When working with sublimation, Cricut can be one of your best friends. Combining different machines, you will create the winning team you need to make the best out of your textile products.
Use a Cricut cutting machine, such as Maker or Joy, to cut out the design you want out of any kind of vinyl or prints with infusible ink. After that, use any of the EasyPress variants to lay it onto your clothing item and fix it there.
It’s easy to do! But there are a few things you need to keep in mind to get the best results. That is, the textile material, the transfer material and the functioning of the heat press machine.
Here is a quick Easy Press heat guide to find out what’s the ideal temperature for each of the most usual materials used in sublimation.
How does a Cricut Easy Press work
The first thing we need to consider is how a heat press works, and the different varieties we can find in the market. There are several brands offering heat presses, either industrial or for home use.
Cricut, as with automatic cutters, is one of the most popular heat press providers. They offer several options to choose from according to your needs. Their newest launches are the Hat Press and the AutoPress.
The Hat Press is a manual heat press that is small and curved, specially designed to match a hat’s shape.
The AutoPress, as its name says, is automatic! It’s a big piece of machinery that will do most of the work for you. You only need to put the design and the fabric in it and program it.
It will press both things together on its own and give you the best possible results. However, let’s go with the original and most simple option: the EasyPress.
The EasyPress combines the functioning of a regular heat press you can get from any brand with the facility of use of an iron.
Instead of working as a sandwich toaster, like most heat presses (including the AutoPress), the EasyPress only includes the top of the machine, the most important one, as it is the one irradiating the heat.
The EasyPress is a hot plate with a handle on top that you can press onto any surface. It’s like an iron, but bigger and without holes.
This makes it perfect for any sublimation project, as you can get uniform heat all over the textile piece.
At the same time, there are several versions of the Cricut EasyPress. Currently, they have launched their Easy Press 3, the last generation of Easy Presses.
Besides, there is a Mini version, ideal for tiny pieces of fabric or intricate sections. It’s ideal for shoes, little stuffed animals, keychains, and such.
However convenient all these may be, we need to keep in mind that we have to be careful about the use we give them.
What do I need to consider before sublimating?
Some of the key elements you need to keep in mind before you start the process are:
- Textile material
- Sublimation material
- Compatibility among materials
- Pressing time and temperature
First, we need to find out which materials, both textile and infusible, match. If we work with a type of fabric that does not admit sublimation, our design won’t stick, it might not last after a few uses, or it may even get burnt with the heat of the press.
The same happens if, for instance, you are using regular vinyl instead of Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV). This can also happen if you use two materials that are good for sublimating, but that are not compatible with each other.
So you need to become an expert on materials before starting. At least make sure you are using one good combination.
Once you have considered all these features, which can change the final result you get, let’s get sublimating.
You can check our previous article on Cricut Sublimation equipment to see what are all the materials you need to work on sublimation projects and the main steps to achieve perfect results.
But, before we go into sublimating itself, we need to know what are the ideal times and temperatures. For this, here you have an easy press heat guide.
Easy Press heat guide
If you go to Cricut’s website, you can find an official time-heat calculator that you can use to see what are the exact indications to program your Easy Press.
This Cricut heat guide calculates the time and temperature you need to use based on the information you provide about the textile and sublimation materials.
This Cricut heat press guide is super easy to use. Let’s see how to use it and what kind of information we can get from it.
One of the most useful fabrics for textile sublimation is the polyester-cotton blend. At the same time, this mix can have different proportions.
For example, 80% poly with 20% cotton, 75%-25%, or 60%-40%. All of these are found on the heat press temperature guide under the “Cotton – poly blend” label.
Of course, the HTV options the website provides are only Cricut’s, but you can try and find what are the equivalents from other manufacturers.
In this case, let’s imagine you are using the most common option, which is the Everyday Iron On.
In that case, you’ll need 315°F/155°C for 30s and an extra 15s on the other side.
The good thing about the Cricut iron on temp guide is that it also includes any other necessary instructions that will allow you to get the best results.
For example, it also says how much preheating the fabric needs, the kind of pressure you need to apply and whether the fabric needs any previous preparation such as washing, or applying any extra products.
So, next time you work on a sublimation project, remember to use the Easy press heat guide to find the perfect temperature for the type of fabric and sublimating materials you want to use to simply program your Cricut easypress settings and make the best out of your textiles.