How to Make Sublimation Brighter and Vibrant [2022]

The joy of sublimation shatters when we see the colors are dull. Too often, people make the mistake of thinking that all colors will be equally bright and vibrant. When printing with sublimation ink, it is important to get the colors just right.  However, this is not always the case! Let’s discuss the practical methods and tips on how to make sublimation brighter and more vibrant.

how to make sublimation brighter

How to Make Sublimation Brighter – Get Dyes to Pop

Sublimation can be a complicated process for beginners. But it’s a technique that should not be avoided in the long run. Who doesn’t want their own unique gift, or a personalized product? Sublimation is the answer to all your printing needs. But these prints do not come out as bright as we expect for beginners and experts.

However, if your new sublimation prints look faded or dull, follow these tips to make them brighter;

 

1. Check the Quality of Your Sublimation Ink

The first thing you need to do is check the quality of your sublimation ink. You might be using a low-quality dye or even the wrong type of sublimation ink for your project. If you are not sure, ask the supplier which dye is compatible with your sublimation printer, or do some research on the internet. Once you have determined the quality of your ink, you can move on to the next step.

 

2. Use a High-Quality Sublimation Paper

Secondly, you need to make sure you are using a good quality sublimation paper. The type of paper you use will make a big difference in the quality of your print. If the prints are bright and vibrant on the transfer paper, chances are they will produce better results on the substrate too.

 

3. Adjust Your Printer Settings

The next thing you need to do is adjust your printer settings. If you are using a lower quality sublimation ink, you might need to increase the print quality or DPI settings. This will ensure that the ink is being deposited onto the substrate correctly and will help to prevent any fading or color bleeding.

 

4. Use the Right Substrate

Another important factor to consider is the type of substrate you are using. Not all substrates are created equal, and some are better suited for sublimation than others. For example, if you are trying to sublimate onto a dark-colored garment, you’ll likely need to use a transfer paper that is specifically designed for dark garments.

 

 

5. Use a Heat Press

If you are not using a heat press, now is the time to invest in one. A heat press will help to ensure that your design is being transferred correctly and will also prevent any color bleeding or fading. We do not recommend using an iron or any other alternative to the heat press, results will not look vibrant.

 

6. Pre-press Your Substrate

Another important step in the sublimation process is pre-pressing your substrate. This simply means that you’ll need to heat up your substrate before you begin the transfer process. This will help to open up the pores of the substrate (most likely fabric) and allow the ink to be absorbed more easily.

 

7. Apply Proper Heat and Pressure

heat press machine for sublimation Once you have pre-pressed your substrate, it’s time to place the printed sublimation design on the substrate and apply the proper amount of heat and pressure. This is one of the most important steps in the sublimation process, and it’s essential to get it right. You’ll need to set the temperature and pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help the colors “pop” more.

Note: we do not advise using an iron, results will not be bright.

 

8. Post-press Your Substrate

After you have transferred your design, it’s important to post-press your substrate. This step will help to seal the ink and prevent any color bleeding or fading.

Note: not every substrate will require the post-pressing, read the instruction before!

 

Tips on Making Dye-Sublimation Brighter on Mugs

We often get faded prints on mugs and they look very awful! Follow these tips if you want to make your sublimation prints brighter on ceramic mugs;

  1. The first thing you should do is to invest in a good quality sublimation mug.
  2. The next thing you need to do is to adjust your printer settings. Increase the print quality or DPI settings.
  3. Choose the right type of sublimation paper to transfer the design to the mug. If you are trying to sublimate onto a dark-colored mug, you’ll need to use a transfer paper that is specifically designed for dark colors.
  4. Use a heat press machine that is especially designed for mugs, it will ensure that your design is being transferred correctly and will also prevent any color bleeding or fading.
  5. Always pre-press with a heated heat press before starting sublimation, this will open up the pores of the ceramic layer and allow the ink to be absorbed easily.
Video Tutorial on Making Mug Sublimation Brighter

 

Tips for Making Sublimation Brighter and More Vibrant

There are a few things you can do to help ensure that your sublimation colors are bright and vibrant.

  • Use high-quality sublimation ink. These inks often have more pigment particles, which results in brighter and more vibrant colors.
  • Print on a white or light-colored substrate such as garments, mugs, caps and bags, etc. Darker garments can cause the colors to appear muted and less vibrant.
  • Be sure to use high-quality transfer paper. This type of paper is designed to prevent ink absorption, helping to keep the colors bright and vibrant.

In case you mess up your design while sublimation, here’s how you can remove sublimation ink to start over again.

 

Things to Avoid while Sublimation

While sublimation printing, there are a few things you want to avoid in order to maintain vibrancy in your colors.

  • Do not use too much heat. When the temperature is too high, it can cause the colors to become muted and less vibrant.
  • Do not use an old transfer paper. The older the paper, the more likely it is to absorb the ink, making the colors less vibrant.
  • Avoid using lower-quality sublimation ink. Lower quality links often have fewer pigment particles, which can result in dull and boring colors.

 

Conclusion

We shared these tips after doing multiple sublimation projects including t-shirts, bags, caps, mugs, metal tumblers and glass. By following the proper steps and avoiding some common mistakes, you can ensure that your sublimation colors are bright and vibrant. By using high-quality sublimation inks, transfer papers and substrates, and applying heat and pressure for the recommended time, you can create beautiful prints that will last for years to come.

Also, learn how to do sublimation on acrylic and clear vinyl.

 

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

How do I make my sublimation brighter?

There are a few things you can do to make your sublimation colors brighter:

  1. Use high-quality sublimation ink. These inks often have more pigment particles, which results in brighter and more vibrant colors.
  2. Print on a white or light-colored substrate such as garments, mugs, caps and bags, etc. Darker garments can cause the colors to appear muted and less vibrant.
  3. Be sure to use high-quality transfer paper. This type of paper is designed to prevent ink absorption, helping to keep the colors bright and vibrant.
  4. Use a lower temperature when pressing. Higher temperatures can cause the colors to become muted and less vibrant.
  5. Avoid using an old transfer paper. The older the paper, the more likely it is to absorb the ink, making the colors less vibrant.

 

Can I use any type of paper for sublimation?

No, you cannot use any type of paper for sublimation. You must use a transfer paper that is specifically designed for sublimation printing. This type of paper is coated with a polymer that helps to prevent ink absorption and ensure bright and vibrant colors.

 

What is the best substrate for sublimation?

The best substrate for sublimation is a white or light-colored garment. Darker garments can cause the colors to appear muted and less vibrant.

 

Why are my sublimation colors dull?

There are a few reasons why your sublimation colors might be dull:

  1. You are using too much heat. When the temperature is too high, it can cause the colors to become muted and less vibrant.
  2. You are using an old transfer paper. The older the paper, the more likely it is to absorb the ink, making the colors less vibrant.
  3. You are using lower-quality sublimation ink. Lower quality links often have fewer pigment particles, which can result in dull and boring colors.
  4. You are printing on a dark-colored substrate such as a black garment. This can cause the colors to appear muted and less vibrant.
  5. You have not used enough pressure when pressing. This can cause the ink to be absorbed into the substrate, making the colors less vibrant.

 

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