I know that so many in our sewing community are avid gardeners. Not me. While I appreciate a lovely yard, I do not come from a family of gardeners and never caught the bug. That being said, I sure do understand that weeding is an important task and the better the tools used the easier the job will be. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not referring to the outside kind of weeding. The weeding that I willingly find myself taking on is the weeding of my ScanNCut projects.
When working with sticker vinyl or heat transfer vinyl, it is important to accurately weed your project. Once a design is chosen to be cut, the desired material is loaded onto the ScanNCut cutting mat and is cut out by the machine.
Tip: if you are using either of the auto blade machines, the DX225 or the limited-edition Disney ScanNCut, make sure to select “Half Cut” from settings before you bring in your design.
This will have the machine only cut through the vinyl and not cut the carrier material. On an older version of the SNC, you will need to set the blade so that the blade does not cut through the carrier material.
Weeding your design is very similar to weeding your garden. Weeding is simply the action of removing the unnecessary and unwanted vinyl that is not part of the design. For example, if your design were a smiley face, you would want to weed out, or remove, the vinyl that lays outside the circle & the area inside of the circle leaving the eyes, mouth, and the line making the circular face.
To make this process easier use the appropriate tool. My new favorite is the Embellish Weeding Tool. It has a very fine point that is easy to choose & weed tiny areas, it is nicely weighted and balanced, so it is comfortable to use, and it is roll resistance on your work surface. When working with detailed designs, you will be very thankful to have a tool that can accurately get into all the areas of your design.
Once the design is cut by your ScanNCut, you may be able to see where the design is, as well as which sections to remove. I find it best to start by weeding the outside of the design at the very outer corner. Insert the tip of the weeding tool just deep enough into the vinyl to just grab the top layer and not the carrier sheet. When the excess outer material is removed the positive areas of the design will be easier to see.
Cold weather weeding tip: if your sewing room is cool, you may find the vinyl is resistant to releasing from the carrier sheet. I have found that having a warm environment makes this much easier and faster. To achieve a warm weeding space, I have found that weeding on my ironing board a plus.
If the vinyl is being resistant: remove your project from the board, run your warm iron over the board, replace the project back to the warm (not hot) board & you will find the excess vinyl releases very easily. Do not iron the vinyl or put it in contact with the iron at all. You only want a slightly warmed work surface.
I hope you will find that weeding your ScanNCut projects is much more fun than pulling dandelions out of your flowerbeds! The moral of the story is to stay inside and sew!!