UV Light Fabric Ink Apparel
First Cut

UV Light Fabric Ink Apparel


Today I’ve got a project that uses smooth heat transfer material, the new UV light-sensitive fabric ink, and the new Silhouette Curio. While the Curio’s primary focus is not for cutting all the same things as its predecessors, the CAMEO and Portrait, it still performs those tasks with the same precision we’ve come to expect and love. This project happened to fit perfectly on the Curio’s basic 8.5” x 6” cutting area. (Note: you can still do this project with a Portrait or CAMEO.)

I have been anxious to try the UV light-sensitive fabric inks since they were announced earlier this year. They did not disappoint! I chose a design that really lets them do their thing.

With a little bit of compound-path magic in Silhouette Studio, I was able to separate the word “COLOR” from the design into an offset and skinny inner letters. I cut the black phrase with smooth black heat transfer material and the thicker letters for “COLOR” from stencil vinyl so I could easily apply UV light-sensitive fabric ink to my shirt.


ready to cut



I ironed down most of the design but saved the inner skinny “COLOR” letters to iron on top of the fabric ink once it was dry.

Heat transfer partial removal

Stencil vinyl with UV fabric ink

This is how it looks without sunshine (and before the final layer of heat transfer is applied on top of the stenciled letters).

UV fabric ink - no sun

Once you step outside into bright sunlight, the UV light-sensitive fabric inks pop out into these vivid colors within seconds! It’s really fun to see.

Most Brilliant Color UV Ink Shirt_detail

This is such a fun project! And in case you are wondering how these UV light-sensitive fabric inks behave on a variety of background colors, I tested that for you. 😉 I think it looks best on white, but it also shows well on medium colors. On black backgrounds you need to apply a layer of white fabric ink first (my black swatch has a row that’s applied on top of white and a row applied directly to the black background).

Comparison for UV fabric inks


Kelly Wayment

Hi! I'm Kelly Wayment and have loved working with Silhouette America on their design team since 2013 and contributing to their YouTube videos since 2017. I live in Utah with my husband and four kids. The Silhouette machine has literally changed the course of my life as it has turned my simple hobbies into ways to push the boundaries with my creativity, along with innumerable opportunities to teach and share that joy with others. You can find my blog at www.findingtimetocreate.com.

Designs Used:

Products Used:


stencil vinyl

9-inch smooth heat transfer

UV Light-Sensitive Fabric Ink


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  1. I am so excited to see you back on the team Kelly! I love how this shirt turned out. The fabric ink looks even brighter than I was expecting. Can’t wait to play with it!

    1. Thanks, Analisa. It’s good to be back. 🙂 I was surprised with how bright the inks can be, too. They are great! I hope you have fun with them.

  2. Kelly, Welcome back! I hadn’t known about the new inks. That is such a cute idea and your shirt is adorable.

  3. Welcome back Kelly! Since I follow your blog I knew you’d be coming back, but what a pleasant surprise to see you this morning! Great way to start my day! YEA! I love this project and thanks for showing the effect on different colored fabrics!

    1. I’m glad you like it, Marilyn! I figured other people would be curious just like me as to what the inks look like on various fabrics, so what’s one more photo? 😉

  4. Love your project! Can you do a future tutorial on the “compound path magic”? I don’t understand when and where to use that function. TIA

    1. I’m glad you asked, Sally! The step-by-step tutorial for that “compound path magic” will go up on my blog on the 21st. It was a little too long to include in this post, but it will be spelled out in detail there. 🙂

  5. WOW! You are amazing! I want to buy and try everything because of your tutorials.

    I hope I get the chance to use this technique with the Eifel tower cutting file, on a t-shirt for my seven year old granddaughter for Christmas.

    Thank you so much for the inspiration.

    1. Thanks for saying so, Jackie. 🙂 I’m glad you like it.

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