Tote Bag and Heat Transfer Vinyl Experiments

This is working towards objective 4.C.

As noted in several other posts, I wanted to create vinyl heat transfer tote bags to coincide with my goodie bags, or promotional packs should they rather be called. These bags will hold the contents and hint at the topic.

I have started experimenting with these using die-cut heat transfer vinyl, and natural canvas tote bags.

The process for this can be found below. This is smooth running processes ensuring one has all the correct tools in place. I find this an easy process having done this before during my BA degree, transferring vinyl onto t-shirts.

  1. The areas to cut out are drawn or traced from an .ai file.

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2. These are then mirrored for cutting, as will be transferred on to the tote bags the opposite way around. This is to ensure that any text or non-symettrical artwork is readable and accurate to the original design.

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3. The vinyl is the cut out on the die-cutting machine, Silhouette Cameo (as discussed on a previous post used to perforate and cut out postcards), the excess vinyl is peeled away leaving the transferable artwork on the sticky-back plastic sheet.

4. Heat is applied at 110 degrees celsius for approximately 2 minutes. The plastic backing is peeled away leaving the vinyl firmly secured on the tote bag.

This process was repeated with different coloured vinyls, in different colour combinations, whilst only using text on a portion also, allowing each at this stage to be different.

The colour vinyls used were; glitter pink, matte red, matte black and metallic gold.

I found that even though quite technical to line up accurately, this was much easier to do well than screen printing and found the effect much more tactile. I also really liked the depth created through the contrast of gloss/matte or matte/metallic substrates.

However, I found that I didn’t particularly feel the natural canvas tote bags were the right colour once assembled, and feel a light pink matching that of the prints and postcards would be more suited, and would also feel more of a uniformed set of promotional products.

I plan on dying the tote bags over the next few days, and will then re-do this process. I am also interested in purchasing flesh colour vinyl, or mink colour vinyl for the lips as another experiment and alternative, and perhaps a matte raspberry pink for the drips, however flesh colour heat-transfer vinyl is seeming to be quite difficult at this moment in time and is something I am going to look further into over the next few days. I also felt that the red/gold combination was slightly christmassy and again feel this is due to the bag colour/lip colour, and feel once I have obtained different materials I will be able to resolve these ‘problems’ through further experimentation and development.