Find out the purpose of all the different types of vinyl and how to use them for different projects involving wood, fabric, mugs, glass, or any other material. You’ll learn the difference between permanent and temporary vinyl along with tips on using the heat transfer vinyl.
What vinyl do I use?
This is one of the most common questions Cricut beginners ask when starting out with vinyl projects using Cricut.
Considering ALL the different varieties of vinyl out there it can get pretty confusing to figure out which vinyl is the best to use. Nevertheless, it’s EXTREMELY important to find out what vinyl to use for a particular project because every vinyl is not made for all projects. For example, for stretchy fabrics/materials, you’d need a softer vinyl that can stretch without peeling and cracking. Similarly, for outdoor projects, you would need something much more durable than what you would use for indoor projects.
In this guide, you’ll find all the details about the most common vinyl out there along with their uses which can help you in deciding which vinyl to use for your project.
MAJOR CATEGORIES OF VINYL
There are two major categories of vinyl: adhesive and heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
Adhesive vinyl adheres to surfaces without the application of heat and can be further divided into two sub-categories:
- permanent adhesive: as the name suggests, this vinyl has the tendency to stick to surfaces permanently and can withstand stress which makes it ideal for outdoor projects.
- removable adhesive: this type of vinyl is great to use for indoor projects like wall decals as it comes off easily.
Heat Transfer Vinyl
vinyl or HTV or Iron-on vinyl requires heat for application and will not stick
to any surface if there’s no heat present.
ADHESIVE VINYL AND TYPES
Now let’s dive deeper into the world of adhesive vinyl. As mentioned earlier, there are two main types of adhesive vinyl. These two major categories can be further divided into several other categories based on the texture and look of the vinyl. The type of vinyl in each of these categories can vary based on the company.
In the tables below, I’ve listed some of the most common adhesive vinyl by two popular companies which are Cricut as well as Oracal.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. This means I will receive a small compensation for any purchase made through the link.
CRICUT ADHESIVE VINYL
Cricut Adhesive Vinyl comes in six different variety as listed below along with their description and use.
|1||Basic||This is the regular adhesive vinyl great for projects that require removable vinyl such as decals, labels, etc. The chalkboard vinyl also belongs to this category.|
|2||Premium||This category includes all the special types of adhesive vinyl such as holographic, glitter, frosted, metallic etc. Some of the vinyl in this category are permanent which means they can last up to 3 years. They are also water and UV-resistant which makes them ideal for cars, mailboxes, doors etc.|
|3||Patterned||Patterned vinyl comes in many different patterns and designs. This vinyl is available as both permanent and removeable.|
|4||Adhesive Foil||These are great for giving a metallic touch to your projects but is available as removeable vinyl only which means you will not be able to use it for outdoor projects.|
|5||Mosaic||All mosaic vinyl is available as permanent vinyl but can only be used for indoor projects. It’s water-resistant making it ideal for mugs and dishes.|
ORACAL ADHESIVE VINYL AND TYPES
Oracal makes a large variety of vinyl as listed below. Each vinyl has a unique characteristic which differentiates it from others. Remember, you don’t have to learn these by heart, just take a look at them when you’re planning your project so you order the correct vinyl.
|1||Oracal 631||This is the regular matte finish removeable vinyl which is perfect for indoor projects which will not be washed such as shadow boxes, picture frames, walls and ornaments.|
|2||Oracal 641||This vinyl is similar to Oracal 631 but with an added advantage of being water-resistant, which means it can be used outdoors as well as on mugs and dishes which get washed regularly.|
|3||Oracal 651||This is the most common type of vinyl. It’s permanent with a lifespan of 5-8 years which makes it great for outdoor as well as mugs and cups. The only difference is it has a gloss finish as opposed to the matte finish of 631 and 641.|
|4||Oracal 751||This vinyl is great for curved surfaces, is thinner and can withstand harsh sunlight for up to 8 years. However, it’s trickier to work with and difficult to apply without stretching/breaking.|
|5||Oracal 951||This vinyl is of a higher grade than Oracal 751 and lasts for up to 10 years. It’s more expensive and comes in metallic finishes aside from the regular colors.|
|6||Oracal 5600||This is a permanent vinyl with reflective surface and is great for outdoors as it can last up to 7 years however can be removed by applying heat. It’s specifically used for vehicles that need reflective lettering such as trailers, police cars, ambulance, construction etc.|
|7||Oracal 6510||This vinyl is the same as 651 however, in this category you’ll find all the neon colors.|
|8||Oracal 8300||This is a UV-stabilized vinyl perfect for high-quality illuminated signs.|
|9||Oracal 8510||This vinyl gives the etched look to glass. It’s permanent adhesive and can withstand gentle handwash.|
|10||Oracal 8710||Similar to 8510 but is removeable.|
|11||Oracal 8810||Similar to etched vinyl but with glitter specks.|
|12||Oralux 9300||Glow in the dark permanent adhesive vinyl.|
Types of HTV
Okay, now that you know everything about adhesive vinyl, let’s talk about HTV or iron-on vinyl. Like adhesive vinyl, HTV comes in many different varieties. What’s more confusing is each company has its own list of HTV. Therefore, in the tables below I’ve divided all the different types of HTVs by two of the most popular companies; Cricut and Siser.
