What Tools Do I Need for Cricut Infusible Ink?
Thinking about jumping on the Infusible Ink bandwagon? Well, you should! Cricut’s Infusible Ink products allow you to achieve professional-looking sublimation heat transfers using home equipment.
Sublimation pigment is a special kind of dye that changes from a solid to a gas at high temperatures, easily bonding to polyester fabrics in the process. Unlike iron-on heat-transfer vinyl that adheres to your project's surface, Cricut Infusible Ink results in full-color transfers without edges or seams on your t-shirt, tote bag and other fabric projects. The colors become part of the fabric and will not crack, peel or wash off. Plus, Cricut’s Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets come in a variety of yummy colors and fun patterns!
Can you believe you can get these kinds of results at home? You can! But you do need the right tools. Check out these 5 must-have tools for Infusible ink success.
5 Tools for Working with Cricut Infusible Ink
1. EASYPRESS 2
A heat press is a must for Infusible Ink. The ink requires consistent and high temperatures to bond with your substrate. Your household iron, even if it can hit the temperature mark, is plagued by those pesky holes on the bottom base plate that will interfere with heat application. Cricut EasyPress is smooth and flat on the bottom – and it delivers the consistent, high temperature required.
Applying heat for Infusible Ink is typically different than for iron-on heat transfer vinyl. With iron-on, you often move the heat source from place to place over your fabric as well as apply heat in the same place more than one time. For example, when I’m applying an iron-on design consisting of many pieces, I will adhere one part of the design and then cover it with parchment paper while I apply heat to adhere an adjacent part of the design. Or I iron repeatedly in the same place while I layer iron-on on top of one another.
In contrast, you usually do not want to move your heat source over an Infusible Ink transfer except to lift it carefully on and off the design. Instead, you take great pains to ensure that your stack of paper, ink and fabric do not move at all during the transfer process. In addition, Cricut strongly advises against applying additional heat over an already transferred design. Infusible ink designs of multiple parts and colors need to be transferred all at the same time, with a single application of heat. As a result, you’ll want to purchase an EasyPress 2 in a size that will be larger than any designs you expect to transfer.
Use an EasyPress Mat beneath your materials during the heat transfer process to help eliminate moisture and to direct heat to your Infusible Ink design. Moisture is your enemy during Infusible Ink heat transfer! Water released from your materials can be turned to steam by the heat and steam may carry the Infusible Ink pigment to unwanted locations on your project.
A special inner liner on the EasyPress Mat wicks moisture to deliver clean, dry heat. The durable cover provides thermal conductivity and even heat distribution. The foil membrane reflects heat to your project and prevents moisture vapor transfer, while the silicone foam provides insulation and shields your surface from damaging heat.
3. LINT ROLLER
Before applying your design to your fabric, Cricut suggests you use an ordinary lint roller to remove any fibers that might be present. Even of you can’t see anything, run a clean lint roller over your fabric to keep fibers or other debris from creating unwanted speckles on your project.
I find weeding Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets to be far different than weeding vinyl or iron-on. Vinyl material is quite thin; I can usually snag a piece of vinyl with my weeder tool quite easily and pull the excess vinyl right up. In contrast, the Infusible sheets handle like heavy paper attached to a plastic carrier sheet. Cricut recommends gently rolling the cut design so cut lines separate and are easier to see. Then use the handy tools in this Cricut Tool Kit to remove the excess material from around your design, leaving the design on the clear liner. Also, the tweezers are perfect for lifting the Infusible Ink paper remnants off your project after the heat transfer is complete without accidentally creating a second unwanted transfer.
Okay, so this last one is not strictly a tool, but it is super useful for securing your Infusible Ink design to your base - especially if there’s not enough sticky transfer sheet liner exposed to hold your design in place. (And we’ve already talked about how we don’t want that design to move during the heat transfer process!) This tape is heat resistant up to 400 degrees F and totally compatible with Cricut EasyPress 2. Just apply a bit at each corner of your design before transfer to ensure it stays put. Optional for fabric projects, but an absolute necessity for Infusible Ink transfers on coasters and mugs.
Project Inspiration for Infusible Ink
Got your tools all assembled and ready to make some fabulous Cricut Infusible Ink projects? Check out these 10 Infusible Ink project tutorials for inspiration! And please share your infusible ink projects with our crafting community in our MADE BY GALLERY. 'Cause we love to see what you make!
1. KIDS T-SHIRT
4. CAN KOOZIES
5. MAKE UP BAG
6. MOUSE PADS
7. TOTE BAG
8. TEEN T-SHIRT
10. WINE BAG