Twill Made Easy: Using a Vinyl Cutter and Heat Press

Many of you out there do not have the equipment to utilize tackle twill as a decoration method. Well—now you’re in luck! This post will describe how to use a vinyl cutter, a heat press, and heat transfer vinyl to take advantage of the professional look that twill has to offer, even if you don’t have the capabilities to sew it onto the garment. As an added bonus, there is an instructional video at the end of this post for further instruction.

Twill, or tackle twill, is a polyester fabric material that is most commonly used for names and numbers on authentic pro jerseys and applique. Typically, twill is sewn on to the garment with an embroidery or sewing machine to ensure permanence.

Materials you will need: tackle twill, heat transfer vinyl, and transfer mask. Note that in order to successfully cut tackle twill on a friction-fed cutter, you will need to use pressure-sensitive twill, which comes mounted on a mylar backing. This will allow the material to feed through the cutter properly. Also, ensure that the cutter you are using has the capability to cut the twill, like the Roland GX-24 vinyl cutter.

The first thing you will do is cut the twill with your vinyl cutter. When cutting twill, there are a few things that differ from cutting heat-applied vinyl. For a successful cut with twill, you will want to use a 60° blade with an offset of .40. It will also require more downforce than heat applied vinyl, so be sure to do a test cut to be sure that you will get a clean cut. Consult the manual of your cutter if you are not sure how to change these settings. Twill is also cut in the positive instead of in the mirror image. Once those changes are made, simply send the file to the cutter the same way you’d send heat-applied vinyl.

Once the twill is cut, weed away the excess material, leaving only the cut on the carrier. You won’t even have to line these letters up individually. Use a transfer mask to remove the lettering from the carrier to keep our registration. Once masking is complete, you can apply the twill with a heat press.

The twill is now applied, but it isn’t permanent yet. You need to use heat transfer vinyl to act as “stitches” to ensure permanence. Before cutting the transfer vinyl, reset the settings on your vinyl cutter back to a 45° blade, a .25 offset, and readjust the downforce. Send the file to the vinyl cutter, and weed.

You will be “encapsulating” the twill already applied with a heat press with your heat transfer vinyl. Position the pattern vinyl over the twill, and once again, press it on with a heat press, peel the carrier sheet, and there you have it! Twill application without sewing.

Watch the video for step-by-step instructions:

Posted On:
December 2, 2010

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to “Twill Made Easy: Using a Vinyl Cutter and Heat Press”
  1. Donovan says:

    Do you have any sample that can be sent out to me? If so, my address is 265 Passaic street, Hackensack NJ, 07601. Thanks guys

  2. Donovan says:

    Do you have any sample that can be sent out to me? If so, my address is 265 Passaic street, Hackensack NJ, 07601. Thanks guys.

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