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Can You Iron on Adhesive Vinyl? (All You Need to Know)

Decorating your house and household items has become easy with vinyl sheets. Iron-on and adhesive vinyl are the types of vinyl sheets in use for these purposes. Choose the vinyl sheet according to your necessity.

Can you iron on adhesive vinyl?

Adhesive vinyl has a liner that conceals the sticky part of it. You cannot use iron for adhesive vinyl sheets. It does not need any heat-press for its application. You will need a transfer tape and squeegee. Apply this sheet of the prepared clean surface and press it with your hands and the tools.

Adhesive vinyl sheets are the sheets that have multi-purpose use. You can use it on various surfaces and that too only using some simple tools and techniques.

Self-adhesive vinyl:

Self-adhesive vinyl is available in both permanent and removable options. This vinyl is waterproof and can tolerate up to 75 degrees Celcius of heat as well.

You can use it on many surfaces without much hassle. You do not have to apply heat in it or heat-press for application. The adhesive part on these adhesive vinyl sheets is sticky and comes with a lining.

You have to peel away the liner in self-adhesive vinyl to stick it to the surface you are using it in. you can use it on surfaces like metal, aluminum, plastic, etc.

Permanent vinyl:

Permanent vinyl sheets are available in different colors and designs. The application process of this sheet is very systematic and easy to follow.

You will need transfer tapes to apply this vinyl on anything you want.

You have to first measure the vinyl sheet according to your need, and the design is carved using a weeding tool. After that, you have to use a transfer tape and a squeegee to transfer the design to the transfer tape. Then place it and peel off the transfer tape from the application surface.

Permanent vinyl is waterproof, and you can wash them. Also, it can withstand heat as well. So, you can use it in mugs, cups, porcelain pans as well.

How to apply on adhesive vinyl?

The adhesive vinyl sheet comes in different shades and sizes. You have to select the type and color you need. This sheet has a white liner over the other side of the vinyl surface. The sticky part or adhesive comes out when you remove the liner.

You do not need to apply any heat to apply adhesive vinyl. You will only need to press it for the application. Also, you will need some simple tools like a weeding machine, squeegee, transfer tape, etc.

  • At first, carve the design you want using a weeding tool or scissors on the vinyl surface.
  • After you have completed the carving process, then use a squeegee to ores the design on the white liner of the sheet.
  • Then, peel off the vinyl slowly. It will leave the design you want on the white liner of the sheet.
  • After that, you will need a transfer tape. Peel the sticky part of the transfer tape and apply it to the vinyl design on the white liner.
  • Use a squeegee or the edge of any card to flatten the transfer tape. Then imprint the design on it at the same time.
  • Leave it like this for some time and then peel the transfer tape. You will see that the vinyl design has come up on the transfer tape.
  • Then apply that tape on the application surface you have prepared.
  • Make sure to wipe the surface of the application before sticking the vinyl design to it. It will help avoid air bubbles or dust particles getting inside.

Can you use adhesive vinyl on fabric?

Adhesive vinyl has a sticky surface and is very similar to a sticker. There are different choices of adhesive vinyl according to the need of the buyers in the market.

It is wise to use adhesive vinyl on smooth surfaces, as you have to press it to apply it on any surface.

Moreover, applying it on soft or rough surfaces will not last long, and the application process will also be faulty.

You can use adhesive vinyl on fabric. But it is not a good decision to use it on clothes. These vinyl sheets are sticky and different from the heat on vinyl sheets. They do not adhere well to fabrics.

Also, the vinyl can come off in one wash on fabric. The lack of a smooth surface makes it not an ideal option to use adhesive vinyl on fabric.

You can use it on fabric for one-time projects only.

How to prevent adhesive from sticking on iron on vinyl?

Iron-on vinyl or heat transfer vinyl needs heat pressing for its application on various surfaces. These vinyl sheets are ideal for use in clothes, table mats, placemats, towels, etc. You can also use them on wood and canvases.

  • Iron-on vinyl sheets do not have a sticky surface. It has an adhesive and shiny surface. Place the matte surface on the application material first.
  • Each iron-on vinyl sheet has specific heat settings. So, follow that setting to set the heat on your iron.
  • Make sure there is no steam coming out of the iron or heat press. The vapor can cause the adhesive on the vinyl sheet to stick and cause problems.
  • Do not press the iron or heat press the vinyl sheet for more or less than 15 – 20 seconds.
  • Do not heat press the same spot twice or more than that.
  • Use proper pressure on the iron-on vinyl adhesive sheet. Otherwise, the adhesive will become sticky.
  • Press down on the vinyl sheet for a few seconds and repeat the process on the un-pressed parts.
  • After you are done pressing and applying heat, leave the product out without touching it for some time. It will allow the vinyl to dry and stick. That is, it will take some time to cure.
  • Check the project for any adhesive leak or stickiness.

What can adhesive vinyl be used on?

Adhesive vinyl comes in a variety of shades, colors, brands, and thicknesses. They are best for use on any smooth surface.  You can use it on a wide range of things. Some of them are:

Plastic and metal surfaces:

Any smooth surface works great for adhesive vinyl. You can use it on trays, water bottles, frames, etc.

Wood surfaces:

You can use adhesive vinyl on wood surfaces following proper application steps and processes.


You can decorate canvases using adhesive vinyl. Make sure to make the surface dust-free before application. 

Walls, windows:

There are different brands of adhesive vinyl that you can apply to walls and windows. 

Non-washable surfaces:

Frames, shadow boxes, etc., are ideal for adhesive vinyl use. You can use Oracal 631 adhesive vinyl on these products.

Hand washable objects:

Objects of regular use and outdoor use can use adhesive vinyl. For example, you can use it in mugs, utensils, cups, etc.

Vehicle graphics:

Oracal 5600 is the adhesive vinyl that is suitable for vehicle graphics purposes. It is in use for private cars, police vehicles, buses, vans, etc.

Billboards and signs:

You can also use adhesive vinyl sheets for outdoor billboards and signs.

Marine application:

Style Tech FX glitter is one brand of adhesive vinyl that you can use for marine vehicles. It is water-resistant and lasts for a long time as well.

How do I know if my vinyl is iron on or adhesive?

Vinyl sheets are suitable for many uses. These sheets are available in two options.

They are the adhesive vinyl ones and the heat transfer vinyl or iron-on vinyl ones.

Iron-on vinyl sheets have two types of surfaces. One surface is matte, and the other is glossy. The glossy part has a transparent plastic layer. That is upon the vinyl surface on the sheet.

The matte surface goes to contact the application surface, and the glossy surface is the part where it is heat-pressed.

Adhesive vinyl sheets come with a liner that covers the adhesive of the vinyl sheet. You have to peel it to unravel the sticky part of the sheet. You will have to press it down to transfer it to the application surface.

To tell apart adhesive and iron-on vinyl, take a corner of these sheets and try to peel off the liner. The one that will unleash a sticky surface is the adhesive one. And the other is the iron-on vinyl sheet.

Final Thoughts

One type of vinyl sheet needs heat-press for its application. But adhesive vinyl is not that one. It does not need heat or ironing for its application. It is more like a sticker that can come with its adhesive surface. You have to peel off the liner and stick it to the surface of the application.