What Is The Difference Between Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) and Craft Vinyl?

What Is The Difference Between Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) and Craft Vinyl?

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) and Craft Vinyl are both types of vinyl materials used in various crafting applications, but they have distinct differences in terms of their intended use and application methods:

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV):

  1. Adhesive Type: HTV has a heat-activated adhesive on one side that, when exposed to heat and pressure, bonds to fabric and textiles. It does not have a self-adhesive backing like regular craft vinyl.

  2. Application Method: HTV is specifically designed for use with a heat press machine or an iron. It requires heat to activate the adhesive and securely adhere the vinyl to fabric. The application process involves heat and pressure to transfer the design onto textiles.

    Iron On

  3. Usage: HTV is primarily used for customizing and decorating fabric items like t-shirts, hoodies, hats, tote bags, and other apparel and textiles. It's a popular choice for creating personalized clothing and promotional products.


  4. Durability: Properly applied HTV designs are durable and can withstand multiple washes without fading or peeling, making it suitable for long-lasting designs on fabric.

  5. Varieties: HTV comes in various types, including standard colors, glitter, holographic, metallic, and patterned HTV, allowing for a wide range of creative design options.

    Check out our HTV wraps here: https://vvividshop.com/collections/htv

Craft Vinyl:

  1. Adhesive Type: Craft vinyl typically has a self-adhesive backing, meaning it has adhesive on one side and is sticky without the application of heat. It doesn't require heat to bond with surfaces.

  2. Application Method: Craft vinyl can be applied to a variety of surfaces such as glass, wood, metal, paper, plastic, and more. It is usually applied using hand tools like transfer tape, a squeegee, or your fingers to ensure a smooth and even application.

  3. Usage: Craft vinyl is versatile and can be used for a wide range of craft and DIY projects beyond fabric. Common applications include creating personalized home decor, decals, stickers, signs, wall art, and more.

    Craft vinyl laptop

  4. Durability: The durability of craft vinyl varies depending on the type and brand. Some varieties are designed for temporary applications, while others can withstand outdoor conditions and long-term use. 

    VViViD's DECO65 line features permanent, solvent-based adhesive for indoor, outdoor and permanent installations.

  5. Varieties: Craft vinyl comes in an extensive range of colors, textures, and finishes, allowing for diverse crafting possibilities, including matte, glossy, metallic, and patterned options.

    You can find our DECO65 Craft Vinyl here: https://vvividshop.com/collections/sign-craft-vinyl

In summary, the key difference between HTV and craft vinyl is in their adhesive properties and intended use. Heat Transfer Vinyl is designed for fabric customization and requires heat for application, while Craft Vinyl is versatile and can be applied to a wide range of surfaces, with no heat activation necessary. Crafters choose between these vinyl types based on their specific project needs and materials they plan to work with.