Today we’re going to be answering a question I’ve had since Cricut first came out with Infusible Ink… do you really need the Cricut brand t-shirt blanks? Or will just any t-shirt do?
I know, I know… infusible ink is all about sublimation which means it needs a special fabric. BUT I HAVE ALL THESE T-SHIRTS and I want to use them! Basically if you’re like me you have a stash of t-shirts from Michaels and Wal-Mart that you’ve picked up for your crafting hobby and they’re burning a hole in your pocket.
And that hole is even worse since Cricut’s t-shirt blanks only come in a while color (as of now) and I like color! So when I was writing my ultimate guide to the Cricut Easy Press and made this little “I identify as a unicorn” shirt from the cricut access library I decided to do a little *ahem* research and try infusible ink on two other shirts… with very different materials.
95% Polyester, 5% Spandex (White)
Alright y’all, this is the official infusible ink shirt… so these are the official results!
Obviously they’re fantastic.
The ink is flawless, it’s bonded straight to the shirt and super vibrant. No complaints here!
60% Polyester, 40% Cotton (Light Rose)
Ready for shirt number two? These are the George styled t-shirts from Wal-Mart and they’re a polyester and cotton mix. They come in lots of different pastel colors and lots of sizes… which is a bonus.
They’re 60% polyester so I had high hopes for these babies! I picked a light shirt so that my multi-colored infusible ink design would show up (this midnight sky ink is pretty busy after all) and hoped for the best.
Ready for the results?
100% Cotton (Dark Purple)
Ready for the 100% cotton shirt? It seems like these are the most easy to find (cotton is pretty popular after all) and I already had a few in my craft room to try.
Unfortunitely it didn’t really work. You can definitely see the ink (and up close the details are pretty dark!) but as you’ll see in the group picture from far away the design is hard to make out let alone read.
Okay y’all so here’s the 411. Cricut’s t-shirt blank was obviously the best one… it looks the most vibrant and has killer clarity. The ink looks like I took it from a galaxy far far away and put it on this shirt… it’s that bright.
Unfortunitely while the ink looks fantastic I’ve tried to wear this shirt and it just doesn’t quite *ahem* come in a size that works for me. *I need a bigger, comfier, not skin tight, my arms need to breath too, t-shirt* It would probably work well for anyone that lives in a s-xl though!
I’m also tempted to try the men’s sized cricut blank… ’cause why not?
The 60% polyester shirt turned out pretty dang good (I’m actually wearing it right now!) but it’s definitely not as bright as the Cricut brand shirt. It’s pretty bright though and I like the effect… so I’m going to rock it.
Plus… this shirt was only 3.99 as opposed to 9.99 and my arms can breath.
The bottom ranking shirt was definitely the 100% cotton shirt from Michaels. These are my go-to shirts for iron-on so I was super disappointed that it wasn’t awesome for infusible ink but I had a feeling it wouldn’t work.
You can definitely see the design though so if you’re set on using a Michaels shirt try a lighter color (whites or pastels) with dark, solid ink. If black ink on a pastel shirt doesn’t float your boat then one of the other two shirts will probably be your best bet.
Ready to make all. the. shirts?
Let’s get started!
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[…] started with t-shirts… experimenting with different materials and seeing what t-shirt materials you could put infusible ink on. Then I learned about sublimation […]