What is Infusible Ink?
Infusible Ink is a system of Cricut DIY products that make it possible to achieve pro-level, personalized heat transfers on T-shirts and more at home for the first time. Unlike the vinyl or HTV process, where artwork is attached on top of a base material using adhesive, an Infusible Ink transfer becomes one with the material itself. The results are bright, beautiful, seamlessly smooth transfers that never flake, peel, wrinkle, or crack. The Infusible Ink system includes Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets in a variety of solid colors and patterns and Infusible Ink Pens & Markers to design your own transfer sheet. A growing list of compatible Infusible Ink blanks includes T-shirts, tote bags, coasters, and mugs.
How does Infusible Ink work?
Choose your materials. Select Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets or Infusible Ink Pens & Markers and a compatible Cricut blank.
- Make your design. Cut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets or draw with Infusible Ink Pens & Markers using laser copy paper.*
- Apply heat. Infuse your design into your Cricut blank with Cricut Autopress, Cricut EasyPress 3, Cricut EasyPress 2, Cricut EasyPress, Cricut EasyPress Mini, Cricut Hat Press, and Cricut Mug Press, or other heat press. Refer to our online Cricut Heat Guide or Cricut Heat App (for Cricut EasyPress 3 and Cricut Hat Press) for recommended settings.
*Graphics created with Infusible Ink Pens & Markers also require heat-resistant tape and butcher paper.
Do I have to be an experienced crafter to use Infusible Ink?
Not at all – you can absolutely do this! In fact, all Cricut products are designed to be used by crafters at any skill level. To get your best results and avoid mistakes, just be sure to read the instructions, browse our how-to articles, or watch our amazing library of videos to make sure you have all the necessary materials and to get a feel for what it will take to complete a project.
How is Infusible Ink different from heat-transfer vinyl or iron-on?
Unlike the iron-on or HTV process, where artwork is attached on top of a base material using adhesive, an Infusible Ink transfer becomes one with the material itself. The results are bright, beautiful, seamlessly smooth transfers that never flake, peel, wrinkle, or crack.
Some other differences include:
- Iron-on or HTV materials can be applied to almost any surface
- Infusible Ink products must be applied to a compatible Infusible Ink blank
- You can use iron-on or HTV products on any color garment
- Infusible Ink products work with compatible* white or light-colored fabrics
- Infusible Ink requires Cricut Autopress, Cricut EasyPress 3, Cricut EasyPress 2**, Cricut EasyPress Mini, Cricut Hat Press, Cricut Mug Press, or other heat press that reaches 400°F (205°C).
*Look for Cricut blanks with the Infusible Ink compatibility badge.
**The original Cricut EasyPress can be used, but it will achieve varied results.
Why would I choose Infusible Ink over iron-on (HTV)?
Some projects may call for one technique over another, and sometimes you may wish to use both for an extraordinary project! Here are a few things to consider:
- If you like sharp, vivid, and vibrant designs that never crack, peel, or flake, Infusible Ink products are your go-to. Transfers truly are permanent.
- If your project vision requires a dark-colored base (substrate) or if you want to use a specific base material like wood or 100% cotton, use iron-on (HTV).
- If your project requires a specialty finish or effect, you’ll find those only with iron-on (HTV) products, e.g., glitter, holographic, metallic/foil.
Is Infusible Ink like printable iron-on?
No. Unlike Infusible Ink, printable iron-on is a printable heat-transfer film that you can feed through a printer and print on directly, then transfer to your garment using heat. The iron-on material sits on top of your base material using an adhesive, whereas Infusible Ink infuses into the fibers of compatible Cricut blanks without any adhesive.
Do I need a printer to make Infusible Ink projects?
No. Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets are pre-inked with solid colors or patterns and ready to cut using your Cricut cutting machine.
Does this replace iron-on (HTV)?
