Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is vinyl media for T-shirts and garments, which can be cut through a vinyl cutter and applied to the fabric with a heat press. This type of vinyl has a layer of adhesive which is only activated by heat and comes in a wide variety of colors and textures.
T-shirt vinyl needs to be cut on the back side (that would be the matte side) with the image horizontally flipped (mirrored). Once the excess background is removed with a weeding tool, the mirrored design remains on the clear carrier and is placed on the garment for pressing.
The durability of heat transfer vinyl ranges and depends on the vinyl used. Standard vinyl generally lasts the life of the garment when pressed correctly which makes it extremely popular and fairly permanent. Specialty vinyl such as foil or mirror vinyl is made for eye catching decorative designs and can delaminate after improper washing fairly quickly. Pressing and washing instructions are especially important with this product.