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What Is Cricut Infusible Ink?

What Is Cricut Infusible Ink?

, by Todd Foster, 5 min reading time

Are you looking for a new hobby and have come across Cricut? Especially over the course of the last two years (due to COVID-19), Cricut’s popularity has exploded. And now there’s a new product that makes Cricut even more appealing to new and experienced crafters alike – the new Cricut infusible ink products. But, what exactly is infusible ink and how does it work?

What Is Cricut Infusible Ink?

Infusible Ink is a Cricut DIY product system that creates an opportunity for crafters to procure professional-level, customized heat transfers on T-shirts, bags, hats, etc. Cricut Infusible ink is a heat transfer system that permanently dyes or infuses your materials, unlike iron-on vinyl or heat transfer vinyl (HTV) which places material on top of the base material.

You'll get results with solid colours, exceptional, seamlessly smooth transfers, and the ink will last the clothing's entire life without peeling, fading, or cracking. What more could crafters ask for? 

Is Cricut Infusible Ink Sublimation?

Cricut’s infusible ink utilizes a chemical sublimation process— converting a substance from the solid to the gaseous state without becoming liquid. Then, it passes through the base material, dries back into a solid, and fuses with the material.

What Materials Do I Need To Start Working With Infusible Ink?

Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet

These transfer sheets look like Cricut vinyl or iron-on. However, you'll notice that the infusible ink transfer sheets feel more like thick paper. The pre-inked sheets come in a roll and are available in various patterns and colours. You can cut designs from infusible ink sheets with your Cricut much as you would with vinyl sheets. Note that the transfer sheet colours appear less vivid than what the final project will appear as.

Cricut Infusible Ink Pens & Markers

Infusible ink pens contain ink that can then be infused onto your desired surface. You can use the pens on your Cricut machine to create designs in Cricut Design Space or even hand draw and write with them. Markers are 1mm thick and create thicker lines whereas the pens are 4mm thick and produce neat, clear thin lines. Just keep in mind that your design will be reversed, so never directly apply your handwriting. Upload your creation to Cricut Design Space and have the Cricut write it mirrored.

Also, you have to use laser copy paper to draw on and then transfer that onto your Cricut blanks. It’s the suggested way from Cricut for the best final products. Never draw directly on your infusible ink transfer sheets as this will only damage your pens and destroy the ink on your transfer sheet.

Infusible Ink Compatible Blanks

One of the methods to utilize your infusible ink projects is to have a compatible infusible ink blank. Cricut only assures the grandness and steadiness of infusible ink on their blanks that have the infusible ink compatibility logo. They are more fail-safe than practicing with unsuitable material.

You can get compatible infusible ink blanks in tote bags, t-shirts, coasters, baby's onesies, and mugs made to handle the material. Likewise, you may find that any other blank that states sublimation-compatible will be okay. Do not use a cotton shirt.

You can also work with a piece of wood, but you won't get the same vibrant results. Rather, the outcome will be a weathered look outcome, which some crafters may be looking for on purpose.

White and light-coloured blanks are the most suitable to use with infusible ink. Because the ink permeates the base material and doesn't sit on top of it, it will just vanish in black and darker fabrics.

Cricut Heat Resistant Tape

This tape is essential for holding your designs in place as you apply heat or else your design will glide. This is vital, mainly if you work with fabrics that will slide around.

Cricut Machines

To use Cricut infusible ink, a Cricut cutting machine is obviously necessary – look at them from Cricut Maker or any of the Cricut Explore family of machines (Explore, Explore Air, Explore Air 2). Remember that Cricut Joy has a smaller maximum cut size; therefore, your drawing must be smaller.

Cricut Easypress or Heat Press

Infusible ink will only transfer at high temperatures. Cricut Easypress has an even heat plate that goes up to 400 degrees, the temperature necessary for most infusible ink projects. These features make it the ideal accessory. An iron will not work for infusible ink as they don’t typically get hot enough and they aren’t big enough to cover an entire design in a single pass.

Other materials

  • Standard LightGrip cutting mat
  • White cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Lint roller

How Does The Cricut Infusible Ink System Work?

The infusible ink transfer is triggered by heat and a chemical reaction indelibly permeates it into the material. This is a fundamental summary of the process of using infusible ink:

  1. Select your infusible ink materials. Choose the Cricut compatible blank you like to use (shirt, coasters, tote bag, etc.) Next, choose which pens/markers or transfer sheets you want to use.
  2. Create your design: You can draw your designs with the Cricut Infusible Ink markers and pens or work with the Cricut machine cut a design out of the transfer sheets. 
  3. Apply the design and add heat with the Cricut Easypress 2 or heat press. Each blank has a different temperature, so please look at the various settings before heating.
  4. Allow to cool, remove design layers.

 

The infusible ink from Cricut is an incredible product and a perfect choice for your DIY projects to leverage your creativity. You can achieve an excellent finish with less effort. However, you have to choose suitable materials and blanks. Likewise, always ensure to complement the best Cricut products to your infusible ink project.

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