Cricut, Designs

Cricut Infusible Ink Guide

With Cricut Infusible Ink, anyone can create remarkable and professional-looking projects. It is an ink transfer material that becomes a part of the fibers that are within the material it is being used on. This means that you don’t have to worry about any cracking or peeling; plus the ink won’t wash out so the material can easily be cleaned without any worries.  

In the past, if you have had any issues or problems while working with iron-on vinyl that is constantly peeling off, then you might want to give Cricut Infusible Ink a try. In this helpful guide, you will learn everything that there is regarding Cricut Infusible Ink and the materials that come with it. This great product will surely open a whole new world when it comes to creating beautiful projects. 

Cricut Infusible Ink: What Is It Exactly?

Basically, Cricut Infusible Ink is an ink transfer product. It comes in transfer sheets that consist of a dried ink product. Once heat is applied, then the ink ends up transferring into the base material by becoming one with its fibers, rather than being pasted onto the material. To put it more simply, you will be dyeing your base material instead of pasting something on top of your base material, like you would do with iron-on vinyl.

 

Cricut Infusible Ink Transfers: What Are They?

Cricut Infusible Ink Transfers are patterned and solid sheets of ink. These transfers might look similar to the other vinyl sheets that are found in the Cricut brand; however, they work quite differently. These sheets are a lot thicker as compared to the standard stick-on vinyl or iron-on vinyl. 

The transfers come in:

  • Two packs of sheets for $12.99: Solid 12″ x 12″ sheets.
  • Variety two packs of sheets for $12.99: Patterned 12″ x 12″ sheets.
  • Variety four packs of sheets for $17.99: Patterned 12″ x 12″ sheets.

It should be noted that the colors of the transfer sheets look a lot less vibrant as compared to what you will get in your final project. For instance, the palm leaf pattern or the solid green pattern may appear to have brown-looking transfer sheets. However, after they have been transferred, they will show their vibrant green color similar to how they appear on their box.

Cricut Infusible Ink Pens: What Are They?

These ink pens are filled with ink, which can be used on the surface of your material by getting infused with it. The Cricut Infusible Ink Pens can be used in the auxiliary clamp of the Cricut machine in order to draw pictures in Cricut Design Space. Or, you can also do a freestyle drawing using your hand. 

However, when it comes to handwriting, keep in mind that the design is going to be reversed. Hence, if you use your own handwriting, it is going to show up backwards on the final design. Instead, you can hand-letter your unique design, upload it to Cricut Design Space, and then make your Cricut write it or cut it mirrored.

The Cricut Infusible Ink Pens come in different styles:

  • The classic pens are available in five colors and come with a 0.4 tip.
  • The classic markers are available in five colors and come with a 1.0 tip.
  • The bright pens are available in five colors and come with a 0.4 tip.
  • The bright markers are available in five colors and come with a 1.0 tip. 

What Is The Difference Between Cricut Infusible Ink And Iron-On Vinyl?  

The use of infusible ink gets rid of all of the issues that one might have while using HTV (heat-transfer vinyl), also called iron-on vinyl. Since the ink itself gets infused with the base material, this makes infusible ink quite durable, meaning it will not peel or crack. This is great for users who worry about ruining their projects and take all the necessary precautions when it comes to iron-on vinyl. With infusible ink, you can wash your materials without worrying about any of these issues. 

 

Is A Sublimation Process Used In Cricut Infusible Ink?

A chemical sublimation process is used when it comes to the infusible ink of this brand. In this process, the solid ink that’s present on the transfer sheet will convert into a gas directly, without converting into a liquid first. So, what happens is that the solid ink converts into a gas, then it gets infused with the base material, and finally it dries up by turning solid again and becomes a part of the material itself.  

This is all science, but the whole point is that this process does wonders and it is a fantastic way to achieve permanent and vibrant results. 

 

Is A Sublimation Printer Required?

No, you do not need a sublimation printer. In the past, in order to do sublimation, a special printer that contained sublimation ink was needed in order to make a transfer. However, Cricut came up with a way to skip this step. Instead, they provide transfer sheets and Cricut is able to cut intricate and complex shapes out from the material. This saves a lot of trouble of going out in order to get a separate machine just for sublimation.

 

Which Cricut Machines Are Able To Cut The Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets?

The Cricut machines that are able to cut these transfer sheets are Cricut Explore Air, Cricut Explore Air 2, and the Cricut Maker.

 

Which Cricut Machines Can Make Use Of Cricut’s Infusible Ink Pens?

The Cricut machines that can make use of Cricut’s infusible ink pens in their auxiliary clamp are Cricut Explore Air, Cricut Explore Air 2, and the Cricut Maker.

 

What Type Of Base Materials Can Be Used?

