If you are running a printing brand you must know about the cricut infusible ink and sublimation ink for customization of different products. But if you are beginner, you definitely have questions what is the difference, pros and cons and how to choose the cricut infusible ink vs sublimation ink.
Some people prefer sublimation printing over Cricut whereas some people like to go the other way around. It all depends upon your needs and personal preferences. You just have to be very much conscious of your own needs so that you can take decisive action while choosing between the two.
In any case, you first have to know the similarities, dissimilarities, pros, and cons of the Cricut infusible ink vs sublimation. There is not much of a difference between the two except for a few technical details that set the two processes apart. So, to discuss all these details. Just make sure that you read through this article till the very end.
What is the Difference – Cricut Infusible Ink Vs. Sublimation
Table of Contents
What Is Sublimation?
Let’s start our discussion with some basic understanding of these two processes. Sublimation is a simple printing process that involves heat transferring a print from a transfer paper onto the material. The material could be a piece of clothing, a mug, a wooden plaque, or even a plastic ornament.
For sublimation printing we need a sublimation printer, sublimation inks, sublimation paper, and a heat press machine for this process. People are performing sublimation printing for a long time. The best thing about sublimation prints is that the inks get completely absorbed into the material and become the permanent part of it. Hence, the sublimation prints are long lasting. It will not take so much expense to start sublimation business. Somehow there are some methods which can be used to remove sublimation ink from shirts.
What Is Infusible Ink? – Cricut Infusible Ink
Before I get into the details about the Cricut infusible ink, let me tell you a little bit about the Cricut cutting machines that are used in this process. Cricut is a well-established brand that manufactures unique cutting machines. These machines can cut customized patterns and designs out of paper, vinyl, balsa wood, fabrics, leather, etc. using specialized blades for each type of material. You can use these cutouts for a variety of DIY projects including card making, plaque decorating, and much more. Moreover, you can also print designs with Cricut machines using infusible inks.
Infusible ink is a simplified version of the sublimation process itself. All you have to do is cut out your chosen material in a pattern you like best for your project. Then get these cut-outs printed using the same machine, but don’t forget to install the infusible inks in the machine cartridges. You may also choose infusible ink markers to make a design by hand. But for that purpose you will have to use infusible ink sheets and then simply heat press these designs onto the final surface.
What Is the Difference Between Sublimation and Infusible Ink?
There are only a few differences between sublimation and infusible ink. Sublimation printing involves the use of a sublimation printer whereas, infusible ink requires the use of a Cricut machine.
In sublimation there is no limitation on designs or sizes. You can print any design you want. Set the size of the prints to the maximum of what your equipment allows.
In infusible ink a set of cutting patterns, print designs, and a color scheme are pre-installed into a Cricut machine by the manufacturers and we have to choose from them. This limits the variety of designs you might want to get printed on your target designs.
In sublimation, we can print any design or color to any material except white color. While color will not print in sublimation.
Infusible inks are only visible on light colored fabrics such as white and pastel colors. You must not use a dark colored t-shirt for this project.
Finished Products Result
The final printing product of both sublimation and infusible ink are not so much different. In both cases the we will get vivid, vibrant, sharp and clear colors.
Is Infusible Ink Sublimation?
Infusible ink is not sublimation however; it is a type of sublimation printing with a few differences between the two. For the infusible ink process, you will have to use a special Cricut machine instead of a sublimation printer that is used for sublimation printing. This Cricut machine comes pre-installed with a number of cutting patterns, designs, and a single colors scheme. You can only do the printing using these limited options available to you.
Tips to Choose Infusible Ink vs Sublimation ink
If we have to make limited designs offered by Cricut machines, then we should go for infusible ink. If we have to perform our own customization, then we will go with sublimation. It’s all depend on our requirements. In any case, keep in mind that infusible ink printing is way simpler than sublimation printing.
Is sublimation and infusible ink the same?
No, sublimation and infusible ink are not the same. These are two separate printing processes that involve the use of different printing machines. Moreover, infusible ink is the type of sublimation printing and has a restricted variety of print options.
Can I use infusible ink pens on sublimation paper?
No, you cannot use infusible ink pens on sublimation paper because of compatibility issues. You can only use sublimation inks on sublimation paper otherwise, the inks will spoil and blotch the paper. On the other hand, infusible inks can only be used on infusible sheets.
Can you use infusible ink on any t-shirt?
No, you cannot use infusible inks on just any t-shirt. In fact, infusible inks will only bind with polyester fabrics. So, you would better choose a t-shirt that has a high polyester count.
After this detail discussion I hope now it has cleared the concept of infusible ink vs sublimation ink. It is safe to conclude that Cricut infusible ink is the branch of sublimation printing. If you want high quality and long lasting design, then go for sublimation. And if you are satisfied with cricut transfer sheet then cricut infusible ink is the best option. As a beginner, you may want to start off with infusible ink due to its simplicity and ease of use. But as you grow more you should shift to sublimation in order to be able to create more professional looking designs.