Sublimation VS Cricut | Is Sublimation & Infusible Ink The Same?

If you are interested in t-shirt printing then you must be confused between sublimation and Cricut infusible ink sheets to select the type of printing. The most obvious question comes from Sublimation vs Cricut. From the outside, both of these may look and feel familiar and you may find yourselves completely paralyzed as to which option to go for. But they have a significant difference in weeding a design and infusing ink into the substrate.

If that is the case with you as well, then let me assure you that you have reached the right article.

Sublimation VS Cricut

The main difference between Cricut infusible ink printing and sublimation ink printing is that – Cricut infusible ink sheets are the process of weeding a design via weeding tools to remove the extra edges after cutting in order to make the design visible. After that, an adhesive sheet with a backing will be there to adhere to the weeded design. While sublimation paper printing is self-weeded, we don’t need to weed the sublimation paper. We only use a Cricut cutting plotter or crafting knife to cut the design.

Another significant difference is – Cricut infusible sheet forms a layer on the top of the substrate due to adhesive backing. On the other hand, sublimation ink adheres to the substrate and doesn’t form a layer on top of the surface. Now let’s have a look at the detailed guide on sublimation and Cricut differences.

1. Equipment

There is a major difference between the equipment used for the Cricut infusible ink and sublimation. Even though both of their processes involve a heat press machine, the major printing machine is different. Sublimation uses a simple sublimation printer. You can even convert a regular Epson printer into a sublimation printer, granted you don’t use it for any other purpose again. On the other hand, a Cricut plotter performs cutting on the pre-printed sheets of infusible ink.

2. Variety Of Patterns And Colors

There is also a huge difference between the variety of patterns and colors available for the Cricut infusible ink and sublimation. To put it simply, there is only a limited variety of patterns and solid colors available for Cricut infusible ink from which you will have to make a selection every time.

On the other hand, sublimation printing has no such limitation. In fact, you can download any font, any image, and sublimate it onto your favorite clothes and other items. So, in my opinion, this is the deciding point where you will know instantly what you want to get amongst them.

3. Weeding And Cutting

This is yet another main difference between Cricut’s infusible ink and sublimation. When using a Cricut process, you will have to cut out and weed text and designs into the Cricut sheets. Only then will you be able to get a proper print, whereas, where the sublimation process is concerned, you don’t need to do any such thing manually because this process involves self-weeding.

It means that only the design will be transferred onto the surface, and the background will be automatically retained on the sublimation paper.

Which Is Better: Cricut Or Sublimation?

Preferring Cricut over sublimation or vice versa is a matter of personal opinion and priorities. Sublimation and Cricut both have their own pros and cons relating to them on the basis of which you can settle for the one that meets your expectations. In any case, you can have a difference of opinion with others.

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I always prefer sublimation over Cricut and I have my reasons for this choice because I can make a variety of printing patterns and versatile designs than Cricut printing however, you may disagree with me. I like sublimation because it offers me free will to choose any design I want and get it printed on my clothes instantly and easily.

Is Sublimation And Infusible Ink The Same?

The simple answer to this question is no, sublimation and infusible ink are not the same. It is in fact totally different. The infusible ink comes in the form of sheets printed on a clear liner. You will have to carefully cut out the parts you don’t want to get printed. In simple words, you will have to cut and manually weed out a design.

On the flip side, sublimation ink is available in liquid form in stores. You get to print your favorite images on sublimation papers and then transfer them onto the target surface. Moreover, this process includes self-weeding.

When To Use Sublimation And Cricut?

There is no doubt that Cricut is the relatively cheaper option for a sublimation printing process. If you are running low on budget and still want to get your bland t-shirt a little more colorful, you should go for Cricut infusible ink. It will require a little more effort and the design will be a lot simpler than what sublimation can give you but it will do. However, if you can afford to buy a sublimation printer, then you should definitely go for it!

In case, if you want to know how to do sublimation with Cricut.

Final Thoughts

Summing it up, it is safe to conclude to the sublimation vs Cricut that there are a few major differences between sublimation and Cricut. So, before you settle for one, you have to educate yourselves about the pros and cons relating to both of them. After you are aware of the benefits you can get from each of these processes and the drawbacks you will have to suffer, only then will you be able to make an informed decision.

In any case, I must conclude this article by reminding you that sublimation is a much easier process than Cricut but in terms of lifespan Cricut printing is the clear winner.


  • Olivia Hanson

    Hello, Beautiful People. I'm Olivia and I'll be guiding you on how-to tutorials and guides. I am a mommy of two little angles. My kids are also interested in DIY, Arts & Crafts. So I'm here to serve you some of my previous experience.