite durable and can withstand high temperatures. The main thing you will need to look out for are pieces of plastic that are attached to the canvas.
  • Press Time – When you are heat pressing canvas you should only press for about fifteen seconds at a time and allow the vinyl and canvas to be completely cool before you press again. Depending on whether your design has one or more layers you may need to remove the carrier sheet between pressings and of course allow more time to press. But, if your design has more than one layer, we recommend that you press for only ten seconds at a time and once again allow the vinyl to completely cool before doing it again.
  • Texture – Once you have done your final heat presses you should check the canvas for the right texture. If you notice that the texture is visible through both sides of the canvas you can be sure that the design has properly adhered to your canvas product.

Is it Possible To Heat Transfer Vinyl Onto Metal?

Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl to metal

Metal may seem like an impossible material to heat transfer vinyl onto, however there are actually quite a few types of metal that can have heat transfer applied to them.

Some of the best products you can do this with are water bottles or cups. These products normally come in all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes which can make them fun to work with.

Tips When Working With Metal

Below are a few tips you can use when you are heat transferring vinyl onto this type of material.

  • Temperature – Metal is obviously quite durable when it comes to heat which is why we recommend that you start off with using 300 degrees Fahrenheit for your first heat press. When you are heat transferring vinyl onto metal you will need to be careful that the vinyl is not overheated as it can shrink or melt at high temperatures which in turn may ruin your design. If you are for example using a home iron to get the vinyl on the metal product we recommend that you use the highest heat setting as it will help with transferring the design even when there are curves with your metal product.
  • Press Time – When you are heat pressing vinyl onto metal it is recommended that you only do it for ten seconds at a time. Metal, obviously, conducts heat quickly which can cause the vinyl to overheat and shrink or melt. You will need to take care to allow the vinyl to completely cool before you apply heat a second time.
  • Cleaning – Metal can easily retain dirt and oil on its surface. This means that you should certainly clean your metal bottle, cup or other product with rubbing alcohol so that the vinyl will stick to the surface well.
  • Use Mittens – Because metal can heat up quite quickly and get significantly hot we recommend that you use oven mitts, gloves or a towel to handle the product between pressing so that you do not burn yourself.
  • Cooling Meal – While you are waiting for the metal bottle or cup to cool down you might find that using a hairdryer on a cool setting will help to speed up the process.

Let’s Talk About Cold Peel And Hot Peel

Okay now that we have covered the basics of working with these products we can now go over using hot or cold peel.

If you are unsure what hot and cold peel actually means, do not worry we will explain. Basically, cold peel vinyl will need to be cool to the touch before you take the carrier sheet off.

If the material is not cool enough the vinyl may get pulled off the material you are transferring onto. This will cause the design to not stick to the surface, rip or become distorted.

One of the best cold peel brands you can use is from Rozzy Crafts their vinyl is great quality and comes in hot or cold peel.

Obviously hot peel vinyl is the opposite of cold peel. It is up to you what you want to use for your products. So make sure to do the research so you can determine which one suits you and your needs best.

Working With Thicker Vinyls

In this article we have been referring to the use of matte heat transfer vinyl but if you want to apply vinyls that are thicker like glitter or metallic vinyl there are some changes that you will need to make.

For example, you may need to increase your temperature by about five degrees and increase the press time slightly.

But with these thicker vinyl designs you will need to be extra careful with heat sensitive materials such as neoprene and nylon as they are likely to melt if too much heat is applied for too long.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our article on how you can easily transfer vinyl onto materials that are not usually heat transferred onto.

Remember, you will need to be extra aware of temperatures and hold time as different materials have different tolerances to heat.

Other than that, make sure to have a fantastic time and we look forward to seeing you next time.

Michael Moore

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.