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Infusible Ink vs Iron-On Vinyl

Iron-on vinyl vs infusible ink: what are they and what is the difference? Use either of them to make easy customized products!

Iron-on vinyl or heat transfer vinyl has been around for crafters to use for a long time. Cricut has recently released infusible ink, so I made a DIY graphic t-shirt using both infusible ink and iron-on vinyl.

I wanted to try both mediums on two different t-shirts with the exact same design so that I could compare the two. How do they work and how are they different? Which is easier and which do I prefer?

I teach how to use each of them separately, and then how they are different from each other.

Infusible Ink vs Iron-On Vinyl

I used my favorite sewing svg cut file from my shop: Sew the World SVG Cut File.

I really think sewing and crafting opens up a whole new world of possibilities. I can’t wait to wear this DIY graphic t-shirt!

In this post I cut everything out with my Cricut Maker and I heat everything with the Easypress 2.

Make some of these fun Cricut Maker sewing projects where I cut both iron-on vinyl and fabric.

infusible ink vs iron on vinyl

What is Infusible Ink?

Infusible ink is ink that is transferred by heat. It’s essentially sublimation, but it’s now accessible to hobby crafters. When infusible ink is transferred the ink is infused into the item.

Infusible ink can be purchased as an infusible ink transfer sheet and as infusible ink pens. The colors of the infusible ink transfer sheet look pale before being heated, but they are very bright once heated and transferred.

I’ve also tried infusible ink on three t-shirts made of different fabrics, polyester, 50/50 cotton/polyester, and cotton, to see the difference it would make!

Learn all about Cricut Infusible Ink:

infusible ink sewing graphic tee

How to use Infusible Ink

Cut infusible ink transfer sheet. When cutting with a cutting machine, the ink is right side up but the mirror option needs to be on.

Heat up an EasyPress 2* to 385 degrees.

Weed the negative part of the design.

Place a piece of cardstock between the layers of fabric.

Place a piece of butcher paper on top of the area.

Heat the area with an EasyPress 2 for 15 seconds.

Remove paper and place design face down on the t-shirt.

Place butcher paper on top of the design.

Heat the design for 40 seconds.

Carefully remove paper to not disturb the design.

Cool completely and then peel.

What is Iron-On Vinyl or HTV?

Iron-on vinyl or heat transfer vinyl is vinyl that has glue or adhesive on the back that is activated when heated.

When the iron-on vinyl is heated the glue causes the iron-on vinyl to be fused to the t-shirt. The iron-on vinyl sits on top of the fabric.

The color of the iron-on vinyl is the color it will be after being heated. The color does not change.

iron-on vinyl sewing graphic tee

How to Use Everyday Iron-On Vinyl

Cut iron-on vinyl. When cutting with a cutting machine, the vinyl is right side down and the mirror option needs to be on.

Heat up an EasyPress to 315 degrees.

Weed the negative part of the design.

Heat the area with an EasyPress for 5 seconds.

Place design face down on the t-shirt.

Heat the design for 30 seconds.

Flip the item over and heat the back of the design for 15 seconds.

Peel the design when it’s warm or cold.

inFusible Ink vs Iron-On Vinyl

Watch the video to see how I make both of these graphic t-shirts, and to see the difference between infusible ink vs iron-on vinyl.

sewing graphic tees

Pros and Cons of inFusible Ink

Pros:

  • Infuses into the fabric
  • Doesn’t crack, peel, wrinkle
  • Looks professional
  • Can be cut with any cutting machine
  • Stretches with the fabric
  • Easier to weed negative part of the design

Cons:

  • Must be used with an EasyPress 2
  • Must be used with Cricut Blanks or polyester
  • Must be used on white or very light colored blanks
  • Cannot be larger than the press’ heat plate
  • Can only be heated once
infusible ink and iron-on vinyl

Pros and Cons of Iron-On Vinyl

Pros:

  • Can be used with any heat product (heatpress, iron, easypress)
  • Can be ironed onto almost anything
  • Looks professional
  • Can be larger than the press’ heat plate

Cons:

  • Can crack, peel, or wrinkle over time
  • Sits on top of the fabric
  • Most iron-on vinyls don’t stretch
  • Can be hard to weed negative part of the design
infusible ink

If you make something using this SVG cut file, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

Infusible Ink vs Iron-On Vinyl

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This was a super helpful post. Thank you so much for the info, the steps, and the great video!

Can I use htv with a regular iron? Or should I purchase an easy press?

What are cricut blanks? Where did you get your tshirts?

I have the Easy Press one, would that work?

So which one did you prefer?