Sublimation printing is a type of digital printing process that transfers dyes onto fabrics, ceramics, wood, or other materials. This printing technique produces high-quality results, making it a popular choice for businesses and organizations. If you are new to this method, here, we’ll guide you on how to do sublimation printing. We’ll also discuss the types of materials that can be used with sublimation printing, as well as some tips for getting the best results.
If you want to pop the colors, learn the technique of making sublimation brighter and more vibrant.
- 1 How to Do Sublimation Printing? Guide for Beginners
- 2 What Can You Sublimate On?
- 3 Tips for Getting the Best Results
- 4 How to Use a Sublimation Printer?
- 5 How to Do sublimation with Cricut?
- 6 Wrapping Up
How to Do Sublimation Printing? Guide for Beginners
In the sublimation transfers process, the image is printed onto a specially treated paper (sublimation paper) using a sublimation printer. The image is then transferred to a heat press where it is heated at a high temperature for a set amount of time. This causes the molecules in the dye to break down into a gaseous state and penetrate into the surface of the substrate where they re-form the design.
Here is a step by step guide for beginners on how to do sublimation printing;
We recommend using a sublimation printer for beginners if you are just starting out with this technique.
Note: you can use this heat sublimation process to sublimate a shirt.
1. Choose the image you want to print
Before you start, make sure that you have the image ready to print. The best images for sublimation printing are digitally printed high-resolution photos or graphics.
2. Print the image onto a sublimation paper
Once you have the image ready, print it onto sublimation paper. Make sure to use a sublimation printer for this step – regular printers will not work.
3. Trim the image to size (Optional)
Trim the image to the desired size if required. You can use a scissor or a cutting machine for this step. (This step is only necessary when you are sublimating on small items such as mug or tumbler)
4. Set the paper onto the substrate
Once you have the image ready on the paper and the substrate, set the paper onto the item. Make sure to place it in the correct position, as incorrect placement can cause the image to become distorted, or you may end up with some white lines. (Make sure the surface of the substrate is clean).
Here’s how to do sublimation on canvas blanks.
5. Apply heat and pressure
Now, it’s time to transfer the dye from the paper to the product. Set up the item along with sublimation paper on the heat press machine and apply heat and pressure. This will cause the dye to break down into a gaseous state and penetrate into the surface of the substrate. (Set the heat press temperature as instructed in the manual, mostly it is between 380 to 400 degrees).
6. Remove the paper from the heat press
Once the image has been transferred, remove the paper from the heat press, and allow the print to cool down and settle before you handle it.
That’s how easy it is to do sublimation printing! Now that you know how to do it, you can create beautiful prints using this process.
Video Guide for Beginners on How to Do Sublimation Printing
In case you make a mess while transferring print, here’s how you can remove sublimation dyes.
What Can You Sublimate On?
Now that you know how the sublimation process works, let’s take a look at what type of materials can be used with it. Not all materials are suitable for sublimation printing. The following materials can be used in this process:
- Fabrics (cotton, polyester, nylon, etc.)
- Acrylic and Vinyl
When choosing a material to sublimate, it’s important to consider the thickness and porosity of the substrate. Thicker materials will require more time to heat through, while porous materials are more likely to absorb the dye, which can affect the final outcome of the print.
Here is a detailed guide on acrylic sublimation.
Tips for Getting the Best Results
Do you want your graphics to look great on the products? Here are a few tips to help you get the best results from your sublimation prints:
- Use high-quality sublimation paper
- Make sure the image is correctly oriented before printing
- Use the correct settings on your sublimation printer
- Preheat the substrate before printing
- Apply even pressure with the heat press
- Allow the printed item to cool completely before handling
How to Use a Sublimation Printer?
A sublimation printer is a type of inkjet printer that is specifically designed for printing images onto sublimation paper using sublimation ink. These printers are available in both desktop and commercial sizes.
To use a sublimation printer, you will need to install the appropriate driver software and create a print queue. You will also need to set the correct print settings for your printer. Once the image is ready, you can print it onto sublimation paper. The paper should be trimmed to size before putting it in the heat press.
Apply heat and pressure to the paper using the heat press. Once the image is transferred, remove the paper from the heat press and allow it to cool down before handling.
Make sure to place the paper in the correct position in the heat press, and apply even pressure using the press for a set amount of time. Allow the item to cool completely before handling.
See the best sublimation inks of 2023.
Video Guide on How to Use a Sublimation Printer
How to Do sublimation with Cricut?
To do sublimation with Cricut, you will need to install the Cricut Maker companion app and follow the on-screen instructions. You will also need to purchase the Cricut Sublimation Kit, which includes a sublimation pen, a transfer sheet, and a cleaning cloth.
Once you have the app installed and the kit assembled, you can begin creating designs for sublimation. The app includes a number of built-in templates and fonts, or you can create your own designs using the vector drawing tools.
The app will provide instructions for Cricut sublimation printing and transferring your designs to a substrate. Make sure to preheat the substrate before printing and apply even pressure with the heat press. In the end, allow the ink to cool completely before packing.
Complete Video Tutorial on How to Do sublimation with Cricut
Now you know how to do sublimation printing, start making custom t-shirts, mugs, mousepads, keychains, and other items that are usually difficult to print. The best part is that sublimation printers allow you to print literally any design – your imagination is the limit. Sublimation transfer is a cost-efficient way to print business logos for branding.
In order to get the best results, it’s important to follow the tips listed above. Make sure to use high-quality sublimation paper and set the correct print settings on the sublimation printer. Preheat the substrate before printing and apply even pressure with the heat press. Do not forget to cool the item completely before handling/packing. With a little practice, you will be able to create beautiful prints using sublimation printing.
We recommend starting with a cheap printer to start with sublimation.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
How do I start sublimation printing?
In order to start sublimation printing, you will need a sublimation printer, sublimation paper, heat press and products you want to sublimate. First, install the appropriate driver software and create a print queue. You will also need to set the correct print settings for your printer. Once the image is ready, you can print it onto sublimation paper by applying appropriate heat and pressure for a certain time using a heat press machine.
What is needed for sublimation printing at home?
In order to do sublimation printing at home, you will need a sublimation printer, sublimation paper, and a heat press.
Can you print sublimation with a regular printer?
No, you cannot use a regular printer to print sublimation. Sublimation printers are specifically designed for printing images onto sublimation paper. You will not be able to get the same results with a regular printer.
What equipment do you need for sublimation printing?
You need the following equipment for sublimation printing;
- Sublimation printer
- Sublimation paper
- Sublimation ink
- Heat press
- Scissor (Optional)
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