Fabric Transfer Foil

The trend to spice up one's own clothes with fabric transfer foil has become indispensable in the DIY community. But how does it work?


Flex foil is a heat-adhesive foil that consists of 2 layers. The motif is created from the colored layer, the transparent layer is the carrier film, which is later removed and no longer needed. The motif is cut on the colored side, the transparent carrier film is not cut through.

Small and simple motifs can be cut with scissors or a cutter knife, more complex motifs in the form of a file are better cutted with a cutting plotter.

But how does the motif file get into the plotter together with the foil?

The motif is created on the PC using the software that comes with the plotter. You can either get creative yourself or use purchase files.

The plotter is then the output device and is to be understood in a similar way to a printer. However, the plotter does not print, but cuts lines through the colored layer with a knife. To prevent the film from slipping, it is pressed lightly with the transparent side (carrier film) down on a self-adhesive base, the cutting mat. Tip: Send files to the plotter with mirrored writing!

As soon as the cut is completed, the cut-out components (the now superfluous parts of the colored layer) must be removed ("weeded"). The best way to do this is to use pointed tweezers or a weeding hook.

The weeded motif is now pressed onto the textile with the transparent side (carrier film) facing up. With the mirror-inverted plotting, the motif has the correct position. Suitable textiles have to be heat-stable. Most suitable are cotton and mixed fabrics with a high cotton content. Warning: pre-wash clothes and fabrics without fabric softener! Fabric softener and liquid detergent affect the durability of designs made from flex film.

It is recommended to apply it to the textile using a press. Smaller motifs can also be easily pressed on using an iron. After pressing, the transparent carrier film is peeled off and the motif adheres to the textile. For good durability, the application must be carried out at the specified temperature and a lot of pressure, so a plot should not be confused with an "iron-on patch".

Multi-colored motifs are pressed on one after the other in the specified order. Up to 5 layers are possible, but a maximum of 3 layers is recommended. The lower layers are best protected with a sheet of baking paper, because the carrier film is no longer there. You have to make sure that the lower parts are not overheated by pressing them several times. To do this, press on the lower layers for only 5 seconds, remove the carrier film and press on further layers. Press on the last layer for 17-20 seconds. The recommended temperature depends on the type of film and the pressing time can therefore also vary.


Flex Film, Flexfoil