Cad Cut Vinyl: The how’s and the why’s

Gavin Drake

Gavin Drake

We always receive many questions from our customers regarding our different printing techniques and how the different options could benefit you and what impact it can have printed on your clothing. CAD Cut vinyl printing is one of the printing techniques that we offer and in this article I’m going to expand on the pros and the cons of this popular printing technique.

CAD Cut vinyl is one of the most commonly used printing techniques when you’re looking to get printed sportswear. That’s right, all the names and numbers that you see printed on the back of your favourite football players shirt was printed using the CAD Cut vinyl printing technique. In fact, CAD Cut vinyl is the most widely used printing technique across all sports, so no matter which sport you love, chances are that CAD Cut vinyl plays a part.

Now, let’s dive further into the printing technique itself. The word ‘CAD’ stands for Computer Aided Design and this represents the method in which the design is mapped out and then created using a computer. Once the design is created, it’s then printed out and cut before being transferred onto T Shirts and other types of clothing. The most common uses for this printing technique is numbers, names and logos which are then printed onto different types of clothing, but as mentioned before, namely sports shirts. CAD Cut vinyl is actually the material which is used to print onto the fabric – the material which is cut with the aid of the computer.

CAD Cut vinyl uses a unique vinyl material which is specially cut and then printed onto the clothing using a heat press. Different vinyl colours and different textures can be used to customise T Shirts and other types of promotional clothing. The most popular vinyl is plain black, block-colour vinyl, but there are various different effects which are also available. For example, do you want polka dots prints on the back of your sports shirt? Not a problem, there is a type of vinyl for that. What chevrons? Animal prints? Denim prints? Camouflage? Leather? Stripes? Not a problem, we have a wide variety of different types of vinyl which can be used to create all of these designs. With such a wide range of different options, it’s important that you carefully consider which vinyl you use to make sure that your design is perfect and turns out exactly the way that you want.

Once the vinyl material is printed and cut out, it’s then heat transferred using a special heat press. To ensure that the cutting is perfect, a computer is used to control the whole process. The picking of the excess vinyl is known as ‘weeding’. Once this has been done the vinyl is then transferred onto the T-Shirt or the garment.

There are a number of different CAD Cut vinyl materials which are used. Here are some of them:

Airflow Heat Transfer Material:

This is a breathable vinyl that allows air circulation as it contains tiny holes. This is the perfect printing solution for sports shirts.

Thermo-FILM Heat Transfer Material:

A great vinyl that doesn’t absorb dyes from the fabric (dye migration) and creates a sharp and bold transfer. This material is great for contact sports like rugby as it’s strong and anti-abrasive. It has a semi-gloss finish and gives sports shirts a professional look.

Fashion-FILM Heat Transfer Material:

This vinyl is great for fashion clothing as the material is incredibly thin and soft, has a matte finish and is ideal for creating intricate designs.

FLOCK Heat Transfer Material:

Flock has a suede-like look and feel and it’s perfect for layering two colours as it has a distinctive look and texture. Flock is great for printing onto fashionable T Shirts and clothing.

So, what are the benefits of using CAD cut vinyl?

CAD Cut vinyl is ideal for printing different designs which feature 1-3 colours and it’s ideal for orders of smaller quantities, for example, a football team strip. Other benefits include:

  • Durable finish
  • Easy to apply
  • Washable
  • Available in many different colours and patterns
  • Easy to add letters or numbers to an existed printed garment
  • Fast- No set up time as you’ll experience with screen printing
  • Can be used on any colour garment

These advantages, as well as others, mean that it’s easy to print custom sportswear and other garments in less than one day using CAD Cut vinyl.

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