If you are into crafting with cut files, you’ll probably have heard about Cricut Infusible Ink.
In today’s post, we will explain the main characteristics of this system. If you would like to know how does it work and what you can do with it, keep reading!
What is Cricut Infusible Ink?
Infusible Ink is a new heat transfer system that Cricut launched in 2019. It is an alternative to techniques like sublimation or heat transfer vinyl (HTV).
Infusible Ink heat transfers become part of the base material. The results are waterproof, and they will never crack or wrinkle. The design will last as much as the final product does.
Note that we are describing Infusible Ink as a system, and not as a product. Cricut is selling Infusible Ink transfer sheets and pens -we’ll talk about them soon-. These are the products. Infusible Ink is a brand new system that combines engineering and art.
Infusible Ink transfer sheets
These products are similar to traditional HTV sheets. Cricut offers them in different prints and colors. These colors will change their appearance once you apply heat.
The transfer sheets are simple to use. Just follow these three steps:
Create your design in Cricut Design Space and cut it with your cutting machine. You can use any Cricut machine for this, including Cricut Joy.
Peel your design.
Place the sheet over the final product, and apply heat. The transfer sheets pack includes layers of butcher paper. It is good to place them between the product and the press to protect both.
Infusible Ink pens
You can place these pens in the holding tool of your Cricut machine. But you can also use the ones that are called “Freehand Markers” to write or draw by hand. Whatever is best for you will work!
You can draw your design on a regular piece of paper. There is no particular product required for this.
The process is straightforward:
Draw the design on paper.
Place the paper ink side down on the surface you want to infuse.
Add heat-resistant tape to hold the paper.
How is Infusible Ink different from Heat Transfer Vinyl?
The main difference is that, while HTV gets attached on top of the final product, Infusible Ink becomes part of it.
After heating it, the design will never peel or crack. As long as the final product is still one piece, the infused design will remain. Other types of vinyl transfers last long, but they are never 100% permanent.
However, you have to know that you can not apply Infusible Ink on all the surfaces. Cricut has released a line of products compatible with Infusible Ink. You can find them on their website. You can not transfer infusible Ink on wood or glass. For those kinds of projects, HTV is still the best option.
There is something else you must take into account. Unlike it happens with HTV, the colors of Infusible Ink will change after applying heat. This way, you can boost the final aspect of the design. But if you want to know from the start how will your craft look like, HTV is still a more reliable option.
One last consideration. While Infusible Ink is compatible with all the Cricut Easy Press machines, the results vary from one to another. To guarantee the best outcome, Cricut recommends using Cricut Easy Press 2. Take this into account if you usually heat your transfers with a different press or with a domestic iron.
Advice for beginners
Cricut optimized the Infusible Ink materials to use them with the Easy Press 2. You can use any other press that reaches 205 C or 400 F, but the result won’t be the same. Look at the Cricut Heat Transfer Guide before you press.
According to the Cricut official website, the markers will last a minimum of four full 8.5″x 11″ pages of writing or drawing. It is important to note that the pens and markers will dry up if you do not use them.
You can store the heat transfer sheets for one year. They will last in optimal conditions.
You can create a project combining iron-on material and Infusible Ink transfers. If you do it, you must work with layers and transfer the Infusible Ink first. Then place the iron-on on top of it. If you do it the other way round, the Infusible Ink will ruin the other material.
Cricut does not recommend drawing on the Infusible Ink sheets with the pens or the markers. If you want to combine them, you must work with layers. Otherwise, you could ruin both products.
The ink converts into gas during the heat transfer process. This gas could bond with the blank or with the heat press and ruin both. To protect them, always use the butcher paper included on the transfer sheets packs. It would be best if you also used white cardstock to protect the blank. The cardboard has to be white, or the color could dye your blank.
If you are creating your design with the Infusible Ink pens or markers, always use laser copy paper. This paper can stand high temperatures, so it can not burn when you apply heat.
No matter if you cut them or draw them. Always remember to mirror your designs!