I finally have gotten around to playing with the new Cricut Infusible Ink, and it’s safe to say I’m pretty obsessed.
While it’s really cool, I know part of the frustration people have been having is that Cricut only has approved for use of Infusible Ink with their branded products that have been created specifically for Infusible Ink.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from trying other canvases – myself included!
I had heard that if you used a shirt that was over 50% polyester (the higher the better), you should be able to get decent results with a great infusible ink design…so I decided to try and find a shirt like this, as well as test out how it looked on a regular, 100% cotton shirt – and compare both to the Cricut t-shirts.
A lot of people have talked about how you can get some high polyester blend shirts at Walmart. I walked around the store FOREVER, and I eventually found a “George” branded shirt that was 65% polyester in the men’s department.
I believe the Cricut shirts are 95%, so I was hoping to find a shirt closer to that. But I figured 65% was a good place to start.
I also picked up a Gildan Cotton Shirt, which are the shirts you can find at every craft store. I didn’t have high hopes for this, but I just wanted to be able to do a good photo comparison for you all. Having the correct material is important for getting a vibrant and detailed design and making it last a long time.
If you search “High polyester shirts” or “sublimation t-shirts” you should be able to find shirts with even higher polyester blends online for a good price. I’m planning to order some from this website to see how they do.
Below are the results! I used the same colors of Infusible Ink on both of these in order to make the comparison as clear as possible.
Curious about Infusible Ink Pens? Don’t miss this post – Cricut Infusible Ink Pens: Tips and Tricks for Getting Started
This post is not sponsored by Cricut – all Infusible Ink products were purchased myself 🙂
CRICUT INFUSIBLE INK SHIRT
Materials: This is made from 95% polyester and 5% spandex. I loved the feel of it, and it is really good quality. This woman’s v-neck shirt comes in five different sizes (small through extra-large). I have used a white shirt, however, a black shirt will also work.
One complaint I have read is that the sizing doesn’t seem right for the shirts. Personally, the woman’s v-neck fit just like I would expect it to, but I haven’t checked out the other shirts yet. So that is something to keep in mind.
Here is how it looked after I put the Infusible Ink on:
It looks very vibrant and professional in my opinion, and vivid colors are a little bit more attractive to the eye.
Materials: 65% polyester, 35% cotton. I also liked the feel of this shirt, though I wish I’d found a version in more of a woman’s cut.
Cost: I believe it was $3.99.
It did transfer over completely, and it did have some brightness to it. However, there was a clear loss of quality from the Cricut shirt. I definitely am interested in finding a higher polyester shirt to use – but I would use this one again in a pinch!
Forrest mentioned it just looked like it had been washed a few times.
GILDAN Cotton Shirt
Materials: 100% Cotton
I was so annoyed at myself after I made this tee shirt because it was actually my favorite design! And it did not come out as I expected. I should have tried another t-shirt for this particular project.
Clearly, the colors are not super vibrant. When I looked at it afterward, I felt like it looked like a shirt I may have had and loved for 10+ years because of how faded it was – but that’s just how it looked right after I made it! Solid colors are more vibrant in Cricut shirts. I put the entire design on top of the shirt. However, you could also do scattered designs on your shirt. From my point of view, bright colors can save the day if you are trying to use the cotton base materials.
So, there you have it – just a quick comparison. For the very best results, I would definitely use the Cricut shirts – but a higher polyester blend should work fine as well. I am anxious to try getting one that’s closer to the 95% that the Cricut shirt is and compare those. $9.99 isn’t terrible for a shirt – especially because it is nice quality…but I wouldn’t mind paying less and have an option that is available at more local stores. You should practice on a trial base material using infusible ink sheets or Cricut infusible ink transfer sheets for the first time to see how your own design comes up. Cricut ink is transferable with gentle pressure and a high heat press. It’s handy to have an iron that reaches a high temperature if you don’t have a heat press, and the key is to not give extra pressure. To protect your t-shirt for a long time, try to avoid rough wash.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.