Vinyl is mainly used for basic text or simple images. The process can be done quite quickly, simply enter a bit of text, convert it to outlines, and send it to the cutter....job done. Or so you would think! If you keep it simple, everything should be OK, however, try to be flash, and you might end up coming unstuck! A vinyl cutter is an amazing thing really. They look quite un-inspiring, but the way the things are programmed to cut the most intricate of detail, and cut through the tiniest amount of plastic without chopping the whole thing to bits is fascinating! The problem is, assuming you create the text with a single outline (with no overlapping of lines anywhere) and the cutter does the job without coughing, you now have to 'weed out' all the little bits you don't want.....and Man Alive! sometimes that can be a right pain the ar.....! Once done though, it's a simple case of placing your Text/Image on your garment (making sure it's not wonky!) and give it some heat! (and pressure).
Although printers tend to shy away from it, you can 'multi-layer' vinyl to create a whole host of fabulous looking prints. Thank our lucky stars there are other ways of doing exactly the same thing, because, believe me, setting everything up right, cutting all the individual colours out and then pressing them all back together again in the right order, all perfectly aligned and with no overlapping spare vinyl, is the most time consuming, frustrating and potentially annoying thing you will ever do in printing!
If you're after, a funny Hen or Stag T Shirt, that just tells everyone what you're up to, or a simple logo or image, that gets right to the point, then vinyl is for you. Otherwise, Digital Print and White Toner Printing is what you're looking for! (unless you want loads of garments, then you're probably better off with Screen Printing).
Have a look at our other pages for more info on each (including Embroidery).
Garment vinyl comes in all kinds of different categories, about 20 to be exact. All have their own properties, and all react to heat, pressure and different fabrics in different ways. You can get really stretchy vinyl that you see on skin tight lycra and really lumpy and fluffy vinyl that you see on children's T Shirts (or on your dad's shirt if he's of on one again, having a laugh!). You can get really shiny foil vinyl and glossy metallic vinyl. You can get glow in the dark vinyl and super shiny reflective vinyl (perfect for that Hi-Vis vest you've been daring yourself to wear down the local night club!). If none of those take your fancy, you could always go for everyone's favourite, super sparkly glitter vinyl, you know, the one you always wanted when you were a kid!
What ever effect you're after, the vinyl industry has just about got it covered.......including your car!, but we don't do that kinda thang.....sorry :(