Tack - Tacking
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.
Example: You have 3 colors of HTV to apply. Normally you would press the vinyl for 15 seconds. But after pressing all 3 layers, the first layer will have a total pressing time of 45 seconds and the second layer - 30 seconds. That’s way too much time and will likely cause the vinyl to peel off.
- 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.