Last updated on July 8th, 2019 at 09:01 am
Cricut Infusible Ink is an ink transfer material that allows you to create professional level projects. The ink becomes one with fibers of your material, meaning no peeling, no cracking, and it’s washer-proof!
I always love sharing the newest Cricut products here on my blog—I know that most of you are huge Cricut fans! Today I’m sharing everything you need to know about Cricut Infusible Ink. It’s Cricut’s newest product and I think you’re going to love it, particularly if you’ve had trouble in the past with peeling iron on vinyl.
This post is purely informational. Here are actual project tutorials I’ve done with this new product:
- Tote Bag with Cricut Infusible Ink
- Ceramic Coasters with Cricut Infusible Ink
- Troubleshooting Cricut Infusible Ink
What is Cricut Infusible Ink?
Cricut Infusible Ink is basically an ink transfer product. The transfer sheets are made of a dry ink product, and when high heat is applied, the ink is actually transferred into (not onto) the base material. Basically you are dyeing the base material, vs. putting a material on top of the base material (like with iron on vinyl).
What are Cricut Infusible Ink Transfers?
Cricut Infusible Ink Transfers are solid and patterned sheets of solid ink. The transfers look a bit like Cricut’s other sheets of vinyl, but they function very differently as you’ll see in this post. They feel more like thick paper than regular iron on or adhesive vinyl.
The tranfers are available in:
- Solid: 2 pack of 12″ x 12″ sheets for $12.99
- Pattern: variety 2 pack of 12″ x 12″ sheets for $12.99
- Pattern: variety 4 pack of 12″ x 12″ sheets for $17.99
Note that the transfer sheet colors looks much less vibrant than your final project will turn out! In the case of the solid green and palm leaf pattern sheets above, you can see that the transfer sheets look almost brown. But they will be a vibrant green once transferred, like you see on the box.
What are Cricut Infusible Ink Pens?
Cricut Infusible Ink Pens contain ink that can then be infused into your surface. I will have a tutorial coming soon for how to use these next week! You can use the pens in the auxiliary clamp on your Cricut machine and use them draw images in Cricut Design Space, or you can actually draw by hand.
Remember, however, that your design will be reversed. Therefore, you can’t directly use your own handwriting—it will be backward on your final design (unless you are VERY talented and can write in reverse!). You can always hand-letter your design, and then upload to Cricut Design Space and have your Cricut cut or write it mirrored.
The pens come in:
- Classic pens: 5 colors, 0.4 tip
- Classic markers: 5 colors, 1.0 tip
- Bright pens: 5 colors, 0.4 tip
- Bright markers: 5 colors, 1.0 tip
How is Cricut Infusible Ink Different than Iron On Vinyl?
Infusible Ink solves a lot of problems people have with iron on vinyl (also called heat-transfer vinyl or HTV). Because the ink becomes one with the base material, Infusible Ink is durable—it’s peel- and crack-proof! This is huge. I know there are users who have followed all of the “rules” and still struggle with peeling, cracking, or flaking iron on vinyl. Go ahead and wash your Infusible Ink with abandon!
I’m still a huge fan of iron on vinyl, mostly because it comes in a much wider array of colors and patterns, and it can be used on more surfaces than the Infusible Ink, as you’ll see below.
Is Cricut Infusible Ink Sublimation?
From what I understand, Cricut’s Infusible Ink uses a chemical sublimation process—the solid ink on the transfer sheet turns into a gas without going through a liquid stage. Basically the solid ink turns into a gas that then permeates the base material and then dries back into a solid and becomes one with the material.
It’s fancy science—all you need to know is that it WORKS and it’s a great way to get a vibrant, permanent result.
Do I need a Sublimation Printer?
Nope! Before, if you wanted to do sublimation, you needed a special printer with sublimation ink to create a transfer. Cricut has figured out how to bypass this step by offering transfer sheets and taking advantage of the Cricut’s ability to cut intricate shapes out of the material. Yay for not having to buy a whole separate machine to be able to do sublimation!
Which Cricut Machines Cut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets?
The Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore Air, and Cricut Explore Air 2 machines can all cut the Infusible Ink transfer sheets.
Which Cricut Machines Can Use the Cricut Infusible Ink Pens?
The Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore Air, and Cricut Explore Air 2 machines can all use the Infusible Ink pens in the auxiliary clamp.
What Kind of Base Materials Can I Use?
Cricut has launched a line of blanks that are specially designed to work with Infusible Ink.
- Men’s, Women’s and Kids’ T-Shirts
- Baby Onesies
- Tote Bags
- Round and Square Coasters
Generally, all sublimation processes need a polyester or poly-coated base material. This is one of the limitations of this process—you can’t just use Infusible Ink on any base. Try this with a cotton shirt and you will be disappointed. It won’t work on wood or cork or any number of fabrics that you can use iron on vinyl with.
You can try the Infusible Ink with other poly bases (there are tons on the market). If you want to test it, give it a shot and let me know what you find in the comments!
Cricut does say that results are not guaranteed on non-Cricut blanks, so keep that in mind!
What Color Blanks Can I Use?
White and light colored blanks are the best to use with Infusible Ink. Since the ink actually infuses the base material and doesn’t sit on top of it. It will basically disappear in black and darker materials.
What Heating Methods Can I Use for Cricut Infusible Ink?
The Cricut EasyPress 2 is my favorite heat device (see my comparison here), and it’s definitely my pick for Infusible Ink projects. It heats up to 400°, which is the temperature needed for most Infusible Ink applications. The original EasyPress, which goes up to 350°, may work for some applications, but Cricut has said the results might not be as vibrant. The timer is also handy on the EasyPress—the ceramic coasters, for instance, need a 240-second press and that’s easy to do on the EasyPress.
You can also use a traditional heat press. I have also seen people using an oven for projects that are not flat, like mugs. Hoping to have a tutorial for this soon!
You can view all of the temperature settings in Cricut’s updated interactive Heat Settings Guide.
What Supplies Do I Need to Use Cricut Infusible Ink?
- Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker
- Infusible Ink transfer sheets or Infusible Ink pens
- A design—cut the transfer sheets with your Cricut, or draw with the pens onto laser copy paper.
- A heat source, like the EasyPress 2
- A poly-coated base material, like Cricut’s blanks
- Other supplies, like tweezers or a lint roller, based on project
How Does Cricut Infusible Ink Work
This is a VERY basic overview of the process of using Infusible Ink. See my individual tutorials at the beginning of this post for in-depth instructions for different applications.
- Start by choosing your blank base surface (see below for compatible surfaces).
- If you’re using transfer sheets, make your design in Design Space. Then cut it out using your Cricut Explore or Maker.
- If you are using the pens, either use Design Space to draw your design or draw by hand.
- Use the Cricut EasyPress 2 to transfer the design to your base surface.
When does Cricut Infusible Ink go on Sale?
What will you make with this new product?!