Weeding is a phrase we use to describe the action of removing vinyl that is not required. When using vinyl film containing text and/or images that are cut instead of printed, you will have positive and negative spaces on your vinyl sheet. The positive space makes up your text/image and the negative space is what you want to get rid of. Once these negative spaces have been removed, your vinyl is ready to be transferred using application tape.
Some people find the process of weeding to be very therapeutic; but many of us find the task laborious and frustrating. So to make life a bit easier, here are some tips and tricks to make your weeding process a lot more enjoyable!
Weeding sign vinyl can be a lengthy process, especially on large vinyl projects. So maintaining a comfortable position will ensure both your mind and body are less irritated. Minimise the amount of strain on your back and neck by sitting on a high-positioned chair. Always sit up-right without slouching and ensure the table is at an appropriate height.
Light is also an important factor that will contribute to your comfort and efficiency. Cut lines in vinyl can sometimes be hard to see. Rather than bend over repeatedly to get a closer look, invest in a desktop lamp and position it just to the side of your vinyl sheet.
Use the Right Tool for You
Practically everyone has a different preference when it comes to choosing a weeding tool. Some people will use tweezers, whereas others swear by the X-Acto knife. There are many other choices too, including the humble toothpick. Different tools will suit different dexterities and ultimately, it is down to what suits you best. Experiment with a few options and whatever works quickest for you is the best choice.
The Best Place to Start
If your base material (carrier of the vinyl) is non-adhesive then it probably best to start weeding the outside negative vinyl first. This is the surrounding vinyl around your image/text – leaving an outline of your design. You can then work on the inside negative vinyl – things such as the sphere that needs removing from the centre of the letter ‘O’. Oh the other hand, if your base material is sticky, it is best to start from the inside first as the exposed base material will stick to your arms.
Everyone will have their own specific preferences when it comes to weeding, so keep experimenting to find the best solution for you. Some people will hold their weeding tool like a chopstick and scratch at the cut line; whereas others will poke close to the cut line and scoop up like an ice-cream spoon. Some pull the vinyl away from them; others will put it towards them. It all depends on what action suits you best, but always remember to weed in comfort!