Sublimation Printing Vs Cricut Infusible Ink Sheets
A Cricut cutter is an essential part of every enthusiast’s crafting journey. Many of the crafters often ask the question Cricut released its infusible ink sheets and can those sheets be utilized for sublimation? Or what is the difference and similarities between sublimation vs Cricut and can Cricut really do sublimation? So you’re here to know the difference between Cricut infusible ink sheets and sublimation printing. Let me tell you the fundamental differences below.
Main Difference Between Cricut Infusible Ink Sheets And Sublimation
The core difference between sublimation and Cricut is Sublimation printing can print versatile designs including photos and almost every design that you prepare using graphics software. Also sublimation paper is self-weeded you only need to print the designs via a sublimation printer and then transfer it immediately.
In contrast, Cricut infusible ink sheets come with pre-printed patterns; they are available in a limited number out there so you cannot make customized designs and photos with them. But you can make a variety of patterns out of Cricut infusible ink sheets.
Additionally, the Cricut infusible ink sheets can be cut with a Cricut cutter later on the cut sheet is weeded away to make the design visible. You will get an adhesive backing that will be used to adhere to the top of the substrate and later on, it is heat transferred using a heat press or Cricut Easypress.
Lastly, the Cricut cutter itself doesn’t have a printing feature so you cannot print custom designs. Further, Both transfer methods perform the same as both are infused into the substrates.
Similarities Between Sublimation Printing And Cricut Infusible Ink Sheets
- Sublimation printing and Infusible ink sheets both infuse ink into the substrate and become part of it. Your fingers won’t feel a layer over the top.
- Unlike HTV Both methods are durable and not prone to peeling off or cracking. You can check how to make remove sublimation ink.
- Must be applied to the light color of garments and light color substrates.
- Both require a poly-coating surface to hold to the ink.
- For sublimation printing t-shirts, polyester fabric material is essential for both.
- Both methods utilize a heat press machine to transfer the designs.
How Does Sublimation Printing Work?
- A custom image is designed via free or paid sublimation designing software.
- That image is printed via a sublimation printer filled with sublimation ink on specially coated sublimation paper.
- The printed image is transferred via a heat press at the temperature of 385F to 400F for 40 seconds.
How Do Cricut Infusible Ink Sheets Work
- Pre-printed Cricut infusible ink sheets are purchased.
- Design generally texts and simple designs are made by Cricut design space software.
- The Cricut infusible ink sheet is loaded in the Cricut cutter to cut the design.
- After cutting, the excessive sides are weeded away to make the adhesive backing and design visible.
- After that, the design is transferred using a heat press at the same temperature as the sublimation is done.
Detailed Differences Between Sublimation Printing And Cricut
Whether crafting is your personal hobby or you want to start a small business, it is always essential to clear your doubts and confusion in detail. You’ll be able to choose the right method according to your needs. So the below guide is helpful for you to explore more about sublimation printing and Cricut.
Use of Equipment
Sublimation printing utilizes more types of equipment than Cricut’s infusible transfer method. It requires the below pieces of equipment:
- A sublimation printer
- A Bundle of sublimation papers
- A set of sublimation inks
- A heat press
- Butcher papers
- Heat-resistant gloves and tapes
- Lint roller for removing fibers from the shirts
- A Cricut cutter (optional for small substrates and dark color garments)
Sublimation printing requires these dedicated pieces of equipment. You can start the business with minimal-price printers like Epson sublimation printers. They are affordable and professional too.
On the other hand, the Cricut Infusible method doesn’t require a printer to print the designs first. But can use sublimation printers with Cricut too. You may get attracted by using fewer machines but the process bounds you around the same patterns and designs. A Cricut transfer method requires the below equipment:
- A Cricut plotter
- Pre-printed Cricut infusible ink sheets
- A weeding tool
- A heat press
- Butcher paper
- Lint roller
Use of ink
Sublimation printing is not possible without using sublimation ink. You must need to use dye sublimation ink with the sublimation printer. Whereas, Cricut infusible ink method doesn’t require any type of ink to use with the process. In fact, it also eliminates the usage of a printer. You only need to use a Cricut plotter to cut the pre-printed patterns.
Process and Time
Comparatively, the Cricut infusible ink transfer method requires a bit more time than sublimating printing because it will require the loading of the mat, cutting, and weeding before applying the heat. Besides that, sublimation is self-weeded, you can immediately print and transfer the design.
Limitations of Patterns
Cricut offers the same experience as sublimation when heat transfered. But It offers pre-printed sheets to cut and design ideas. Cricut’s infusible sheets don’t allow us to customize our own patterns like photos from smartphones, memorable patterns, and personalized gifts. With sublimation printing, you can produce versatile designs using a number of inks, personal images, multiple designs, and vivid colors.
Both methods require light-color garments and poly-coating surfaces. But choosing the right method completely depends upon your personal preferences.
Based on the budget factor you need to choose the method according to your pocket budget. Sublimation is a versatile way and also a lucrative business to sell more. Clients always get attracted to custom orders with their personal choice prints. Although sublimation printing is an expensive process to start with.
It may require $2500 to get started. Whereas the Infusible ink sheets method is mediocre it saves the cost of a sublimation printer which is around $500. So $2000 is required to start a medium sublimation business with pre-made templates.
Advantages Of Sublimation Printing
- Robust printing method
- Versatility in designs
- No cracking or peeling
- High-quality vivid colors
- Print personal images and designs
- No cutting and weeding needed
- Ink infuses into the substrate
Disadvantages Of Sublimation Printing
- Cannot be utilized in dark colors
- Requires a poly-coating surface
- Cotton is not suitable for sublimation
Advantages Of Cricut Infusible Sheets
- Pre-printed patterns available
- Doesn’t require a printer to print
- Permanent printing onto the substrate
- Sublimation blanks can be used for this method
- Doesn’t require an ICC profile to setup
- No need to use inks or transfer papers
- Not prone to fading or peeling
Disadvantages Of Cricut Infusible Sheets
- The weeding part is time-consuming
- A limited number is patterns printed by Cricut
- Multi-color designs are not possible
Which Is Better: Sublimation vs Cricut
In my opinion, it completely depends upon your preferences. If you want to start with less investment then Cricut infusible is adequate for you. Although sublimation is a profitable method to get started with. With sublimation, you’ll be able to produce printing according to the needs and requirements of your users.
is infusible ink the same as sublimation?
Yes, Infusible ink sheets and sublimation methods are both the same relatively because they become a part of the fabric.
can you use infusible ink on sublimation blanks?
Yes! you can use infusible ink sheet designs on the sublimation blanks. But they will also require a poly-coated blank or 100% polyester fabric to use. You cannot use cotton fabric with it. Infusible ink sheets can be applied to all kinds of sublimation blanks.
Each crafting method will have its pros and cons. If you already have a Cricut plotter then you literally do not need to buy a sublimation printer to get started. You would be able to select the right crafting method for your hobby or for business too. If you’re still confused about whom to get started with let us be specific about the conclusion:
- You can do sublimation with Cricut infusible ink sheets but in a limited number of designs
- The sublimation printing method is more precise than Infusible ink sheets
- Both are tremendously durable
- Weeding is required in the infusible method whereas sublimation saves time for it.
- Sublimation enables you to print a dozen of designs with no color limitation