Weeding Before Cutting Vinyl Rolls

Weeding Before Cutting Vinyl Rolls

Weeding is the process of removing the “negative” areas around and inside your cut design. It is essential for successful vinyl projects.

To get a kiss cut (a clean, accurate cut that leaves the paper liner backing intact), use a brand new LightGrip mat or a StandardGrip mat that has been used several times.

PVC Vinyl

PVC is an abbreviation of Polyvinyl Chloride, a versatile plastic that can be as rigid as pipes or as pliable as vinyl wrap. It is a safe, economical and long-lasting material. It is also recyclable. PVC’s life-cycle studies indicate it creates fewer greenhouse gases and requires less energy to produce than other materials.

It is available in many colors and finishes. Rigid PVC film is used in tamper-resistant over-the-counter medicine packaging and in shrinkwrap around consumer products. It also serves an important safety role as the conduit for life-saving medicine through blood bags and medical tubing.

A common way to cut vinyl is with a computerized cutter. The computer loads a design and the machine cuts into the vinyl, but not Cutting Vinyl Rolls through the paper backing. You can also use a sharp craft knife, exacto knife or old-fashioned scissors.

Before cutting your final project, always do a test cut on some scrap material. This will help you determine if your material and machine settings are working properly. A successful test cut will leave a “kiss” cut that leaves the vinyl still attached to its paper backing. This makes it easier to weed, or remove the excess vinyl before applying your design. A weeding hook is an inexpensive tool for the job, or you can use tweezers or a craft knife.

Craft Vinyl Rolls

There are plenty of vinyl options for craft projects – from window graphics to stickers, scrapbooks, car decals, signs and stencils. Some craft vinyl can even be used to decorate clothing and other textiles. If you’re interested in experimenting with some of these different types of vinyl, the perfect way to do so is to invest in a premium craft vinyl sample set. These are available in an array of color, design and texture combinations and are a great way to compare similar hues before making your final decision.

If you’re planning on using your vinyl with a die cutting machine like the Cricut Maker 3 or Explore 3, a roll holder is a must-have accessory. This allows you to cut Smart Materials (without a mat) straight from the roll and ensures that your cuts will be straight every time. The roll holder also includes pads that can rest on the machine’s tray and slots that align with the guides to make it easy to position the material in place.

Other craft vinyl options include Oracal 651 permanent adhesive vinyl which is suitable for most applications and comes in a wide variety of colors. This vinyl can be used to create automobile decals, medium-term indoor and outdoor lettering and signs and is CPSIA certified so it’s safe to use on children’s clothes.

Self-Adhesive Vinyl

Self-adhesive vinyl is a thin adhesive (sticky) backed material that you can cut with your Cricut or other cutting machine and apply to a host of different surfaces. It’s super versatile and perfect for crafting and home decor projects as well as signage, car graphics, and much more.

You can even use it as a stencil and apply paint through the holes in the vinyl, or cut out shapes to create masks for airbrushing and spray-on tattoos. Plus, it’s great for repositionable signage for events and exhibitions that lets you refresh your messaging without the hassle of hanging signs or taking down frames.

When you want to work with self-adhesive vinyl, start by making sure that the surface you’re applying it to is clean and free of dust, lint, Cutting Vinyl Rolls or oil. Then position your vinyl design over the surface, and gently press down. Smooth it out with your fingers, and then rub the back of the vinyl with a application squeegee or scraper tool to activate the adhesive.

When you’re done, just peel away the transfer tape to reveal your vinyl design. Be sure to store your vinyl properly to ensure that it continues to perform at its best. Keep it in a cool, dry place, and out of direct sunlight. When you’re ready to use it, be sure to choose the correct vinyl material settings in Design Space for the type of project you’re working on.

Heat Transfer Vinyl

While it is possible to create a design with multiple colors using heat transfer vinyl, the time it takes to cut and weed each piece is not worth the extra effort. It is usually easier to use screen printing for high quantities of a single design.

The process of cutting and applying vinyl designs is fairly straightforward for those who have a cutter like a Cricut or Silhouette machine. The most important step is to make sure the software for your cutter has the setting set to mirror your design, and then to place the material on a blue or green mat with the colored or design side down and the carrier or dull side up. Then load the mat with your material into your cutter and follow the prompted instructions before selecting the correct cut setting.

After your design is cut, weed it, and then apply the vinyl to your product or fabric (again, following the directions in your vinyl’s Heat Guide). If you are using an EasyPress or iron, preheat it to the temperature specified by the manufacturer.

SIGNWarehouse carries an extensive selection of quality heat transfer vinyl in rolls, sheets and stencils from Siser, Chemica and Logical Color. We carry a variety of finishes and colors including printable, glitter, reflective, flock and more. We also offer a wide range of cutting settings so you can find the one that works best for your machine and the specific materials you are working with.

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