Never! Iron-on (HTV) will always hold a very special place in our most creative hearts – we simply can’t imagine creating without them. You’ll come to learn that Cricut iron-on (HTV) and Infusible Ink products are both great for different reasons. Even better, they can also be used in combination to create extraordinary projects. Also, if your project requires certain effects and finishes such as glitter, holographic, or metallic, you’ll find those exclusive to iron-on/heat-transfer vinyl products. In short, for certain projects, iron-on (HTV) will always be your go-to.
What are Infusible Ink compatible blanks?
Infusible Ink compatible blanks are base materials – or substrates – such as T-shirts, tote bags, coasters, and mugs that are specially engineered and thoroughly tested to work with all Cricut Infusible Ink products. Generic products labeled as sublimation-compatible will likely work with Infusible Ink, but we cannot guarantee quality results with non-Cricut blanks.
Can I use blanks without the Infusible Ink compatibility badge?
We do not recommend it – we’d feel terrible if you wasted good money trying products that were not designed to work together. We designed the Infusible Ink system – and rigorously tested it – to ensure that you get the very best results for every project. Infusible Ink designs are guaranteed to create permanent transfers on all blanks bearing the Infusible Ink compatibility badge. Generic products labeled as sublimation-compatible will likely work with Infusible Ink, but we cannot guarantee quality results with non-Cricut blanks.
Can I transfer Infusible Ink designs to 100% cotton bases?
No, Infusible Ink designs will not transfer to 100% cotton. The Infusible Ink heat-transfer process requires specially engineered polymer or polyester-based substrates, materials that have been manufactured to receive the ink as a permanent bond. As we grow our list of compatible Infusible Ink blanks, they will come in a variety of fiber and material compositions. So long as you see the Infusible Ink compatibility badge on the packaging, you’ll be good to go!
Can I use Infusible Ink Pens/Markers to draw directly on my blank?
No, we do not recommend drawing directly onto your blank. For best results, use Infusible Ink Pens/Markers with your Cricut smart cutting machine to draw your design (remember to Mirror your design!) on laser copy paper first, then transfer to a compatible Cricut blank using the recommended settings in the Cricut Heat Guide or Cricut Heat app (for Cricut EasyPress 3 and Cricut Hat Press).
How are Infusible Ink Pens/Markers different from fabric pens?
Infusible Ink Pens/Markers use a heat-activated process to bind the specially formulated ink with compatible Infusible Ink blanks for permanent transfers that will not wrinkle, crack, flake, or bleed.
How are Infusible Ink Freehand Markers different from other Infusible Ink Pens/Markers?
The only difference is the Infusible Ink Freehand markers are created to be used by hand only; they are not used in a Cricut smart cutting machine. Use the Marker Tip, Brush Tip, or Dual Tip Freehand Markers to create your unique designs by hand on regular laser copy paper, then transfer exactly the same way you would with other Infusible Ink Pen/Marker designs.
How should I store my Infusible Ink Freehand Markers?
Markers with a single tip should be stored with the tip down. For the dual tipped marker, store the marker flat to allow optimal use of both tips.
Can I use Infusible Ink Freehand Markers with my Cricut cutting machine?
No. The markers are intended for use by hand only. The barrels are designed for comfort when using by hand and will not fit into the cutting machine.
Can I use a heat press to transfer my Infusible Ink design?
Yes. Infusible Ink projects are optimized for use with Cricut Autopress, Cricut EasyPress 3, Cricut EasyPress 2, Cricut EasyPress Mini, Cricut Hat Press, and Cricut Mug Press. However, you can also use a press that reaches 400°F or 205°C. The original Cricut EasyPress can be used, but as noted below, it will achieve varied results.
Can I use my original Cricut EasyPress for Infusible Ink projects?
Yes, but with varied results. All Cricut EasyPress models are compatible with Infusible Ink. However, the original Cricut EasyPress will take longer and may not achieve the same results. Furthermore, transferred colors may not be as vibrant or saturated as the results you'll enjoy with Cricut EasyPress 2 and Cricut EasyPress 3.
Which Cricut machines work with this system?
