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Fixing the Shrink

At Ovation Crafts we highly recommend pre-washing all materials before applying our heat transfer vinyl. It’s important to get all shrinkage out of the material because the vinyl will not shrink with it!

I had made this lovely pillow cover for the bench by the front door. I didn’t pre-wash because I didn’t think I’d ever have to wash it. It’s decorative and let’s be honest, I’m not going out of my way to wash anything decorative. Unfortunately, my plan was derailed when our very large, and very happy, Great Dane developed “happy tail”. I couldn’t leave blood splattered on my pillow cover so I sprayed it with pre-wash and into the machine it went.

This is where things went south. I pulled out my wet pillow cover and this is what my HTV looked like!

I laid it flat as I always do, pulling at the material to try and counteract the shrinkage. It didn’t work so well. I was so disappointed! Then I had an idea; when we “over-melt” the HTV shrinks and shrivels. What if I tried to heat the HTV to get minor shrinkage before the dreaded shrivel?

I did just that. Applying heat, checking, applying more heat, checking again until I decided I had done all I could. I can’t say that it made it perfect, but it looks A LOT better than it did.


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