Home » 7 Reasons Why Your Heat Transfer Vinyl Might Be Peeling Off

7 Reasons Why Your Heat Transfer Vinyl Might Be Peeling Off

Wondering why your heat transfer vinyl is not sticking?

Maybe you thought that it adhered properly, but after a few washes, you noticed the heat transfer vinyl peeling off.

Or maybe you could tell that your HTV was barely sticking after the press, so you weren’t all that surprised to notice the heat transfer vinyl coming off – but you really wish you understood what went wrong!?

Today we share you with you the 8 most common reasons why your HTV did not adhere properly to your fabric.

 

Why Is Your Heat Transfer Vinyl Peeling Off?

Why Is My Heat Transfer Vinyl Peeling Off

First of all, it is important to know that it is in actual fact pretty normal to have a heat press project go wrong. It happens to everybody, and these mistakes allow us to learn and improve.

So if you can’t figure out why your heat transfer vinyl won’t stick, we are here to help you learn more about the most common issues when it comes to applying your vinyl.

And whilst you are at it, make sure to read our post on how to ensure that your iron-on vinyl will last for longer.

Here are 7 tips on how to prevent heat transfer vinyl from peeling:

1. Make Sure to Match the Vinyl to the Shirt Fabric

heat transfer vinyl not sticking

Did you know that it is important to match your type of vinyl to the correct type of fabric? So first of all, check the tag on your shirt to see what the shirt is made of. Next, use our list below to see if you used the right type of vinyl for your shirt.

  • Nylon: Most crafters love working with Nylon shirts, which means that you need to purchase heat transfer vinyl for nylon.
  • Spandex: If you are working with Spandex, you should work with Vinyl that loves sticking to Spandex.
  • Other Types: For shirts made from cotton, poly, cotton/poly blends, and more, the safest choice is Siser Easyweed. Siser Easyweed is really popular and it is a great quality vinyl. Click here to grab some Siser Easyweed vinyl.

You might also like to hop over to our guide on the best heat transfer vinyl for shirts. The brands listed on that post has all been tested and works brilliantly on T shirt fabric.

 

2. Make Sure to Follow the Instructions

All vinyl comes with instructions. Simply follow them for the best results. It is important to get the time, temperature, and pressure settings correct, in order to adhere to your HTV correctly.

This is why we prefer to use a heat press machine instead of an iron because then you can set and control each of these settings.

 

3. Avoid Adhere Vinyl to Zips, Buttons, Collars and Thick Seams

Have a good think about your vinyl transfer placement. Areas that are raised can cause more headaches than what it is worth! You will lose a lot of pressure over areas that are raised, which will result in some vinyl adhering properly whilst other sections might still be a bit loose.

Fortunately, you can use a heat pillow if you are really set on the idea of adhering your design over raised areas. But if you are a beginner, we highly recommend that you keep things simple and just try to avoid these areas for now.

Click here if you want to grab a heat transfer pillow.

 

4. Does the Fabric have a Coating?

Another common problem can sometimes be that the fabric has a coating on it. Some shirts have a waterproof coating, whilst others might have a fire-retardant coating.

Vinyl sticks to the fibers of the fabrics, so if there is a coating on top, it will stop the vinyl from adhering correctly. So best to grab some blank apparel that doesn’t have a coating to keep life nice and easy.

We love grabbing our blank apparel from Happy Crafters. They have shirts, polos, caps, bags, activewear and more. Click here to see their range.

 

5. Check Your Heat Press

how much is a heat press machine

Does your heat press distribute heat evenly? Some heat press machines tend to have hot and colds spots – which will obviously cause problems with how well your vinyl will adhere.

Sometimes the heating elements in a heat press will stop working properly. So it might be time for a new machine. Why not check out our handy guide to help you find the best heat press machine for vinyl.

 

6. Hot Peeling vs Cold Peeling

Are you peeling off the vinyl backing whilst your vinyl is hot, or do you wait for it to cool down? Which is the right way? Well as always, it is best to check your vinyl’s instructions.