Infusible Ink is compatible with Cricut Joy, and all Cricut Maker and Cricut Explore machines, as well as Cricut Autopress, Cricut EasyPress 3, Cricut EasyPress 2, Cricut EasyPress, Cricut EasyPress Mini, Cricut Hat Press, and Cricut Mug Press.
Can I buy a swatch book to see what the colors will look like?
Currently, no swatch book is available. However, you can view our growing list of Infusible Ink colors and patterns here. You can see and touch samples of Infusible Ink transfers at your local Michaels store.
Do Infusible Ink heat transfers need time to dry?
No. Infusible Ink heat transfers are dry to the touch immediately following a transfer. However, to avoid additional transfer or ghosting, do not fold your soft good projects until cool to the touch. Once your project is cool, it is ready to go.
How long do Infusible Ink Pens/Markers last?
Infusible Ink Pens/Markers will last a minimum of four full 8.5 in x 11 in pages of writing or drawing.
Are Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets wet? Is the ink messy to use?
No. Infusible Ink pigment is in a solid state on the sheet. When the correct amount of heat is applied to your design, the pigment converts into a gas to begin the transfer process. The process is very clean and contained.
Do Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets expire?
When stored as directed, Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets are designed to last at least a year.
Will Infusible Ink Pens/Markers dry up if not used?
This may happen. At a certain point, pigment will start to break down and colors may not be as vibrant.
Can I make an Infusible Ink design that is larger than my heat plate?
This is not recommended for most Cricut heat press models. Infusible Ink projects should receive a single application of heat. Applying heat in sections may result in unwanted marks in your finished project. For best results with Cricut Autopress, Cricut EasyPress 3, Cricut EasyPress 2, Cricut Hat Press, and Cricut Mug Press, we recommend keeping your Infusible Ink design smaller than your heat plate.
When using Cricut EasyPress Mini, which is moved continuously over the design during transfer, your design may be approximately 2X the size of the heat plate. We recommend 2.75 in W x 2.75 in L or 1.625 in W x 5 in L.
Why are transferred inks more vibrant on my final project than they were on the Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet before I applied heat?
It’s all part of the magic! When transferred at the right temperature for the required amount of time, your Infusible Ink will transform from a solid state to a gaseous state and bond with your project blank. For precise settings for your project, always use the Cricut Heat Guide or Cricut Heat app (for Cricut EasyPress 3 and Cricut Hat Press).
Can I layer multiple Infusible Ink transfer sheets to create a design?
Yes. However, if you layer transfer sheets (apply one after another) the colors will blend where the sheets overlap, and multiple application of high heat may cause Infusible Ink designs to fade.
To ensure the best layering experience, follow our pro tips:
- Use a technique called “slice and set” to incorporate multiple colors and patterns onto the fewest possible number of liners.
- Ensure that the liner of each sheet is large enough to cover the entire design, including previously applied portions. Otherwise, where overlaps occur, unwanted lines will appear in the final transfer.
- Apply the darkest color(s) last.
Can I create a project that uses both iron-on material and Infusible Ink transfers?
Yes! And what a brilliant idea because using these materials in combination results in extraordinary projects. Cricut iron-on (HTV) should be layered on top of a transferred Infusible Ink design. For recommended settings, use the Cricut Heat Guide or Cricut Heat app (for Cricut EasyPress 3 and Cricut Hat Press).
Note: Never layer an Infusible Ink design on top of an iron-on transfer; the additional heat will likely damage or melt the iron-on transfer.
Can I reuse my Infusible Ink designs after my first heat transfer?
No. As soon you begin the heat-transfer process, the ink of your Infusible Ink design will permanently transfer to your blank. We do not recommend reusing your design for a second heat transfer.
Can I draw directly on Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets with Infusible Ink Pens & Markers?
No, we don’t recommend it. Doing so could remove pigment from the transfer sheet and eventually clog the pen or marker.
Are there any safety concerns I should be aware of before using Infusible Ink products?
Infusible Ink transfers require very high heat. Use extreme caution when handling blanks, papers, transfer sheets, mats, and Cricut heat press machines when completing Infusible Ink transfers. Visit this article for additional safety information.