Previously I could only use Infusible Ink (sublimation) on high polyester content shirts. Now with this trick I can do it on 100% cotton shirts too! Have you ever priced infusible shirts? They are EXPENSIVE! Now you can take any material, even 100% cotton material and treat it. Then use infusible ink on it. I got t-shirts from Dollar Store and did sublimation on them with this trick!
Previously I showed you how to put infusible ink on hard surfaces with polycrylic. Now I will show you how to do infusible ink on cotton materials. Some of you may recognize the yoda design from the previous infusible ink tutorials. I had an extra and used it on the potholder in the last picture. You can download the file on my download page.
Where to Get Materials to Use Infusible Ink on Anything
Firstly Dollar store is a great place to get t-shirts cheaply. Or Hobby Lobby and JoAnnns always have inexpensive shirts. I got the flour sack towels at Walmart cheap too. And if you don’t have any polycrylic left over from doing glitter ornaments, you can get it at Walmart too. One small can will last you for a really long time, so buy the smallest you can get. A small spray bottle can be found almost anywhere.
Pre-Treating the Fabric You Want to Use Infusible Ink On
First, make sure the surface is clean and dry. Put down butcher paper on the table to protect it. And I will warn you, polycrylic does not smell pleasant but diluted I didn’t even notice it.. Dilute the polycrylic with water. I filled my 8 oz. spray bottle half way with water and filled a clean medicine cup from cough syrup (about 15 ml) and poured it in. Shake well. The solution will be cloudy and lasts a long time. If the material is multilayered (like t-shirts), put a plastic bag or old cutting mat that is worn out between the layers. Spray the solution on them to soak them and let them dry about 24 hours. I used masks that I am not using anymore to trial this on. If you try this, DO NOT USE THEM AS MASKS AFTER THIS!
Heating for Using Infused Ink
I would definitely use a heat press for this. An iron usually doesn’t get hot enough and usually isn’t big enough to cover the whole project.
The heat settings don’t vary by the material you are using but the time does. The temperature is 400 degrees. The time goes up the more heat resistant the material is but 45 seconds worked for most of my projects.
Make sure the table is protected. The infusible ink will bleed onto the table if it isn’t cut to the exact right size. You don’t have to trim it but the parchment paper on the bottom will get covered in ink. So put a heat shield with a sheet of parchment paper down and then the material. Next the infusible ink. Then put another piece of parchment paper on top.
Heat the sandwich for the appropriate time (see above) and then let the material cool. Be careful because the materials are hot (duh).
This method works with infusible markers too. And also with thing printed on a sublimation printer. I printed some of the art on my new sublimation printer, which is the subject of my next post. I will link to it here when it is done.
A note on the potholder. It was rubberized on the back and the rubber did roll a little after heating but flattened out after washing.
I waited a couple days before I did the pressing due to scheduling but they were dry after 24 hours and I washed them in the washing machine and everything was fine after.