Sublimation vs Infusible Ink – A Comprehensive Guide
Sublimation and infusible ink are popular methods for printing designs onto various surfaces such as fabrics, mugs, and other materials. While both ways use heat to transfer the design, there are some key differences between the two. As we know, sublimation is growing fast and getting much more popular daily. With its growing popularity, many people need clarification about sublimation and infusible ink. There are many things or factors to consider when discussing sublimation vs. invisible ink. In this article, we will break it down so you can easily choose whether you are going with sublimation or a Cricut infusible ink.
Sublimation vs. Infusible Ink
Sublimation involves printing the design onto sublimation paper using specialized sublimation ink. Then this design is transferred onto desired material by applying heat and pressure. In the process, the ink will turn into gas and create a bond with the material’s fibers. It will result in a permanent, vibrant image that lasts longer and does not peel or fade over time. Sublimation works perfectly on polyester and polyester-coated materials or with blends with a decent percentage of polyester.
On the contrary, infusible ink is a type of transfer paper that uses a special ink that turns into gas on heating, creating a direct bond with the material’s fibers. Unlike sublimation, the ink is not transferred onto the paper but is infused into the fabric. That produces a long-lasting, vibrant, durable design that doesn’t fade or peel over time. In general, infusible ink is designed explicitly for Cricut machines and is used on various materials such as polyester or cotton.
Sublimation vs Infusible ink – An Overview
What is Sublimation?
Sublimation is a printing technique that has been gaining popularity recently due to its ability to produce vibrant designs on various surfaces. The process involves transferring designs onto materials by applying heat and pressure using a heat press or any other method. It causes specialized ink to turn into gas and create bonds with the fibers of the specific material. The process is versatile and applies to various materials, including polyester, poly-cotton, aluminum, etc. Sublimation is an excellent pick for businesses or individuals looking to create custom apparel, promotional items, or accessories.
One of the primary advantages of sublimation is its ability to produce full-color, photo-quality designs with no limitation on the number of colors. That makes sublimation perfect for creating custom apparel with intricate designs or detailed graphics. Moreover, sublimation also produces high-quality images with excellent color saturation and accuracy.
Furthermore, sublimation is eco-friendly as it produces less waste than other printing methods. The inks used in sublimation are water-based, meaning they are safe for the environment and can quickly be disposed of. Additionally, sublimation does not produce harmful chemicals or byproducts during printing.
When it comes to durability, sublimation is hard to beat. The designs produced through sublimation are permanent and will not peel, crack, or fade over time. It makes sublimation an ideal choice for creating promotional items such as keychains or coffee mugs and custom apparel that will see a lot of wear and tear. Overall, sublimation is a highly versatile and durable printing method that produces high-quality, long-lasting designs.
What is Infusible Ink?
Infusible ink is a type of Cricut and has been growing fast in recent years due to its ability to produce high-quality and long-lasting designs. Infusible ink is the best choice for individuals or businesses creating custom designs or promotional items. The process begins with printing your designs onto a special transfer paper using compatible ink. After that, you need to apply heat and pressure to transfer the design onto your desired material, causing the ink to create a bond directly with the material’s fibers. The infusible process is compatible with various materials, including cotton, polyester, and poly-cotton blends.
One of the critical advantages of infusible ink is the ability to produce vibrant, high-quality designs that will last longer. Infusible ink is ideal for creating custom apparel with unique designs or detailed graphics. Infusible ink also has high-quality images with excellent color accuracy. Infusible ink is also an eco-friendly option as it produces minimal waste. The inks used in infusible ink are also water-based, which means they are safe and environmentally friendly. When it comes to durability, infusible ink always stays on top.
The designs created using infusible ink are permanent and will not peel over time. That makes infusible ink ideal for creating promotional items such as coffee mugs. Infusible ink is a versatile, durable printing method that produces high-quality, long-lasting designs. Whether you’re looking to create custom apparel, promotional items, or accessories, infusible ink is the best choice, providing excellent results every time.
Key Difference between Sublimation and Infusible Ink
The significant difference between sublimation and infusible ink is how the inks bond with the material. Sublimation involves turning the ink into a gas, which bonds with the material, while infusible ink bonds directly to the material’s fibers. Another difference between the two is the level of detail and color accuracy that you can achieve. Sublimation can produce full-color designs with maximum color accuracy and saturation. On the other hand, infusible ink can create high-quality designs with decent color accuracy but may only be suitable for partial-color designs with multiple gradients.
In short, both sublimation and infusible ink are suitable printing methods that produce high-quality, long-lasting designs. The key differences between these two are the bonding process and the type of material they work best on.
Similarities between Sublimation and Infusible Ink
Sublimation and infusible ink are two printing techniques that have some similarities:
- Heat transfer: Both techniques require heat to transfer the design onto the substrate. Sublimation ink is heated to convert into a gas, which then bonds with the substrate, while infusible ink is heated to bond directly with the substrate.
- Suitable substrates: Both techniques work best on specific substrates that can handle high temperatures. For example, sublimation works best on polyester or polymer-coated materials, while infusible ink works best on compatible blanks made of polyester or polyamide.
