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Unraveling the Mystery of Unsticky Transfer Tape

Seasonal Impact on Tape Adhesion

Transfer tape isn’t always as reliable as we’d like it to be. A variety of factors such as the changing seasons, your level of experience with taping, and your application methods can all contribute to this. For instance, during the winter, indoor heaters and drier air can lead to reduced humidity levels, affecting the stickiness of your tape. Don’t worry though, a bit of tweaking can easily fix this.

Perfect Your Taping Method

At Express Sign Products, our advice for sign creators is to first remove the extra material from your graphics. Then, unroll the tape with the adhesive side facing up and position your graphics face down on the tape. Use a squeegee to secure the graphics tightly against the sticky side of the tape. After you’ve done that, peel off the liner paper at a steep angle, keeping the graphic and tape face-up until you’re ready to apply them.

Hidden Influencers on Tape Effectiveness

Seasonal changes and application methods aside, there are other factors that can impact how well your transfer tape performs. Occasionally, the tape may not lift the vinyl because the vinyl adheres too tightly to its silicone liner. This can happen for two reasons: either the vinyl manufacturer is known for their “clingy” release liners (we’re looking at you, Orafol), or the liner paper has poor silicone saturation, making it extra sticky. Contrary to appearances, the transfer tape isn’t the problem here. To ensure your tape isn’t faulty, try it out on different types of vinyl and liner papers.

Our Quality Assurance Process

When we receive returned tape, we perform rigorous tests to identify the issue. Most of the time, the problem lies in one of the previously mentioned factors. It’s exceedingly rare for us to receive tape from a manufacturer that was produced at the end of a batch and has lower adhesive qualities. This is a rare exception rather than the rule, occurring perhaps once or twice in a hundred cases.

Summary: Common Culprits of Adhesion Issues

To sum up, here are the usual suspects when it comes to transfer tape that doesn’t stick well:

  • Seasonal Variations: Low humidity in winter affects stickiness.
  • Application Method: Inexperience or incorrect technique can hamper adhesion.
  • Vinyl Manufacturer: Some brands have more adhesive liner papers.
  • Liner Quality: Sub-par liner paper can mimic tape problems.
  • Defective Tape: Extremely uncommon but possible.


Q: My tape isn’t sticking well in winter, what can I do? A: The dry air in winter can affect tape adhesiveness. Try experimenting with different application methods to improve performance.

Q: How do I know if my transfer tape is faulty? A: To rule out tape as the issue, test it on various types of vinyl and liner papers. If it works fine with other materials, your tape is probably not at fault.

Q: Are some brands of vinyl more difficult to work with than others? A: Yes, some vinyl manufacturers produce liner papers that make the vinyl stick more aggressively, complicating the transfer process.