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What Is The Difference Between Cricut Vinyl, Iron-on & Infusible Ink?

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This post is sponsored by Cricut. However, the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Have you been wondering what the difference is between Cricut Vinyl, Iron-on & Infusible Ink are and what projects to use each for?

In addition to having (in my opinion) the BEST crafting machines on the market. Cricut also offers some amazing crafting materials. It makes sence that they would want to offer their customers all the equieptment, materials and tools needed to craft to their hearts content. However, due to how versitale and diverse their many matierals are many beginner crafters get confused on the difference between some of the materials like Vinyl, Iron-on & Infusible Ink.

I created a Youtube video talking about the difference between Vinyl, Iron-on & Infusible Ink about a month ago. You can view it below:

Let’s discuss these three materials and what sort of materials they can be used on and projects you can make with each of them.

We will start with Vinyl:

Vinyl, is basically a sticker that you cut out with your Cricut and using transfer tape put on the surface of various materials. It has an adhesive backing that causes it to stick firmly you your surface and can be very detailed in design if desired. Just remember you have to weed it. Vinyl is most popularly used to make labels and design decals. You can use Vinyl on a variety of surfaces including glass, plastic, wood, cardstock, and faux leather.

Cricut offers a variety of Vinyl for you to use with your Cricut Explore Air and Cricut Maker Machines. (Premium Permanent, Shimmer Permanent, Pearl Metallic Permanent, Pearl Pastel Permanent, Holographic Threads Permanent, Textured Metallic Permanent, Holographic Crystals Permanent, Premium True Brushed Permanent, Holographic Bubbles Permanent, Premium Outdoor Glossy, Premium Removable, Glitter Removable, Holographic Removable, Holographic Sparkle Removable, Patterned Removable, Adhesive Foil Removable, Adhesive Foil Matte Removable, & Printable Vinyl). Their Vinyl comes in both permanent and removable options. They even have specialty-sized Smart Vinyl for the Cricut Joy (that doesn’t require a mat!)

Depending on what project you are doing you will want to use either Permanent or Removable Vinyl. You would use Permanent Vinyl for projects that you want to be well permanent. Due to its permanent nature, this kind of vinyl is great for outdoor projects for it will wear better through various weather (like signs, car decals, and mailbox decorations.) You can also use it for projects that you want to be able to hand wash (like mugs) as well as permanent indoor decorations (like signs, and permanent labels.) As you can see above, Cricut has a wide variety of fun Permanent Vinyl styles and colors to suit your crafting needs.

Removable Vinyl is great for projects that are low wear (like general labels, party decorations, and home decor items), indoor projects (out of the weather that doesn’t need to be washed) as well as temporary projects (like wall decorations that you eventually want to take off without damaging the paint.) Honestly, unless your project specifically needs Permanent Vinyl then Removable Vinyl will work just fine for you. As you can see above, Cricut has a wide variety of fun Removable Vinyl styles and colors for your crafting needs.

Here are 10 Fun Projects You can make with Vinyl.

DIY Vinyl DIY Projects

Here are 10 fun DIY projects you can make with Cricut Vinyl

Next Let’s Talk about Iron-on

Cricut Iron-on is basically their version of Heat Transfer Vinyl. Instead of it having a sticker-like adhesive, Iron-on adhesive backing activates with heat and pressure. Though Iron-on is most commonly used on fabric materials (like for custom shirts, socks, hats, and bags, etc), Iron-on can actually be used on several surfaces including glass, wood, Cardstock, paper, and faux leather. My favorite materials to use Iron-on with are paper and cardstock materials for the iron-on gives a gorgeous embossed look. Especially when I use the foil or Glitter Iron-on.

As with Vinyl, Cricut has a wide variety of Iron-on products available. (Everyday Iron-on, Glitter Iron-on, SportFlex Iron-on, Holographic Iron-on, Holographic Sparkle Iron-on, Foil Iron-on, Mesh Iron-on, Express Iron-on, Mickey Mesh Iron-on, Holographic Mosiac Tiles Iron-on, Holographic Mosiac Circles Iron-on, Iron-on Lite, Glitter Mesh Hearts Iron-on, Everyday Mosaic Squares Iron-on, Glitter Mesh Stars Iron-on, Patterned Iron-on, & Iron-on Designs. They also have several varieties of smart Iron-on sized specifically so that you can cut them with the Cricut Joy without a mat.

Because the back of the Iron-on is not sticky at all until activated by heat the peel-off backing for the Iron-on is sticky to help you place it on your materials. (That means you don’t need to use transfer tape. Though you will need to mirror image your cuts so it goes on right.) You will also need a Heat Press to apply Iron-on. Though you can use an Iron it doesn’t work as well since the temperature on the iron cannot be set with exactness and it doesn’t have even heating on the heat plate. You will get your best results using one of the Cricut Easypresses.

Here are 10 fun projects you can make with Iron-on:

DIY Iron-on Projects

Here are 10 fun DIY projects you can make with Cricut Iron-on

Lastly, lets discus Cricut Infusible Ink.

Cricut’s Infusible Ink is basically their version of Sublimation. Rather than your design resting on the surface of your material like Vinyl and Iron-on, Infusible Ink is a heat-activated ink that when you press at the right temperature the Ink will activate and sink into your material permanently fusing your design into the actual material. That means your design will never crack, peel or fade.

Infusible Ink Comes in Sheets (Solid & Patterned) as well as Pens & Markers. They also have specially sized Infusible ink Sheets for the Cricut Joy and for Mugs. The Infusible Ink sheets are cut with your Cricut machines just like Iron-on and pressed into your material. With the pens and markers, you can have your Cricut draw designs or your can draw, or color in designs by hand on Laser printer then press to your material.

Because of the nature of Infusible Ink, it will only work with compatible materials. Because of this Cricut offers a whole line of Infusible Ink Blanks to use with their Infusible Ink products. (Shirts, Baby Bodysuits, Square Pillow covers, Mugs, Coasters, Totes & Bags) However, you can also use Infusible Inks with other Sublimation blanks. Fabrics need to be a high polyester count to work, and other non-fabric materials need a special poly coating applied to them to work. (aka sublimation materials)

Infusible Ink requires a high temperature (380-400 degrees) to activate the ink. Regular irons do not get hot enough. You will need to use either Cricut’s Easypresses/Mug Press (all Cricut’s Heat Presses are compatible with Infusible Ink) or other professional Heat Presses that have the ability to press at the needed heat to work.

Here are 10 fun projects you can make with Infusible Ink:

DIY Infusible Ink Projects

Here are 10 fun DIY projects you can make with Cricut Infusible Ink.

I hope this informational post was able to more fully help you understand the differences between Vinyl, Iron-on & Infusible Ink materials and give you inspiration for how to use them. Cricut also offers a variety of other awesome materials (some of which are only compatible withthe Cricut Maker with the adaptive tools) that you might want to check out.

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