I use Siser brand HTV (heat transfer vinyl) for my designs. If you purchased a ready to iron on design it will have come with a sheet of parchment paper. Save this for application. NEVER APPLY A HOT IRON DIRECTLY TO AN HTV DECORATION, or iron the back of it while it's on a non-paper/press sheet surface. The stuff is designed to adhere to fabric when hot after all. :)
Siser says you can machine wash warm (no bleach)/tumble dry low. I haven't seen any lifting with the small items like masks but I do with t-shirts. I can always throw mine back on the heat press but if you want to ensure your items last as long as possible you may prefer to just hand wash and flat dry (you can try just machine wash and flat dry but I have still seen some lifting doing that). I suggest turning garments/bags inside out, and putting all decorated items in a delicates bag.
If you do experience some lifting, you can save it. Follow the directions below for application; remember to use a press sheet like parchment paper or plain white printer paper.
Obviously if you do have an actual heat press you should use that. Set it for 305 degrees F/150 degrees C. If not preheat your home iron to the cotton setting, no steam. You must use a press sheet for application. Again, if you have an actual htv-compliant press sheet use that, otherwise parchment paper or a plain white multipurpose printer paper will do. DO NOT use wax paper, foil, or any kind of cloth. Lay the item on an appropriate surface such as an ironing board or pad.
Pre-press your item (press sheet not needed) for 5-10 seconds. Position the htv film side up on the item and cover with the press sheet. Press with moderate pressure for 15 seconds. Try not to slide the iron but lift and move it as needed if the design is large, pressing for 15 seconds per area (once the entire design is ironed on it will be safe to slide the iron). You may peel off the film warm or cold. Examine the design carefully, feel it with your fingers, to make sure no areas are lifted up. If you need to repress the area just use the press sheet, the film is no longer needed.
When you are content the entire design has adhered place the press sheet on your ironing surface and lay the item design side down on the press sheet and press the back side for 10 seconds per area. Wait 24 hours before laundering item after htv application.
Multi-layered designs will come pre-assembled with a couple of guide holes punched in the film. Place whole design where you want it and mark through the holes with something nonpermanent like chalk or a disappearing quilting pen. Lift up all but the bottom layer and iron as above. Remove film and let cool. Position next layer by aligning marked holes and iron, peel and let cool. Repeat as needed. (If you do not let each layer cool before proceeding and you set the next layer down on a hot surface it will start to adhere and you will not be able to reposition it.) When you are finished press the back of the item as explained in the previous paragraph.
Oh about prewashing...you certainly may prewash your items before application but blogs have suggested it's really not necessary. I do not prewash because it makes the item look "used" and nobody wants to buy a new item that looks like someone's worn it already. Prepressing before application should prep the fabric sufficiently for adhesion.
This page owned and maintained by C. "Sparky" Read.