The brand offers a wide range of blanks that are specifically designed when it comes to working with infusible ink. This includes:

  • T-shirts for men, women, and children.
  • Onesies for the babies.
  • Tote bags.
  • Square and round coasters. 

In general, the sublimation process requires a base material that is either polyester or poly-coated. This is a major limitation when it comes to this process; the infusible ink cannot be used on just any base. This process will not work with base materials like cotton, wood, etc. 

There are several other items in the market that come with a poly-coated or polyester base material and you can try using the infusible ink on them in order to test it. However, results aren’t guaranteed on a blank that is not from Cricut.

 

What Color Blanks Are Best To Use?

When it comes to infusible ink, white and other light colored blanks make the best choice. This is because the ink ends up infusing with the base material instead of sitting on top of it. Therefore, it will pretty much disappear when used with black and other darker materials. 

 

What Heating Methods Are Ideal When It Comes To Cricut Infusible Ink?

When it comes to infusible ink projects, the Cricut EasyPress 2 works wonders. This device heats up to almost 400 °F, which makes the temperature perfect for the majority of the infusible ink applications. On the other hand, the original EasyPress’s temperature goes up to about 350 °F and might work for a couple of applications; however, according to Cricut, it might not create as vibrant results. But, the timer present on the EasyPress can be handy. For example, ceramic coasters require a 240-second press, which can be easily achieved by using the EasyPress. Cricut also released an EasyPress Mini that works great with non-flat projects, such as shoes and mugs.

If you want to take a look at the complete list of temperature settings, then check out the interactive Heat Setting Guide of Cricut that’s constantly updated.

 

What Supplies Are Required In Order To Use The Cricut Infusible Ink?

  • The Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore.
  • Infusible Ink pens or the Infusible Ink transfer sheets.
  • A design, which you can get by either using your Cricut to cut your transfer sheets or by using the pens to draw onto a laser copy paper. 
  • A heat source, such as the EasyPress 2.
  • A base material (poly-coated), such as the blanks offered by Cricut. 
  • Additional supplies, such as a lint roller or tweezers, depending on the project.

Cricut Infusible Ink: How Does It Work?

  1. Firstly, an individual has to pick a compatible blank base surface.
  2. In the case of the transfer sheets, Design Space can be used in order to make a design. Then Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker can be used in order to cut the design out.
  3. In the case of the pens, a design can either be drawn by hand or in Design Space.
  4. Then, Cricut’s EasyPress 2 can be used in order to transfer the design onto the base surface. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Infusible Ink

What Is Infusible Ink?  

It is a brand new system through which one can achieve personalized and professional-level heat transfers on items like tote bags, T-shirts, and much more, while staying within the comforts of one’s home. When it comes to HTV or vinyl processes, the artwork is basically attached on top of the base material through an adhesive. However, when it comes to infusible ink, it becomes a part of the material itself. This results in a seamlessly smooth product, that’s not only beautiful and vibrant, but it will also never peel, crack, flake or get wrinkled. There are a variety of infusible ink transfer sheets available in different solid colors plus patterns within the infusible ink system. Also, there are infusible ink pens and markers that can be used to design your very own transfer sheet. There are different compatible infusible ink blanks available, such as coasters, tote bags, and T-shirts.

Infusible Ink: How Does It Work?

  1. Pick the materials you want to use: Choose from the Infusible ink pens or the transfer sheets. Next, pick a Cricut blank that’s compatible.
  2. Create your design: Either cut the transfer sheets or draw by using the infusible ink pens using a laser copy paper.
  3. Apply heat: Transfer and infuse the design with your Cricut blank by using either the Cricut EasyPress, Cricut EasyPress 2, or the heat press. You can look at the Heat Transfer Guide in order to know more about the heat settings.

Note: The graphics that are created using the infusible ink pens and markers will need heat-resistant tape. 

Does A Person Need To Be Experienced In Crafting In Order To Use Infusible Ink?

You don’t have to be a crafting expert in order to use this product. All of the Cricut products can be used by anyone at any crafting level. Make sure that you read the instructions carefully, in order to avoid making any mistakes. You can also read numerous how-to articles and watch videos to get an idea of how it’s done.

What Makes Infusible Ink Different From The Standard Iron-On Vinyl?

In the case of iron-on vinyl or HTVs, the artwork is fixed on the top of the base material through an adhesive. However, in the case of infusible ink, it becomes a part of the material and its fibers. This results in a smooth transfer that looks vibrantly beautiful and will never crack or peel. Moreover, iron-on vinyl can be used on pretty much any surface, while infusible ink products can only be used on compatible infusible ink blanks.

Also, iron-on products can be used on different color garment, both light and dark. While, infusible ink products can only be used with white or other light color fabrics. Infusible ink needs Cricut Easy Press 2 or any heat press that can reach a temperature of 400 °F.

