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How to Use Puff Vinyl for Shirt? A complete guide

People interested in pasting designs over their shirts in different ways are becoming common. Initially, there was hot transfer vinyl to custom shirts with designs but with the passage of time, there are more advancements in the technique. Among these is the one that uses puff vinyl for a shirt.

Before going into step by step guide to how to use puff vinyl let us introduce you to what puff vinyl shirts are. Puff vinyl is actually a unique type of material that gets expanded when exposed to heat. This gives a three dimensional look to the design over the shirt. For this reason, it is also called 3D vinyl.

Quick Q&A

  • What is the difference between puff vinyl and standard vinyl on a shirt?

There is a remarkable difference between puff vinyl and regular vinyl on shirts. The puff vinyl is always thicker than the normal vinyl and it also appears denser than ordinary vinyl. The other most important difference between the two is that the puff vinyl on the shirt expands when pressed with heat while the regular vinyl does not.

  • What temperature do you press puff vinyl on cotton?

Source: svgnation.com

Appropriate temperature to make the puff vinyl expand is a very important factor to be considered. In order to get the perfect results the temperature of the heat press should be about 320°F or 160°C. One can go up to 340°F to make the puff more expandable but beyond this, it may result in distortion of the design

How to use Puff Vinyl for Shirt, it is not a difficult task. It can be done in a very simple and easier way by just following a few steps.

Let us have a brief look over the materials required to perform this operation

  • Cotton T-shirt or a required fabric on which the design is to be transferred.
  • Puff vinyl
  • Weeding tool
  • Scissor or A Plotter or a vinyl cutter
  • Design of choice
  • Heat press machine or household iron

Step by step guide on how to Use Puff Vinyl

Cutting a puff vinyl

Normally, while cutting HTV, the shiny side of the vinyl is down, however with Puff vinyl, the shining side is up. If you’re not sure how to position your vinyl on the mat, peel up a little corner of it. When cutting the vinyl, make sure the clear side is towards the mat.

Weeding vinyl

Weeding vinyl is the process of eliminating excess vinyl (negative space) from a design that has been cut with a Cricut or other personal cutting machine. After cutting, puff vinyl must be weeded before you can apply your design to your product.

Placing the design over the fabric

Place your required design on the appropriate site on the shirt. Place it carefully and avoid misplacing the design while pressing it which is the next step of using Puff Vinyl for the Shirt

Pressing the design

Source: thedenverhousewife.com

Puff vinyl requires constant pressure to puff up properly. It can be done by a heat press machine as well as a household iron. Always check the directions for the vinyl you’re using on the brand’s website or with the company from which you acquired it. Press the vinyl for 10 seconds with very strong pressure.

Peeling off the design

While the design is still hot, peel the backing off. This phase should be straightforward because the design will inflate out and push off the lining on its own.

Take pleasure with your newly placed puff heat transfer vinyl.

Some important Tips to remember

Here are some important tips that should always be kept in mind while performing a puff vinyl for shirts

  1. Always apply heat for one time only. It is a one time operation. Applying heat for a second time on the already expanded puff vinyl will result in the flattening of the design.
  2. Always use the recommended temperature and pressure for the best results.
  3. It is recommended to use a heat press machine for the shirt
  4. The applied temperature and pressure should be uniform throughout the operation
  5. It is recommended to select a design with a little extra room to facilitate the printing.
  6. For the first 24 hours following pressing, no HTV vinyl should be washed. This allows the vinyl to cure.
  7. Fabric softener should not be used on garments that have HTV on them.
  8. Cold water should be used to wash the clothing from the inside out. It should always be dried at low heat. Over time, using high heat in the dryer might cause the vinyl to flatten, fracture, or peel.
Source: madincrafts.com


Using HTVRONT Puff Vinyl for Shirt is a good experience. It has many advantages over other techniques of printing on shirts. Puff Vinyl is eco-friendly and durable. Puff vinyl shirts can undergo multiple washes without any change in the puffiness of the vinyl. It has excellent rebound properties. So in my experience, it is best to Use Puff Vinyl for Shirt and enjoy the 3D design. It is pretty cool to work with puff vinyl.

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