Cricut Infusible Ink: Here is What You Need to Know
Cricut is stirring up the crafting community today with their release of a revolutionary new system called CRICUT Infusible Ink. I am super excited to share with you what we know about it so far.
Cricut Infusible Ink
The Cricut Infusible Ink system was designed to give crafters the ability to make professional level heat transfer products that are smooth, don’t crack or peel, and last longer than the material itself.
It will be released exclusively at Michaels for the first few months. You can get it at Michaels online on June 16 and in stores June 21. Starting October 2, 2019 it will be available on the Cricut website and other retailers.
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What is Cricut Infusible Ink?
Cricut Infusible Ink a system that allows you to create projects where the ink design infuses into the materials. It is similar to sublimation in the sense that the design becomes part of the base material. Check out this short introduction video from Cricut to get more of a visual idea:
Isn’t it awesome?! There are so many possibilities!
How Does the Cricut Infusible Ink System Work?
The transfer ink is activated by heat and a chemical reaction permanently infuses it into the material. You can create with the Infusible Ink in a few simple steps:
Choose your materials: Select the Cricut compatible blank that you want to use (shirt, coasters, tote bag etc.) Next select the transfer sheet or transfer pens you want to use.
Create your design: You can either use the Cricut machine to cut a design out of the transfer sheets or have it draw a design with the pens.
Set with heat: Apply the design and add heat with an Easy Press 2 or heat press.
What Do I Need to Create with the Cricut Infusible Ink System?
Materials needed for creating with Cricut Infusible Ink:
Cricut compatible blank (or substrate)
Blue light grip mat (if using Infusible Ink pens)
Green standard grip mat (if using Infusible Ink transfer sheets)
Heat resistant tape and laser paper (if using Infusible Ink pens)
INFUSIBLE INK TRANSFER SHEETS
Infusible Ink transfer sheets will be available in packs of two or four. You should be able to get several projects out of each sheet. Currently there are 19 pattern sets and 7 solids.
INFUSIBLE INK PENS
The Infusible Ink pens come in packs of five. They are available in basics and neons, and in a pen and marker.
INFUSIBLE INK BLANKS (SUBSTRATES)
Currently the blanks include a baby bodysuit, tote bags in two sizes, and two kinds of coasters. They also have shirts in youth, men’s and women’s sizes. New blanks are sure to be released in the future.
Cricut Infusible Ink FAQ
How is this different from HTV or adhesive vinyl? Iron-on and adhesive vinyl are backed with an adhesive that adheres to the top of the material being used. Infusible Inks are actually heat set to infuse into the material itself.
Do I have to use Cricut blanks? They are recommended since they have been designed to work specifically with the transfer sheets and pens. That being said, the longer the system is on the market I am sure that users will test all kinds of different surfaces. I do know that cotton shirts, dark materials and wood DO NOT work.
Since this is basically sublimation simplified, any sublimation blank should work. Cricut, of course, recommends theirs- not only because they are a business, but because they have tested them thoroughly and can say with confidence that they work.
Can the transfers be reused? They are not intended, or even recommended to be, but you can always try it! The second design will not be vibrant like the first, but it may create a worn, distressed look that could be really neat for certain projects.
Can I use a heat press? Yes. The transfers were tested and designed to be used with the Cricut EasyPress 2, but a heat press set at 400 degrees will work as well.
Can I use a regular iron? Possibly. Some irons with a high enough wattage can get up to 400 degrees, but most do not. You would really need to test your own iron, perhaps on the test swatch they put in the transfer package.
If it is something you would want to do regularly, it would be worth it to invest in an EasyPress. If you just want to try it a time or two, I would see how hot your iron gets (the company’s website should have that information) and give it a try.
Can I use the original EasyPress instead of the EasyPress 2? You can, but the results may not always be the same as using the EasyPress 2. The colors may not be as vibrant since the original EasyPress does not go up to 400 degrees.
You can find the exact time and temperature for each EasyPress by going to the Cricut Heat Guide. Just select the Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet or the Infusible Ink Pen/Marker and the blank you are using it on.
Based on experiments from those who got the product before it hit the market, so far it looks like the original Easypress will work well. In the experiments I saw, they look exactly the same using either EasyPress and the fabric swatch that came in the box. Results on the coasters could be different, I'm just not sure yet.
Can I use any Cricut Machine? Yes, and technically, you don’t even need a machine. While the most professional results will be by using the Cricut to cut out a design, you could actually grab some scissors and go to town cutting shapes if you wanted. You can also draw or color your own design with the pens and transfer it.
Do I need to seal the project? No, the ink infuses into the material and becomes part of it, so there is no need to seal it.
Can I use a cotton shirt? No, Cricut tshirts are 95% polyester, 5 % spandex. The ink will not work on cotton. Basically, the ink will wash out of the cotton fibers.
You could do a polyester/cotton blend, but it will lose part of the ink. It would be less vibrant and more distressed looking, so depending on what you are wanting it to look like, that may be an option for you.
Can this be used on dark materials? Nope.
Does this need to be printed like sublimation? No. You do not need any kind of printer to use the system.
Do I mirror the design? Yes. Always mirror the image before cutting or drawing.
Do i need to weed the design? Yes, but not with your weeding tool. Tweezers work better or even you fingers. The material is different than vinyl.
Do I have to use a lint roller? It is highly recommended. If you don’t, tiny fibers may create imperfections when it is transferred. You don’t want to waste time and money that could be prevented.
Do I have to preheat the blank I am using? Yes! Preheating removes moisture. If you don’t preheat, the moisture can turn to steam and interfere with the chemical process needed to make it work.
Can it be layered? Yes, however where the colors overlap they will blend together. Cricut recommends “slice and set” to assemble multiple cuts into one layer. The least number of heat applications is best to keep colors vibrant. It is also recommended you apply the darkest color last and make sure the transfer sheet covers the entire design at all times.
Why do the colors look dull on the transfer sheets? Don’t worry that the colors look dull and not so appealing! Once the heat is applied the colors become super vibrant.
If you want to learn more about Cricut’s Infusible Ink system, sign up for tutorials below:
I am so incredibly excited for this new chapter in Cricut history and I can’t wait to create some awesome things together!
All photos in this post are copyright Cricut.