Some types of heat transfer vinyl require their backing to be peeled off straight away (so whilst it is still hot), whilst other types of vinyl require you to cool it down completely before you remove the plastic carrier.

Check the instructions on the packet.

 

7. Did you Use Fabric Softener?

Heat Transfer Vinyl Peeling Off

Some crafters love to pre-wash their apparel. And sometimes, without even thinking you might add fabric softener, just like you would when washing your everyday clothes. The trouble is that the softener creates a bit of a coating in between your fibers, and this causes problems when your vinyl tries to stick to those same fibers.

I recommend that you forget about pre-washing your clothes, or if you do feel the need to do so, at least stay away from the fabric softener.

 

Tips for Getting your Vinyl To Stick when Using an Iron

Are you using an iron, instead of a heat press machine?

Here is a video that has some great tips on how to get your HTV to stick when using an iron.

 

I’m curious to know if you managed to figure out what went wrong with your vinyl? Please let us know below why your vinyl was peeling off. If you have any additional tips on how to help your HTV stay adhered, please share them with all our readers in the comments below.

11 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why Your Heat Transfer Vinyl Might Be Peeling Off”

  1. I’m very frustrated. I have a brand new heat press, which I made sure was up to temp, pressed siser vinyl to a normal tshirt, peeled it correctly, etc. when I washed it once, the corners of my design started to come up. I did everything I was supposed to and it still happened

    • Hi Matt, that sounds frustrating. Before peeling do you very carefully check that the corners are fully pressed? Also, which heat press do you have, the clamshell sometimes have issues with not displaying even pressure, so the centre of your design might get brilliant pressure whilst the outer edges don’t receive the same pressure?

  2. When ever I get done heat pressing my shirt some of the vinyl peel off and I used the siser easy weed I press at 305 degrees for 10-15 seconds but my vinyl peels off.

    • What are you using to press with? Could be a problem with your heat press having cold pockets or pressure issues. Siser Easyweed is the best HTV you can buy and it is pretty easy to apply, so I’m going to assume that the problem might be with your heat press. Are you doing a quick pre-press to remove moisture? Do you test the corner of your vinyl to see if it is adhered properly before peeling back the carrier sheet? I also love to flip over my shirt and do a 10-15 sec press on the back of the shirt as well.

  3. I use the Cricut EasyPress with the Siser EasyWeed and I have been having issues after the shirt is washed.
    I have had several people tell me the vinyl is lifting after washing (not putting in the dryer), so I tested my shirts and it happened to me too.
    Not sure how to fix this?
    Can I repress?

    • Hi, you can’t really repress once it has been through the wash etc. I use the EasyPress 2 and Siser Easyweed and don’t have issues. Are you pressing for long enough to see the fibres of the shirt binding with the vinyl? You should be able to see the ‘texture’ of the threads under the vinyl, if the vinyl is still smooth and looks ‘stuck on top’, maybe you aren’t pressing with enough pressure?

  4. A lot of the time, the problem is washing the garment with fabric softener. Check to make sure your detergent doesn’t contain fabric softener.

  5. Just a note to those having trouble with Siser Easyweed sticking… be careful where you buy it from! Be sure to use a reputable site and read reviews! I have ordered what was supposed to be siser from Amazon and have had issues with 2 different colors!!!

  6. I have done at least 100+ shirts, I buy any kind of HTV I find on sale used many off brands, I use the first Easy Press, I do not prewash my shirts but have washed my shirts many many times and I put them in the dryer and I have yet to ever have any vinyl lift on a shirt. I always read these articles just in case it happens. I did enjoy the info.

  7. I used Siser Easyweed stretch with a press from where I work. These were for a memorial for my Uncle, so very personal to me. I’ve made several shirts just using my EasyPress, but was a large design and the heat press made it a bunch easier. I sent some to my aunt and she distributed them. A few people washed them and the design came off. I washed several I still had here and they all came off. Over 70 shirts and all of them has issues, even the ones I did with the EasyPress before I borrowed the press. Not sure where I went wrong!

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