Which side of the HTV goes on the cutting mat?


If your wondering which way up the heat transfer vinyl (HTV) goes on the cutting mat – don’t worry your not alone. We’ve got some photos below to show you, but it’s also important to understand how the HTV is made.

There are 2 main elements to the sheet – the vinyl and the carrier sheet.

Carrier Sheet

The carrier sheet is a clear piece of plastic with a high gloss finish attached to one side of the vinyl. Once you cut and weed your design it holds it all together until you have heat pressed it. It should remain intact until after you’ve heat pressed your design and then it can be thrown away. Sometimes you’ll scratches on the carrier sheet – they are nothing to worry about, because your going to be throwing it away shortly. You can also find bubbles between the carrier sheet and the vinyl if the vinyl has been creased or due to the occasional manufacturing anomaly. You don’t need to worry about these either and they should dissolve themselves during the heat press.

Our carrier sheet also has a slight stickiness to it which you’ll notice once you weed it. This helps to hold it in place on the fabric until you press it. If you find a small piece of vinyl comes away from the carrier sheet (can sometimes happen on very fine and detailed designs), you can just push it back down onto the carrier sheet and it will stay there.

Just remember, we do not cut the carrier sheet. If your blade cuts the carrier sheet you need to decrease the pressure.

The Vinyl

Our heat transfer vinyl is made from PU (polyurethane) vinyl – as opposed to PVC (polyvinyl chloride) vinyl. It’s a premium commercial grade product sourced from South Korea. It generally does not have a shine to it and it a matt finish. The vinyl is what you cut with your Silhouette Cameo, Cricut, Brother Cut and Scan or another vinyl cutter.


Now that you know how the heat transfer vinyl sheets work, you should be able to work out which side faces up and which side faces down on the cutting mat.

The carrier sheet always faces down and sticks to the cutting mat. The vinyl (matt finish or dull side) faces up towards the blade.

Here are some pictures or our different vinyls showing you which side goes where.

HTV color side on cutting mat
Glitter Side Down
Gold side down