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Silhouette Terms that Will Help You Master Your Machine

The first time you heard a crafter using the term “weeding”, did you get confused? I sure did. I thought wait, we’re talking about DIY not gardening! But then I realized it is actually a term used when you’re cutting vinyl decals! So, I thought it might be helpful to put together a simple guide to terminology you should know if you just bought (or are thinking of buying) a Silhouette Cameo.

Silhouette Terms

Silhouette Terms that Will Help You Master Your Machine

SVG File:

SVG means Scalable Vector Graphic. These are graphic files used by several software programs including those used in the Silhouette Studio. One of the benefits of using SVG files for your Silhouette is that you don’t need to trace them before cutting. Pick out your design and click “cut” on the send panel.

JPG and PNG Files:

These are also image files. To use them in Silhouette Studio, you will need to trace them and turn them into SVGs.

Weeding Vinyl

Weeding:

Weeding simply means to remove the excess vinyl from around your design. There are even weeding tools that have sharp points to stab into that negative space and lift it away from your decal. The part that you pull away (weed) is trash so make sure that you trim down your designs as close you can before weeding so you don’t waste too much of that precious vinyl!

Reverse weeding:

This is the opposite of regular weeding. It means to remove the design vinyl (the positive space) and leave behind the part you would normally discard (the negative space). This is done when creating a stencil.

Weeding lines:

These are cut lines that have been placed around a design to make weeding easier.

Transfer Tape

Application Tape:

This tape is placed over weeded vinyl. The cut pieces will stick to it when you remove the backing paper. This helps you hold the whole design together so you can apply it all at once without messing up the layout. It’s often used with lettering, for example.

Squeegee or Scraper:

This is a tool used to place application tape on the weeded vinyl and to apply vinyl to your project surface.

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Cut lines:

These are the lines that outline your shape. They are red or gray and show where the machine is going to make the cuts. Without these cut lines, your Silhouette won’t cut. If you’re using the sketch function, the cut lines show where the sketch pens are going to draw.

Kiss cut:

This is the kind of cut you’d use with adhesive vinyl and other similar lined materials. With a kiss cut, your Silhouette will only cut through the top layer and not the backing material.

Nesting:

This is a tool in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition that will put all selected objects into one area in the best possible arrangement so that the least amount of material is used.

Silhouette Studio Text To Path

Text to path:

The path is the edge of the shape. So, text to path means to place the text along the edge of a shape. For example, you might want to curve the text around a circle.

Silhouette Studio Ready For Welding
Silhouette Studio Welded Word

Welding:

Welding takes two or more overlapping shapes or text characters and joins them into one solid continuous piece. This is absolutely necessary, for example, for words written in cursive.

Silhouette Studio Using The Offset Tool

Offset:

This means to create a border an equal distance around a design. They’re often used to make borders for designs or to thicken fonts.

Shear:

Available in the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition, this allows you to slant a design or text by a specific degree.

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Work Area:

This is your virtual mat area in Silhouette Studio where you can create your designs.

Silhouette Studio Edit Points

Edit points:

These are points in a design that indicate where the design should curve and move to make the shape. If you access the edit points, you can delete or change them to manipulate your design.

Silhouette Studio Show Grid

Reveal Grid:

In the reveal grid function, you are able to show the grid lines in the Silhouette Studio. These lines correspond to grid lines on your cutting mat and helps you line up the placement of your material better.

Ungroup:

Silhouette Studio Weld Function
Silhouette Studio Ungroup

It doesn’t take long to learn the Silhouette lingo. In the meantime, refer back to this guide any time you get confused!

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