Why Should I Pick Infusible Ink Instead Of Iron-On Vinyl?

Certain projects might require you to use one technique or you might need to use the other one. Or, you could use both techniques in order to create a project that’s truly unique! It all depends on your project and its requirements.

If a project requires a vibrant and sharp design that doesn’t crack or peel, then infusible ink products are more suitable, since transfers are permanent. On the other hand, if a project requires a substrate (base) in dark color or if the base material is 100% cotton or wood, then iron-on or HTV is the better option. Also, a project that requires specialty finishes or effects, like metallic, foil, holographic, glitter, etc., then this can only be found in iron-on and HTV products.

Is Infusible Ink Similar To Printable Iron-On?

There is a difference between infusible ink and printable iron-on products. In the case of a printable iron-on, it’s a heat-transfer film that can be feed through the printer first and then printed out with the print directly on it. Then that print is transferred onto the garment by using heat. This iron-on material will stick on top of the base material though an adhesive, while the infusible ink gets infused into the compatible Cricut blank’s fibers without the need of any adhesive.

Is A Printer Required When It Comes To Making Infusible Ink Projects?

There is no need for a printer since the infusible ink transfer sheets will be pre-inked with their solid colors or the patterns; hence, they will be all ready to cut using the Cricut cutting machine.

Will Infusible Ink Replace HTV Or Iron-On Vinyl? 

Even though this process is unique, it can never replace HTV and iron-on vinyl. Both iron-on vinyl and infusible ink products are wonderful for different reasons. The great thing is that both of them can be used together in order to create unique projects. Some projects will require iron-on or HTV products, while infusible ink will be better suited for other types of projects.

What Are Some Of The Infusible Ink Blanks That Are Compatible? 

Compatible infusible ink blanks are basically base materials, like tote bags, T-shirts, coasters, etc., which are especially designed and tested when it comes to working with all of the Cricut Infusible Ink products. Moreover, the list of the compatible blanks will keep growing in order to include other items, like key chains, notebooks, dog tags, and so on.

Is It Possible To Use Blanks That Don’t Have The Infusible Ink Compatibility Badge?

It is not recommended since you will just end up wasting your money. The Infusible Ink system is designed and tested in order to make sure that a user achieves the best result in their projects. Designs created by using infusible ink products are guaranteed to be permanently transferred on all of the blanks that have the infusible ink compatibility badge. If you use other generic blanks that don’t have the compatibility badge, then the end result of your project won’t be as great.

Can Infusible Ink Designs Be Transferred Onto 100% Cotton Bases? 

No, the infusible ink designs cannot be transferred onto 100% cotton. Only materials that are polyester-based or made with engineered polymer are compatible with the infusible ink’s heat-transfer process. These materials are especially manufactured to receive ink as a long-lasting and permanent bond. Items that have the infusible ink compatibility badge are the ideal items to be used.

Can The Infusible Ink Pens And Markers Be Used To Directly Draw On A Blank?

It is not recommended to directly draw on the blank. In order to get the best results, the infusible pens and markers should be used with the Cricut cutting machine for drawing the design on the laser copy paper first. Then it should be transferred onto a compatible blank by using Cricut’s EasyPress with the suitable heat settings. Also, make sure that you mirror the design before transferring it.

What Is The Difference Between Infusible Ink Pens And Fabric Pens?

The infusible ink pens use a process that’s heat-activated in order to join the specially formulated ink with the compatible blank, so that the transfer is permanent and it won’t crack, bleed, wrinkle, or flake.

What Is The Difference Between Infusible Ink Freehand Markers And The Other Infusible Ink Markers/Pens?

The infusible ink freehand markers can be used by hand, and don’t require a Cricut cutting machine. The dual tip, brush tip, or marker tip of the freehand markers can be used in order to create unique handmade designs. These designs can be made on the regular laser copy paper and then they can be transferred using the same method that’s used with the other infusible ink pens and markers’ designs.

How Should The Infusible Ink Freehand Markers Be Stored?

Single tip markers needs to be stored with the tip downwards, while the dual tipped ones should be stored flat in order to have optimal usage of both tips.

Can The Infusible Ink Freehand Markers Be Used With The Cricut Cutting Machine?

The infusible ink freehand markers CANNOT be used with the Cricut cutting machine, since they are designed to be used by the hand only. The markers’ barrels are designed for maximum comfort when being used by hand and they won’t fit inside the cutting machine.

Can A Heat Press Be Used In Order To Transfer The Infusible Ink Design?

Yes. Devices like the Cricut EasyPress 2 can be used with your infusible ink projects. On the other hand, a heat press whose temperature reaches up to 400 °F (205 °C) can also be used. Plus, the original Cricut EasyPress works as well, but the final result might look different.

