Before you start with Infusible Ink Sheets, you need to know the Infusible Ink Basics. Go to my basics tutorial here. I am a beginner with Infusible Ink too. Learn from my mistakes.
Infusible Ink is the same thing as sublimation. This means that the ink on the sheet fuse with the fabric. Unlike HTV that sits on top of the fabric, infusible ink blends with the fabric and becomes part of the fabric. That means it doesn’t peel or come off, like HTV can. This also means that it won’t come off if you make a mistake. So practice on scraps or inexpensive materials first. The download files are here.
The sheets that you can buy are basically ink designs printed on thick sheets then put on a transfer sheet. They are colorful and there are many designs. It cuts well using the Infusible Ink Transfer sheet setting on your Cricut.
The sheets are cut just like vinyl but are weeded very differently. You cannot use your picks when weeding! This is very important. You weed with your fingernails. Using picks will push the ink around your design and under parts so use fingers.
Blanks and Special Equipment for Infusible Ink Sheets
For infusible ink to work on fabric, there must be polyester. The colors are muted and don’t work well on 100% cotton. There are other “man made” fabrics, like nylon and spandex, that infusible ink works on. The more polyester the better. For more on materials, see the basics tutorial here.
You also need a heat source, like an EasyPress, as big as your project. Make your project smaller than the size of your heat press, so you don’t have to move it.
Cutting and Weeding Infusible Ink Sheets Projects
You can cut Infusible Ink Sheets just like vinyl. Anything you can cut from vinyl, you can cut from Infusible Ink sheets. Cricut has a custom setting for Infusible Ink sheets. Remember that any design that has writing MUST be mirrored. Unlike the pens, you can set sheets aside and apply them days later.
Weeding is a bit different. The first project I tried was very complex (not something I recommend for a first project.) and the ink and paper separated.. You can see this in the picture below. But as you can see from the picture of my first project, it didn’t affect the final project. This, as I said was a very complex project, and with the smaller cuts especially, the paper did not come off clean. Don’t worry about it.
To weed, first you need to cut around the project and remove as much as you can of the extra area. Then pull off the outside extra left behind from the border of your project. The paper is very thick and this comes off fairly easily. Then, roll the project between your hands a few times to break most of the connections between the paper.
Next, remove the cuts with your fingers. DO NOT USE PICKS. If the Cricut cut all the way through the backing, this is not a problem and won’t affect the final project. Save the pieces you take out. They can be used but put paper down between heat press and the cutout. See the last picture above. It is the cut out from the t-shirt.
Heat Settings for Infused Ink Sheets
The heat settings vary by the fabric you are using. The settings are available from the same Cricut site that you can use for vinyl. I have this page bookmarked and use it all the time. Mirror anything that has text. always pre warm your blank. It is important that you use a solid table and a heat proof pad to work on. Some ironing boards have too much give in the center and result in uneven heat. Never move your sheet or heat press. This makes the images blurry. See some of my mistakes below:
As I weed the sheet projects I save all my little pieces. I want to put them on shoelaces as confetti. This may not work but once I get a bunch I will try it and post my results. Just what I need, more scraps to save. LOL.
Also after you heat them the paper remains. It may not work, but I want to try to use this material as an embellishment but I am a little nervous about any left over die running. I will let you know how this works out.
I am trying to give you the benefits of my learning curve. Hopefully it will help to even out yours. If you have any questions I will try to answer them. Leave them below or at the Facebook group or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.