If you’re an avid Cricut crafter, you probably know about the Infusible Ink system by now.
Whether you’ve already created tons of Infusible Ink projects or still thinking about getting them, you must admit they’re a major game changer for making your projects have better quality.
But as many as there are Infusible Ink compatible blanks, a creative mind can occasionally find inspiration from other shirts and materials.
So you sometimes wonder: Can you use Cricut Infusible Ink on any shirt? And what other surfaces are they applicable to?
Since the high-quality results of an Infusible Ink print are comparable to professionally-made products, crafters like you may have the chance to turn your hobby into a business opportunity.
So if you want to find out what other substrates you can get creative with Infusible Ink, read more below.
What is Infusible Ink?
Infusible Ink is a heat transfer system that was created by Cricut.
Crafters rave about them as they allow you to create prints that look similar to sublimation products, as their ink absorbs into the material. This results in smooth and vivid transfers that don’t peel, crack or fade over time.
The Infusible Ink system includes pre-printed transfer sheets, pens, and markers compatible with your Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, and Cricut Joy machines.
The inks will transfer best on Infusible Ink compatible blanks, but several crafters somehow found ways to make them work on different types of surfaces.
Can you use Infusible Ink on wood?
It’s a shame that wood isn’t included in any of the Infusible Ink-compatible blanks, as you could personalize several projects, including picture frames, ornaments, and signs.
But because of its naturally porous surface, crafters find that Infusible Ink can transfer well on it as long as it’s untreated.
To create an Infusible Ink print on wood, you’ll need to print or cut your design on a Cricut machine and weed out the excess transfer sheet.
Once you have a neat outline of your design, place it on top of your wooden substrate and layer a sheet of butcher paper.
Press your design at 400°F (204°C) for 75 seconds, then remove the butcher paper and transfer sheet.
An important step to make your project last longer is to apply 1-2 coats of glaze or finish, like Mod Podge. This will prevent other inks or stains from absorbing into the wood, so it stays pristine.
Can you use Infusible Ink on plastic?
Printing on plastic surfaces is tricky since they tend to melt under high heat.
But a type of plastic that can withstand a heat press is acrylic.
Since it contains polymer, Infusible Ink can effectively transfer onto them, so you can play around with acrylic sheets and turn them into keychains, earrings, ornaments, or nameplates.
So if you want to try to make your own acrylic project, you’ll need to print your design on a pre-printed Infusible Ink transfer sheet.
Trim out the excess sheet until you’re left with the outline of your design, and line it up with your acrylic blank.
To make sure your transfer paper won’t move around when heat pressing, you can stick heat-resistant tape around its edges to keep it in place.
Then, press your design at 400°F (204°C) for 30 seconds. Let your project cool down for a few seconds before peeling off the transfer sheet, and you get a vivid print that won’t fade out.
Can you use Infusible Ink on canvas?
Cricut has an Infusible Ink-compatible canvas bag blank, so you can successfully print on a painter’s canvas as they’re basically made from the same type of fabric.
But if you’re using a stretched canvas as your medium, you need to remove the canvas from its wooden frame so you’ll have an even solid surface to print on.
But if you don’t want to disassemble your canvas, you can insert pieces of cardboard or a folded towel at the back of your canvas to fill in the hollow space.
Once you print out your design and lay it on your canvas, heat press it at 385°F (196°C) for 40 seconds.
But if you want to take it one step further, canvas shoes are also Infusible Ink-compatible, so you can also deck out your pumps to fit your style.
What fabric can you use Infusible Ink on?
Infusible Ink may work on several materials, but there’s a limit to what kinds of fabrics it can infuse into due to their absorbency.
So here are a few textile examples that will and won’t work with Infusible Ink:
Can you use Infusible Ink on polyester?
Infusible Ink works best on polyester fabrics since its fibers open when you expose it to heat. So they’re perfect mediums to allow the Infusible Ink to absorb into the material.
Suppose you’re looking for shirts that will work well with Infusible Ink. In that case, Cricut has a selection of crewneck, V-neck, and raglan sleeve Infusible Ink-compatible shirt blanks available in various sizes.
But to get a vivid print, the shirt you’ll use doesn’t necessarily need to be 100% polyester.
For instance, Cricut’s t-shirt blanks are a blend of 95% polyester and 5% spandex, but they come out with a perfect print even when you’re using black ink.
Can you use Infusible Ink on cotton?
You can use Infusible Ink on 100% cotton fabrics, but it’s not advisable as the colors will look dull, and the lines won’t be as crisp compared to applying it on a polyester shirt.
But if you really want to use cotton fabric for your project, a workaround is to apply a layer of glitter heat transfer vinyl (HTV) under your Infusible Ink transfer sheet.
Since glitter HTV contains polyester, you can use it as a base to make your Infusible Ink design stick.
Another great thing about glitter HTV is that their glitter comes through the Infusible Ink, so it will add more dimension to your prints.
Can you use Infusible Ink on 50 cotton 50 polyester?
A 50/50 cotton and polyester blend may seem like a good idea in theory, but if you actually transfer an Infusible Ink design on it, the colors will look faded.
As mentioned above, Infusible Ink doesn’t transfer well on cotton fabrics, so using a shirt that contains 50% cotton will cancel out the ability of the polyester fibers to infuse the ink properly.
So if you want to use a polyester blend for your Infusible Ink projects, the trick is to use shirts with a higher polyester count. So a 70/30 polyester and cotton blend will have better results than a 50/50 blend would.
It won’t matter what fibers it’s blended with, as long as it contains more polyester.
What shirts can you use Infusible Ink on?
Now that you know what fabrics Infusible Ink will work best in, let’s discuss what types of shirts it’s compatible with.
So can you use Infusible Ink on any shirt?
Can you use Infusible Ink on Gildan shirts?
If you feel like using Cricut-compatible shirt blanks won’t be sustainable for a shirt printing business, switching to a more affordable brand like Gildan may be the better choice.
Gildan is popular for making high-quality, comfortable shirts that work perfectly with any printing method. So there’s no doubt it will also give you great Infusible Ink prints.
You just need to make sure you’ll use their 100% polyester or poly blend shirts to ensure you’ll get high-quality results.
Hanes and Fruit of the Loom are also great brands for shirt printing, so experiment with which polyester shirts will work best for your designs.
Can you use Infusible Ink on a black shirt?
If you have a few design ideas that would look great on a black shirt, you might need to save them for a different printing method since Infusible Ink won’t show up on black fabrics.
This means you’ll need to stick to light and pastel-colored shirts if you want to print with Infusible Ink.
But if you have a design idea that’s too good to pass up, a trick to making Infusible Inks transfer is to use the glitter HTV method, where you’ll need to press a glitter HTV first before applying your transfer sheet.
Do note that the glitter will show up on top of the Infusible Ink, so plan your designs wisely so they’ll look good with your print.
The bottom line
Cricut Infusible Ink is a revolutionary system for crafting as it allows you to create high-quality projects even when you don’t have professional equipment.
Although it’s best to use them on Infusible Ink-compatible blanks, crafters may find this method limiting and extend to using other materials like wood, acrylic, and canvas.
Some surfaces and fabrics may require you to add extra steps to make the Infusible Ink transfer well, but it’s a small price to pay for allowing your creativity to thrive.
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