Vocational Vocabulary:

Tack - Tacking

Kiss Cut - What does it mean? What are the benefits?

What is 'Tack'?

Tack can mean a few different things in the garment decoration business, especially when dealing with heat transfer vinyl. Here are 2 areas this term is used:

‘Tacking’ HTV to the garment

  • - When applying vinyl to a garment or fabric, ‘tacking’ it down means to just press it for a very short time. This allows the vinyl adhesive to activate and stick to the garment, but doesn’t adhere to it permanently. ‘Tacking’ is commonly used when applying more than 1 layer or color of vinyl to a garment. By tacking each layer down for just a short time before the final press application, you avoid over cooking the HTV.
  • - Since not all heat transfer vinyls are made the same, they require different tack times. Some can be tacked down for just 1 second. Others require 2-3 seconds and sometimes more. Be sure to check the application instructions from the manufacturer or distributor for recommendations on tack time.

Heat Transfer Vinyl carrier ‘Tack’

  • - All heat transfer vinyls come attached to a carrier sheet, usually a clear or frosted plastic. Though there are different methods used to keep these 2 layers stuck to each other, the most common is a pressure sensitive adhesive (sticky adhesive like tape). The strength or amount of stickiness of this adhesive is referred to as its ‘tack’.
  • Generally, the more tack a vinyl’s carrier has, the more detailed designs you can cut. And it allows you to push back down pieces of your design that lift while weeding.
  • Some examples of HTV with tacky carriers are:

To find out which vinyls have a tacky carrier and which don’t, or to find out more about ‘tacking’, contact our team of specialists by email or phone:

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