Heat Transfer Vinyl is a great material for transforming shirts, bags, and more into customized pieces for the family. But there is a specific feel to standard vinyl that can something feel a little cheap. Flocked vinyl is sold as a more appealing alternative that works in the same way. So, what is flocked vinyl, how can it offer benefits over standard vinyl, and is it worth getting?
Simply put, a piece of flocked vinyl is heat transfer vinyl that has a flocked surface. Flocked essentially means fuzzy or furry. There is a texture to the material that isn’t unlike felt or suede. The purpose of this is to provide a different sensory experience through the soft fibers and the thicker material. While different from standard HTV in feel, it tends to perform in the same way with simple at-home methods.
What Does Flocked Mean?
Flocked and flocking have different meanings depending on the situation. You may assume it has something to do with wool and flocks of sheep. Flocked also makes us think of a high concentration of people in one area. Here, is all about a high concentration of fibers in one area and the texture it creatures. Manufacturers build up a soft texture with multiple fiber deposits to create material through the “flocking” process and create a “flocked” texture.
What Are the Benefits of Using Flocked Vinyl?
There are a couple of key benefits in using flocked vinyl compared to your standard heat transfer vinyl. The first is the texture. Regular vinyl has a very slick feel that doesn’t always feel that great on a piece of clothing it feels artificial and that can lessen the enjoyment when wearing the item. By contrast, flocked vinyl does feel more like a natural material. Wearers can run their hand over it and get that nice effect that you get with faux suede.
As a result, the item may be more enjoyable to wear. This could be a big deal when making clothes for children. Kids that like specific textures and softer clothing, especially those with any sensory issues, may do better with flocked prints than regular ones. It is always a good idea if a child does have sensory issues to have them feel the material before applying it to the garment.
The other possible benefit here is that there is a thicker material when working with flocked vinyl. This results in a more three-dimensional feel that again encourages wearers to really enjoy putting their hands over the materials and get more out of it.
This could be perfect if you are creating clothing with animal designs. For example, your child may really like the idea of a puppy or kitten-themed shirt and the flocked fluffy feel will enhance that design. There are also recommendations for users to turn to flocked vinyl for letters on sports jerseys for a better texture.
Can You Use Flocked Vinyl as An Alternative to Embroidery?
This is an interesting question considering the texture and the raised surface of the material. It isn’t going to look the same as embroidery and you aren’t going to get the same detailed stitching that you get from an embroidery machine. However, the effect isn’t far off and could work as a cheaper form of monogramming.
Is Flocked Vinyl A Specialist and Limited Product?
You may worry that you won’t be able to get this type of vinyl for your craft room because it is too niche. However, there are lots of brands offering various forms, often in multipacks. You don’t have to settle for basic black and white flocked vinyl. Make sure to check the color choices available and the size of the sheets when buying online to get the best possible deal.
Also, check user reviews to learn more about the process and results. You can get a better idea of the true texture of the material and how well the projects worked. This will help you find something suitable that you can order repeatedly.
Can You Use Flocked Heat Transfer Vinyl with A Heat Press Machine?
This is the crucial question here. There is no point longing after this textured material if you can’t use it at home with ease. Thankfully, this material is compatible with heat press machines as well as ironing methods. If you are a devotee of Cricut machines, this is said to work pretty well with their EasyPress. Then all you need to do is get a compatible blank, create your design and apply your image. This, and the accessibility of the material, makes it a great tool for making fun clothing.
Is Flocked Vinyl Difficult to Use?
Not necessarily. The texture of the material doesn’t seem to have too big an impact on the ease of use. Some crafters happily set up their machines and modify the settings for a clean-cut and easy transfer onto your material. The machine should do most of the hard work for you. Still, there are sure to be plenty of helpful tutorials and videos online that can provide extra guidance.
It is a good idea, however, to do a quick test run before working on any important projects. You want to be sure that the machine understands the material and creates the perfect shape. Always turn to manufacturer instructions when working with a machine for the best results because they know best.
Is Flocked Vinyl Worth Having?
Flocked vinyl is a great alternative to regular Heat Transfer Vinyl because of its properties. There is no reason to replace your regular supply of vinyl with the flocked version because they both have different benefits and properties. You can have this on hand when you need that 3D effect and softer feel for your children’s clothing and other interesting projects.
In short, there is no reason to be scared to use flocked vinyl, even if you have limited experience with HTV. It should work fine with your machine or iron and provide some fun effects.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.