- Vibrant colors: Both techniques can produce bright and vibrant colors that are long-lasting and fade-resistant—the ink bonds directly with the substrate, creating a durable and permanent image.
- DIY projects: Both sublimation and infusible ink are popular choices for DIY projects such as custom t-shirts, mugs, and other personalized items.
- Precision and detail: Both techniques can produce high-quality prints with excellent precision and detail, making them ideal for printing logos, text, and complex designs.
Sublimation vs Infusible Ink – Which one to choose?
There is no clear winner when we talk about sublimation vs. infusible ink, as both printing methods have unique strengths. Sublimation is a printing technique that uses heat and pressure to transfer designs. It is best suited for polyester or poly-cotton blends, producing sharp, full-color, durable designs that last longer. Sublimation is perfect for custom apparel, promotional items, mugs, key chains, and other accessories.
On the contrary, infusible ink uses heat to bond the ink directly to the material’s fibers, creating a permanent and transparent design. Infusible ink is ideal for creating custom apparel and designs. It is best for cotton and cotton-blend materials and produces high-quality designs with excellent color accuracy.
Choosing between sublimation and infusible ink ultimately depends on the type of material. Sublimation is suitable for this purpose if you’re trying to print on polyester. However, infusible ink is the better choice if you are working with cotton materials.
Additionally, you require high-quality full-color designs. In that case, sublimation is a better choice, while infusible ink is ideal for producing detailed, high-quality designs with excellent color accuracy and saturation.
In summary, both sublimation and infusible ink are excellent printing methods that offer high-quality, long-lasting designs. The choice between the two ultimately depends on the type of material and the intended use of the printed item.
Which Printer to Use for Sublimation and Infusible Ink
The quality of the results in sublimation and infusible ink printing highly depends on the type of printer used. Here are some of the best printers to use for good results with sublimation and infusible Ink:
- Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 or SG1000 are the most popular printers for sublimation printing. They are specifically designed to work with sublimation ink and produce high-quality prints with vibrant colors.
- Epson EcoTank ET-2720 or ET-2760: These printers are suitable for sublimation and infusible ink printing. They are affordable and easy to use and produce high-quality prints.
- Canon TS9521C: This printer is suitable for infusible ink printing and produces high-quality prints with excellent color vibrancy.
- HP Envy 6055: The Envy 6055 printer is suitable for both sublimation and infusible ink printing and produces high-quality prints with excellent color accuracy.
- Ricoh SG3110DN: Ricoh printer is suitable for sublimation printing and produces high-quality prints with vibrant colors and sharp details.
Not all printers are compatible with sublimation or infusible Ink, and it’s crucial to do your research before purchasing a printer for this purpose. Additionally, using the correct type of ink and paper/substrate for the printer you choose to achieve the best results is essential.
Can we Use Invisible Ink on Sublimation Blanks?
Infusible ink and sublimation printing are two different technologies that cannot be used together. Infusible Ink is designed to work with Cricut cutting machines, and it is a process that involves the heat transfer of Ink to the substrate. On the other hand, sublimation printing uses a particular type of Ink that is turned into gas and then bonded with a substrate using heat.
- Sublimation blanks are specially designed substrates with a polymer coating on the surface, allowing the sublimation ink to bond with the surface of the substrate.
- Infusible Ink is not designed to bond with polymer-coated surfaces, so it cannot be used on sublimation blanks.
It is important to note that using infusible Ink on sublimation blanks will not produce the same high-quality results as using sublimation ink. Sublimation ink is designed to bond with the polymer coating on the surface of the substrate, resulting in a permanent and high-quality print. Using infusible Ink on sublimation blanks may result in the Ink not adhering to the surface properly, resulting in a faded or low-quality print.
In conclusion, using Infusible Ink on sublimation blanks is not recommended as they are not designed to be used together, and it may result in a low-quality print. It is best to use the appropriate technology for the intended substrate to achieve the best results.
Sublimation and infusible ink are both printing techniques that heat transfer ink onto a substrate. The main difference is that sublimation ink is converted into a gas and then bonded with the substrate, while infusible ink is directly bonded with the substrate using heat.
Sublimation works best on polyester or polymer-coated materials, while infusible ink works best on compatible blanks made of polyester or polyamide.
Both techniques can produce bright and vibrant colors that are long-lasting and fade-resistant. However, some argue that infusible ink produces more vibrant colors than sublimation.
No, you cannot use a regular inkjet printer for sublimation or infusible ink printing. It would be best to have a specialized printer that can handle the sublimation or infusible ink cartridges and transfer the ink onto the substrate using heat.
The cost of sublimation or infusible ink printing depends on various factors, such as ink, substrate, and equipment. However, sublimation printing may be slightly more expensive due to the cost of the specialized printer and the need for specific materials.
After reading this article, you’re familiar with the concept of sublimation vs. infusible ink. There are a few standard things and differences among them, and we’ve covered each in detail. Now it’s totally up to you whichever way you choose as it depends on your choice and requirement.