Canvas Sublimation – Can You Sublimate On Canvas Blanks?

Art lovers often question “can you sublimate on canvas”? The answer is YES! With the rise in popularity of photo art, many people are looking for innovative methods to create their very own special designs using their digital images. Canvas sublimation is a process that transfers digital prints onto a blank canvas sheet to create a unique piece of art. There are many ways to do photo sublimation, here, I’ll share the best method that I follow.

No doubt canvas is a great material to print on as it can be cut in so many different sizes and shapes. Mostly people use them for home décor items such as canvas wall art and gallery wrapped. However, the popularity of canvas has led to different variations in the material. Canvas blanks are canvases that are made to do photo sublimation on art canvas. The two most popular fabrics of the canvas are polyester and cotton.

Note: here are the tips to make your sublimation brighter and more vibrant.

sublimation on canvas

Sublimation on Canvas – Best Way to Sublimate Canvas Fabric

canvas for sublimationSublimation on canvas is very similar to other substrates, print your design using a sublimation printer and transfer dyes using a heat press. However, here I’ll be sharing the most effective method of canvas sublimation. I prefer this method because inks do not spread, and the print stays forever and does not get affected by water spilling. Let’s get into the process;

 

 

Sublimation on Cotton Canvas

Here is the step by step guide on how to sublimate on cotton canvas;

Tip: If you are using a cotton canvas blank, first you need to preheat the fabric for about 10-15 seconds before printing. Cotton is a natural fabric and can vary in absorbency, so you may need to experiment a little with the time to get the best results.

how to sublimate on cotton canvas

 

Things Required:

 

  1. Print your high-quality photo or design on sublimation paper using a sublimation printer and special sublimation ink. (invert the design in the software before printing)
  2. Once the printing is done, you need to cut the design using a scissor to the size of the canvas. Make sure that all the design is cut out properly.
  3. Place the thermal lamination sheet on top of the cotton canvas (make sure the shiny part goes down facing the canvas). Apply heat and pressure for about 60 seconds to laminate the blank. (Recommended heat 360 degrees)
  4. Now, place the design on the laminated canvas blank in the desired position. You can use heat press tape to help keep the design in place. Make sure the sublimation paper stays on top, the design facing down on the canvas.
  5. With the design in place, cover it with a piece of paper, and then apply pressure and heat (380 to 400 degrees) using a heat press for about 45-50 seconds. Now the dyes of the image are converting into gas and penetrating into the pores of the substrate.
  6. Remove the paper from the canvas and let it cool down. Once it’s cooled down, you can remove the heat press tape and admire your work of art!

Important: while laminating the cotton canvas, make sure to apply recommended heat and pressure for said time. The less temp and time will leave some air bubbles inside (you can apply pressure again), the over temp and time will de-shape the canvas and it will get some wrinkles.

Note: You can also use sublimation spray for cotton instead of a thermal lamination sheet.

Video tutorial on how to do sublimation on cotton

 

Sublimation on Polyester Canvas

Photo sublimation on polyester canvas is similar to sublimation on cotton canvas. However, the only difference is that you do not need to laminate the canvas blank with thermal lamination paper – polyester is a good substrate to get sublimated. Here is the guide to polyester canvas sublimation;

Note: You do not need to preheat the polyester blank. Polyester is a synthetic fabric and does not absorb the ink as cotton does.

 

polyester canvas for sublimation

Things Required:

 

  1. Print your photo or design on sublimation paper using a sublimation printer in inverted format.
  2. Cut the design properly using a scissor to the size of the canvas
  3. Now, place the design on the polyester canvas blank in the desired position. Use heat press tape to help keep the design in place. Make sure the sublimation paper stays on top and the design facing down on the canvas.
  4. With the design in place, cover it with a piece of paper, then apply pressure and heat (380 to 400 degrees) using a heat press for about 45-50 seconds. Now the dyes of the image are converting into gas and penetrating into the pores of the substrate.
  5. Remove the paper from the canvas and let it cool down. Remove the tape once it’s cooled down – your sublimation art is ready to display!
Video tutorial on how to do sublimation on polyester canvas

 

Can You Sublimate On Canvas Bags?

Another great option for canvas sublimation is canvas bags. You can use the canvas sublimation method to create personalized bags, or to promote your business. Here is a guide on how to sublimate on canvas bags.

can you sublimate on canvas bags

 

Things Required:

 

  1. Print the photo on sublimation paper using a sublimation printer in inverted format.
  2. Cut the design properly using a scissor to the size of the canvas bag
  3. Place the thermal lamination sheet on top of the white or natural canvas bag and apply heat and pressure to laminate the surface (make sure the shiny part goes down).
  4. Now, place the design on the laminated canvas bag in the desired position. Use heat press tape to help keep the design in place.
  5. With the design in place, cover it with a piece of paper, then apply pressure and heat (380 to 400 degrees) using a heat press for about 45-50 seconds.
  6. Remove the paper from the canvas bag and let the bag cool down.

Important: while sublimating on canvas bags, make sure to use natural canvas bags instead of white canvas bags. The dyes will not be as bright on white canvas bags. Also, do not apply pressure for more than 50 seconds, or you might damage the canvas bag.

Video tutorial to sublimate on canvas bags

 

Wrapping Up

By using canvas sublimation, you can easily transfer a digital photo to a stretched canvas with the highest quality. The end result is an eye-catching artwork that can be used as wall art, a gift, or whatever your heart desires. We hope you enjoy this new way to sublimate your favorite memories and designs!

Whether you are using cotton or polyester canvases, the process is fairly simple and straightforward. Just make sure to follow the steps carefully, and you’ll be able to create beautiful pieces of art in no time!

Epson sublimation printers are taking the designing industry to an advanced level.

 

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

How do you sublimate on canvas?

Follow this method to sublimate on canvas;

  1. Print the image or design you would like to sublimate onto the paper using a sublimation printer in inverted format.
  2. Preheat your heat press to 380 degrees
  3. Cut the image out using scissors to the shape of the canvas.
  4. Place the design face down on the canvas and use heat press tape to secure it in place.
  5. Cover the design with a piece of paper and apply pressure and heat (380 to 400 degrees) using a heat press for about 45-50 seconds.
  6. Remove the paper and let the canvas cool down. Once it has cooled down, you can remove the heat press tape and display your work of art!

 

What type of canvas is used for sublimation?

Cotton and polyester canvases can both be used for sublimation. However, it is important to note that cotton canvases require lamination with thermal lamination paper prior to sublimation, while polyester canvases do not.

 

Can I sublimate on canvas tote?

Yes, you can sublimate on canvas tote bags using the same method described above. Just make sure to use a cotton canvas tote bag, as polyester tote bags are not suitable for sublimation.

 

Can you sublimate on 100 cotton canvas?

Yes, you can sublimate on 100% cotton canvas using the same method described above. However, it is important to note that cotton canvases require lamination with thermal lamination paper prior to sublimation.

 

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