Can The Original Cricut EasyPress Be Used In Infusible Ink Projects?

Yes, it can be used; however, with varied results. Infusible ink is compatible with all of the EasyPress models of Cricut. But, the original EasyPress is going to take a longer time and the final result might not come out looking like what you expected. Also, transferred colors might not be as saturated or vibrant, when compared to the results of Cricut EasyPress 2.

Which Cricut Machines Are Compatible With This System?

Infusible ink works with Cricut Joy, Cricut Explore machines, and Cricut Maker machines; including Cricut EasyPress Mini, Cricut EasyPress, and Cricut EasyPress 2.

Is There A Swatch Book Available To See The Colors? 

There is no swatch book at the moment. However, you can take a look at the infusible ink colors plus patterns that are available. Plus, you can find Infusible Ink transfers’ touch samples at the local Michael’s store.

Is Time Needed For The Infusible Ink’s Heat Transfer To Dry? 

You don’t need time for the infusible ink heat transfers to dry. You can easily touch them once you are done transferring and it has cooled down. However, avoid folding your project until it is cool enough to touch. After it has cooled down, you are good to go.

For How Long Do The Infusible Ink Pens Last?

These pens and markers are going to last for a minimum of 4 full pages (8.5” x 11”) of drawing and writing.

Are The Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets Messy To Use Or Wet?

No. The infusible ink pigment comes in a solid state on its sheet. Once the suitable amount of heat gets applied onto the design, the pigment then gets converted into a gas which starts the transfer process. This process is extremely clean and well-contained.

Do The Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets Last For A Long Time?

If you store your sheets as directed, then they are going to last for almost a whole year.

Do The Infusible Ink Pens And Markers End Up Drying If They Aren’t Used?

This is possible. At some point, the pigment can break down and the colors aren’t going to be as vibrant.

Is It Possible To Create An Infusible Ink Design That’s Bigger Than The Cricut EasyPress’s Heat Plate?

This isn’t recommended for the majority of the EasyPress models. Projects that are made using infusible ink should only get a single heat application. When you apply heat in sections, you might get unwanted marks in the final project. Therefore, if you want to achieve great results with your Cricut EasyPress or Cricut EasyPress 2, then make sure that your design is smaller than the heat plate.

When you use the Cricut EasyPress Mini, it’s continuously moving on top of the design when transferring. The design could be twice the size of the heat plate. In this case, it is recommended to make your design 2.75″ in width x 2.75″ in length or 1.625″ in width x 5″ in length.

How Come The Transferred Ink Is More Vibrant On The Final Project As Compared To When It Is On The Transfer Sheet?

This is how it’s done. Once the right temperature is applied, the infusible ink will convert from its solid state to a gas in order to truly bond with the blank. That is why you need your heat setting to be precise for optimal results. You can find the right settings for a project in the Cricut’s EasyPress Heat Transfer Guide.

Is It Possible To Layer More Than One Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet In Order To Make A Design?

Yes, it is possible. However, layering the transfer sheets, like applying one after another, will cause the colors to blend in the places where the sheets overlap. Plus, more than one heat application might result in the fading of your infusible ink design. If you want to use more than one transfer sheet then follow these tips:

  • A technique known as ‘slice and set’ should be used in order to incorporate more than one color or pattern onto the least possible number of liners.
  • Make sure that each sheet’s liner is big enough so that it covers the entire design, which includes previously applied portions. Or else, wherever overlapping occurs, there will be unwanted lines in the final transfer.
  • Use the darkest color or colors in the end.

Is It Possible To Create A Project Where Both Infusible Ink Transfers And Iron-On Materials Can Be Used?

Yes, it is absolutely possible. In fact, using both of these techniques will end up creating a final project that’s like no other! In this case, Cricut iron-on needs to be layered on the top of the transferred infusible ink design. Check out Cricut’s Heat Transfer Guide for the recommended settings.

Note: Do not ever layer your infusible ink design over an iron-on transfer, since the extra heat is going to melt or damage the iron-on transfer. 

Can The Infusible Ink Designs Be Used Again After The First Heat Transfer?

This is not recommended. Once the heat-transfer process has started, the ink from the infusible ink design will be permanently transferred to the blank. It is not recommended to reuse the design for the second time in a second heat transfer.

Is It Possible To Directly Draw On The Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets By Using The Infusible Ink Pens Or Markers?

No, this isn’t recommended. Doing this can remove the pigment from your transfer sheet. Plus, doing this would eventually end up clogging your pen or marker.

Do I Need To Worry About Any Safety Concerns When I Use The Infusible Ink Products?

The transferring process requires a high amount of heat; hence, extreme caution must be used when handling the blanks, transfer sheets, papers, mats, and the Cricut EasyPress machines while making the infusible ink transfers.

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