Today’s tip on cutting without the mat has to do with the size of your material, specifically its width. (To start with the first post in this series, go here.)
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Tip #4: Your material must be the right width
Many companies manufacture craft vinyl in 9” and 12” widths. That’s what you’ll find on the Silhouette America website and in most craft stores. It’s no coincidence that that’s the sizes the Cameo can cut without the mat. Same for rhinestone template material.
Other materials, such as HTV, will be 15” or 20” wide. Some brands of vinyl come in 15″ or 24″ or wider. This means you might need to cut the material down to use it in your Cameo.
FYI: The HTV that’s sold in sheets of 12″ x 15″ is originally 15″ wide on the roll. It’s cut in 12″ lengths, not the other way around (just in case you ever wondered why those are the dimensions). It’s usually the same with 12″ x 24″ sheets of vinyl.
The big idea here is that you need the material to be 9” or 12” wide to cut without the mat. Why? Because that’s where the rollers are set to grip it. If you have a scrap of vinyl that’s only 6” wide, you’re going to have to use it on a mat. The rollers wouldn’t be able to grip it properly. Remember that it’s those outer rollers that grip the material, not the ones in the middle of the roller bar. Since they are at preset distances, your material width has to match that. We’ll talk in a later tip about how to use the different preset spots.
If you’re a rebel…
That’s the official word — 9″ or 12″ wide exactly. But here’s something I’ve learned through experience. You can actually cut an 8 ½” x 11” sheet without the mat. That’s good news, because many of the adhesive-backed materials are letter-size so they can fit into your home printer. I’ll tell you the ins and outs of this in a later tip, along with info on materials between 9″ and 12″.
In the next post in this series, we’ll talk about watching out for something on your drawing area that could throw you for a loop if you aren’t watching out for it. Stay tuned!
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