There perhaps are a lot of misconceptions out there about cricut vinyl. For many this seems to be a strange new material from outer space or something. While it is a different media than many are used to, so is the cricut machine. However, now that the machines have been around for a few years the mystical nature of vinyl seems to be unlocking as well. But alas there is still a lot of confusion surrounding this simple product.
The first misconception I want to break is the term “cricut vinyl”. This has become a common industry vernacular only because the Cricut was the first machine of its kind on the craft market and also the first to have a vinyl product introduced for it. The truth is that the Cricut part of the statement is really irrelevant. The vinyl that is used is an adhesive coated sign making vinyl. Where the craft or Cricut aspect comes into play is in the industry this sign making vinyl is processed and packed into convenient affordable sizes for digital craft cutting machines. All adhesive vinyl will work in any machine.
The next misconception, or misunderstanding if you will, is outdoor vs. indoor vinyl. In a nutshell there is no such thing as either one. The difference is that this distinction is the general rule for where it will perform best. Possibly a better way to describe it is removable vs. permanent vinyl. The catch here is that permanent is not a great description either. This often strikes fear into the faint of heart. Well it is not permanent like a sharpie marker is permanent. This type of cricut or craft vinyl merely has a more aggressive adhesive making it better or worse depending on the application. What it does not mean is that it will destroy anything it comes into contact with. What it does mean is that on a wall in your house it may cause a little bit of damage when removed, maybe.
Now on the flip side is the removable adhesive vinyl. This is the product most often referred to as indoor vinyl sheets. Where people can get confused on this is that they often think that if this vinyl so much as sees a sliver of natural sunlight or a drop of water it will shrivel up and die! As you may have guessed that is not the case. The nature of the removable adhesive makes it a better choice for most indoor applications, but if used outdoors for short periods, like less than a couple years, it will hold up just fine most anywhere.
The last thing I want to cover here is transfer tape. There are two common questions with transfer tape for your cricut vinyl. The first is do I really need to spend the extra money on transfer tape? Well technically no, but only if you like to torture yourself. The transfer tape is the mechanism that allows you to make the application more or less in one shot and keep everything in perfect alignment. You can make an application without transfer tape but it usually turns out to be a miserable experience.
The other common question about transfer tape is what kind do I want, paper or clear? There is no good clear answer on this question. It is purely a matter of personal preference. Each one has its own unique pros and cons. These can vary by application an opinion. So the only way to really answer that question is to try and use them both and formulate your own conclusion on the matter.
That pretty much covers the real common questions surrounding the mysteries of Cricut or rather craft vinyl. However, there is also much more that can be said a learned on the topic. So we also have all kinds of helpful videos and tutorials between here and at ExpressionsVinyl.com