Which vinyl do I use with which material?



We get asked about the different types of HTV, and what we advise you to use them on. Whilst HTV is traditionally used for Clothing, and fabrics, however with a little patience you can apply HTV to untreated wood, glass ceramics, canvas and other hard surfaces that will take the heat and pressure required, be aware extra time and pressure can sometimes be needed when applying to non fabric surfaces.

See our application guide here for differing settings for each product as settings all vary.

Finding the correct vinyl for your project can be confusing; each material has different properties, as does each vinyl. There are no written rules when it comes to which vinyl should go on which material, but this guide should help you to understand what your best options are. Although most Vinyls will apply to many materials, and the best guide is to check the care label of the fabric against the application guide heat and time settings.

We thought we would give you a quick over view below all in once place, for all our HTV so you can work out which one suits your project, if you are layering please reduce times accordingly between layers, and be aware some Vinyls for example Glitter always needs to be the last layer.

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Self-Adhesive vs Heat Transfer Vinyl     

We sell both Self-Adhesive and Heat Transfer Vinyl and one commonly asked question is “what’s the difference?”

The main difference between SA and HTV is what it is made of: SA is vinyl with a paper backing which is sticky to touch when peeled off – this is the adhesive side. HTV has a clear plastic carrier sheet that is attached to the vinyl. It is taken off during the application process. Another big difference is the application. SA vinyl is simple to apply: the paper backing is taken off and the adhesive side is stuck onto the chosen surface. SEE APPLICATION INFO HERE. HTV, on the other hand, is a little more complicated: The vinyl must be applied using a mixture of heat and pressure please see the application guide here, and our best process to follow information here.


Turbo Press / Premium Plus

Our Turbo Press and Premium Plus vinyl can be used on untreated nylon and polyester garments. Polyester is a highly flammable, man-made material, which has many of the same qualities as plastic. Therefore, it is very durable and resilient to many chemicals but is not resilient to heat. When too much heat is applied to polyester, the fibres could melt causing the garments to shrink or deform. As these only require a press time of 3 to 5 seconds, it won’t damage polyester garments.

GM Eco Press/ Eco Press Vented/ GM Glitter/ GM Glitter Vented

Both Eco Press and Glitter range are made of polyurethane – an organic polymer that does not melt when heated – meaning it can handle a longer press time. The recommended press time is up to 15 seconds so should be used on materials that can take heat, such as cotton or cotton/polyester mix.

Pastel Matt HTV/ Pastel Glitter HTV/ Decra HTV/ Iron on transfers/ Transfer doddles

We recommend this vinyl have a press time of around 15 seconds during application so it can be used on any textile that can withstand the heat for that amount of time (cotton, acrylic, cotton/polyester mix and polyester/acrylic mix).

GM Stretch/ GM Metallic Stretch

This selection of vinyl is very flexible. This means they are perfect for garments like socks and gym wear. The press time is up to 15 seconds so GM Stretch and Metallic Stretch need to be used on materials that can handle heat. Of course, a flexible material would also work well with the vinyl such as acrylic or untreated nylon.

Holographic/ Flock

These three vinyl products require a press time of 15 seconds so shouldn’t be used on heat-sensitive textiles like polyester on its own. They can be used on cotton, acrylic and untreated nylons as well as cotton/ polyester blends and polyester/ acrylic blends.

GM Bubble Up/ GM Chameleon/ GM Chrome/ GM Light Active/ GM Reflective and Luminous/ GM Heat Active/ GM Brushed/ GM Pearl Sparkle and GM Pearl shine/ GM High Gloss/ GM Holoshine

The majority of our vinyl takes a press time of around 8-15 seconds PLEASE CHECK  and will work on cotton/polyester mixes and polyester/acrylic mixes.

Though we have provided this information and the application guides (found on our website) for your benefit, we strongly recommend that you press a single garment/ substrate and wash it (where applicable) to ensure that this process has been done correctly, before printing in bulk.

GM Brick

GM Brick HTV is a polyurethane based material which is thicker than normal PU. The thicker PU Brick gives a raised 3d effect which looks striking and unique.It has a wide application, and the cubic appearance is especially suitable for logo and symbols. Adheres to: 100% Cotton, 100% Polyester, 100% Poly & Cotton Blends, Lycra, Spandex and Neoprene

Inkjet Printable A4 Sheets

Poli-Trans Inkjet Dark suited to all clothing colours, has a white out backing to really allow your printed design to show no matter what colour you are putting it onto. Poli-Trans Inkjet Light is suited to pastel and white items only and will not work on dark colour backgrounds. Both are suitable for transfer to textiles like cotton, Polyester & mixtures of polyester/cotton.

HTV Application Tape

Use our HTV application tape to transfer cut Patterned HTV designs onto your garment or textile. Our tape is specially designed for HTV and makes it easy to align your design.


This is a flexible material with a pressure-sensitive adhesive (Please apply with pressure to activate using a squeegee for example) which can be applied to all kinds of smooth hard surfaces i.e. signage, car decals, home decorating, glass, mugs, wood, MDF, ceramics, metals, aluminium and some plastics. Just about all self adhesive vinyl can be layered on top of each other, to create some eye catching designs.  A clean dry surface is required for a good adhesion and it is recommend to clean down the surface first with Pure IPA Isopropyl Alcohol aka Rubbing Alcohol and leave this to air dry. Do not dry with a cloth as this may leave fibres behind on the surface, which could interfere with adhesion of the vinyl.

There are many different types of self adhesive vinyl including our Prime range, the gloss and matt ranges, Crafty (mat free vinyl), Pattern,  Oracal 651, reflective, fluorescent, chalkboard/blackboard, holographic, metallic, etched glass, stained glass coloured semi transparent and glitter to name a few. Some vinyl is suitable for outdoors, some indoors and some suitable for both. Please check individual product descriptions. No vinyl is recommended to be put in a dishwasher. Always leave self adhesive vinyl for 48  hours to ‘cure’ the adhesive, giving it a good bond, allowing the adhesive to reach it’s maximum natural tack.

All Our self adhesive vinyl is rated as permanent with the exception of Oracal 638 which is a wall decal semi permanent vinyl. Our Stencil/ Paint masking and our Sandblasting Vinyl which have a repositionable adhesive ideal for stencils and artwork that leaves no residue once removed. Please check individual product descriptions for outdoor and lifespan rating as they do vary from 3-6 years.