CRICUT HTV TYPES AND DETAILS
In total there are 7 different types of HTV offered by Cricut. Listed below are each of the HTV/Iron-on vinyl with their respective details.
|1||Everyday||Regular basic HTvinyl in a variety of colors with plain texture – perfect to work with for beginners|
|2||Foil||HTV with a shiny foil-like surface.|
|3||Glitter||HTV with a glittery surface – can be a bit difficult to work with|
|4||Holographic||HTV with a holographic surface|
|5||Mesh||HTV with mesh texture|
|6||Mosaic||HTV with mosaic squares|
|7||Patterned||HTV with prints and patterns|
SISER HTV TYPES AND DETAILS
In total Siser offers 13 different types of HTV or Iron-on vinyl. One great thing about Siser is that their vinyl is CPSIA Certified so you can use it for children’s clothing and accessories without having to worry about any toxic materials.
Each vinyl comes with a recommended cut setting by Siser which can be found on their website here or for easy access you can also download their app.
|1||Siser EasyWeed||This is the regular everyday HTV which comes in heaps of different colors. It adheres to 100% cotton, 100% Polyester, and Poly/Cotton blends. This is great to work with for beginners.|
|2||Siser EasyWeed Stretch||Like Cricut SportFlex, EasyWeed Stretch is designed for stretchy fabric and performance wear. It can be a bit tricky to work with therefore is not recommended for the ultimate beginner. This vinyl can be layered and adheres to Spandex, 100% cotton, 100% Polyester, and Poly/Cotton blends.|
|3||Siser EasyWeed Electric||This type of vinyl comes in a pearlescent metallic sheen and is great for cutting out designs with lots of intricate details. It’s perfect for 100% Cotton, 100% Polyester, and Poly/Cotton blends.|
|4||Siser EasyWeed Sub Block||This is a special kind of vinyl used for sublimated jerseys and comes in TWO colors only. This vinyl is different compared to the regular EasyWeed because it is especially formulated to block all dye migration material thus giving vibrant colors even after several washes which is not possible with the regular EasyWeed.|
|5||Siser Easy Reflective||As the name explains, this is a reflective vinyl and comes in ONE color which is silver. Ideal for sportswear, pet and construction crew uniform.|
|6||Siser Metal||This vinyl comes in two different colors; silver and gold and has a metallic finish which makes it perfect to add a little glam to your clothing and accessories.|
|7||Siser VideoFlex Glitter||This is an alternative to the regular glitter vinyl by Siser. What makes it different from the regular Glitter is the fact that it’s softer and gives a smoother finish.|
|8||Siser EasyWeed Extra||This vinyl is similar to Siser EasyWeed. The only thing different is that it can be applied to NYLON along with 100% cotton, 100% Polyester, and Poly/Cotton blends.|
|9||Siser EasyWeed Glow||As the name applies, this vinyl comes with the ability to glow in the dark which makes it great for Halloween projects.|
|10||Siser Glitter||The Siser Glitter vinyl is great for creating glittery and sparkly projects. One thing to note is the fact that it doesn’t stretch like EasyWeed so is not recommended for projects that will undergo a lot of rough handling as it may cause the vinyl to crack and peel.|
|11||Siser Holographic||As the name implies, this is the holographic vinyl which can bling up any project.|
|12||Siser StripFlock Pro||This is a very unique vinyl as it gives your projects a suede-like finish. It can be layered and applied to 100% Cotton, 100% Polyester, Poly/Cotton blends and Leather.|
Whew! That was a hell load of information on vinyl. I hope you’re not exhausted by reading all of it as I do have a couple more left to share.
OTHER TYPES OF VINYL
Other than the vinyl listed above there are some additional types of vinyl used for stenciling and laminating etc.
|1||Oramask||This is a stencil vinyl great for creating stencils for painting on wood.|
|2||OraGuard||Oraguard is a clear laminate protective film and is used over printed graphics.|
|3||Transfer Tape||Used for transferring adhesive vinyl from one surface to another.|
|4||Printable HTV||Heat transfer or iron-on vinyl which can be printed and then applied to fabrics via heat.|
With that, we have reached the end of this guide. I know all this might seem too overwhelming to start off, so here’s a tip: you DO NOT have to memorize this guide to stay on top of the vinyl game.
Just use this guide as a reference when you’re planning your project so you know what vinyl to order so your project turns out to be perfect!
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MORE CRICUT TIPS
Also, check out these posts for more Cricut tips!
- 9 Must-Have Everyday Objects for Cricut Owners
- A Beginner’s Guide to Design Space
- A Complete Guide to Cricut Blades for Beginners