You have purchased some HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl) now what? Well first lets decide what side to cut on-Read here for that https://craftcuttersupply.com/blogs/news/how-to-determine-which-side-to-cut-on-htv
Now to cut your HTV. You will need to put the "shiny" carrier sheet face down, and the "dull" vinyl side face up. (This is a cameo 1 machine)
Now look at your screen. The image you are trying to cut out MUST BE REVERSED ON YOUR SCREEN
To do this in Silhouette software (maybe others, I do not know as I do not have them) you can highlight the whole image, then right click on the image-and select "Flip Horizontally". This will flip your image.
Now, go to cut settings. Select your setting you would like to use. I chose Heat Transfer Vinyl. Now *Important* Do a test cut. What a test cut does is cuts a small square with a triangle inside (approx 1/4 inch) in the top left corner. Yes, you can keep moving the test cut over using the arrow buttons that are located next to the test cut button.
Note-For the test cut option to pop up you MUST select an option from "Material Type" I chose Heat Transfer Vinyl Smooth.
Now cut your test cut (click test cut button). Could you weed the square and triangle out easily? If you could not then you probably need to make your blade cut a tad deeper. In my program that means making the thickness number higher. In the newer software for silhouette I believe it is the force number you need to make higher. If you have cut to deep ( into the plastic cover sheet or all the way through) then your blade cut to deep and you will need to lower that number. When done making adjustments use the test cut arrows to move the test cut over and try it again. Keep adjusting from here until you can weed it easily.
Here is a link for the Cricut machine settings https://help.cricut.com/hc/en-us/articles/360009504773-Which-materials-can-I-cut-with-my-Cricut-Explore-and-Maker-machine-#explore you will need to select Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker. It will then show you the material names and cut pressure. If your material is not cutting deep enough on a setting you chose, then you need to try a different material choice that has a higher cut pressure number. If it is cutting to deep on the setting you chose, then you need to choose a material with a lower cut pressure number.
**There are over 15 different home cutting machines on the market and we do not own them all. This is how to get your cut settings dialed in for your machine. Even if we have the same exact machine, the cut settings may not be the same. This is also the reason we do not have recommended cut settings for all materials. The only ones we have listed are the ones that the manufacturer gives you a starting point. The process of finding your cut settings on your particular machine is a crucial part of being able to use your machine efficiently.**
Now, a cool feature here is if you write down your settings when you get a good cut (say blade 2, speed 8, thickness 6) you can save it! Yes, I do write it on a piece of paper because it does not get saved.
Click on the + button. It will pop up a new material. You can name the material whatever you want, put in your cut settings that you wrote down and hit enter.
We highly suggest test cutting every time you cut a piece of vinyl. One reason for this is that every piece of vinyl you use may not be the exact same thickness (even though it is the same color). When it is made at the factory machine parts can loosen over time and can result in very small differences in the vinyl thickness and can cause some headaches for the end user. Save yourself the headache and do the small test cut. (Picture of vinyl being made)
Other reasons it may not be cutting correctly:
The cutting strip under the blade is worn. (Has cut marks in it)
The mat has been well used, has lots of cuts and grooves in it, and does not have a completely flat surface
Wrong side of vinyl facing up.
Check to make sure your blade is pushed into the holder all the way.
Check to make sure there is nothing stuck in the blade (unscrew it as vinyl pieces can get stuck in there)
How old is your blade? Do you need a new one?
If you have an auto blade, make sure the blade itself is clicking to the setting on your screen (sometimes it will be at 10, and your screen shows something different). This has been known to cause you to cut all the way through the vinyl (and maybe even your cutting strip)
Make sure on your screen it says mat or no mat. Then make sure that is the same thing your machine says (yes, it will make a difference)