Saturday, March 3

Winter CHA '12 Flashback: Silhouette CAMEO

I've known the name Silhouette from the line of die cut machines in the market from years ago.  And for this year's Winter CHA, they featured the Silhouette Cameo.  It is an electronic die cutting tool which you can hook directly to your computer, just like the previous versions.  But this one is a lot better and can do a lot of more fun stuff.  It can cut a variety of media from vinyl, cardstock, heat transfer material, magnet paper and fabric.  I really loved how they set up their booth to showcase their latest products.  You can see how it works from start to finish. 

Their make and take is a very nice fabric sling bag, adorned with images cut on a heat transfer material via the Silhouette Cameo.  The first step is to choose a design that you want on your sling bag. 

After that, the image from the computer is then transfered to the Silhouette Cameo, which is then cut on a heat transfer material.  You also have a choice between a smooth or flocked heat transfer material.  Since the sling bag was grey, I picked "white" and "flocked".  I was impressed on how the smallest details were cut sharply on the material. 

Choosing the design and cutting the image was easy.  However, peeling off the negative of the image took time and patience.  You will really need a sharp pointy tool to be able to do it well, and not ruining the image.  Silhouette came out with a tool for that called the HOOK.  I'm sure anything similar will work just the same.  

There was a long line of people waiting for their images to be transferred on the sling bags.  That was a good chance to see how everything works.  They used a special kind of pressing iron to make the transfer onto the fabric faster.  I asked the lady in charge, and she said that a regular iron is good to use as well.

Once the image is cool, then you can peel the plastic off.  The image stayed on to the fabric during the process.  I was relieved.  I used this sling bag right away, and all through my travels from California back to Michigan. 

The image was intact the entire time.  And when I got home, I washed the sling bag in the washing machine and dryer.  The image is still nice and solid on the fabric after washing.  I guess I can say that the heat transfer material really works good.

From the beginning, I have been leary of die cut machines that you cAN hook to the computer.  Everytime I do a research about those types of machines, there are always complaints from users and how they are not compatible with some operating systems and programs.  I didn't want to deal with that, that's why I'm still stuck with my Cricut Expressions (the original one).  Now that I have seen the Silhouette Cameo, and how it works with a computer, I'm considering on getting one.  Sometime in the future if I get a bigger craft room, I would like to invest on this machine.

'Til next blog!

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