How To Put Sublimation On A Shirt?

How To Put Sublimation On A Shirt?

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When it comes to adding sublimation to a shirt, the possibilities are endless. Did you know that sublimation printing allows for vibrant and durable designs that won't fade or crack like traditional methods? This cutting-edge technique involves transferring ink directly onto the fabric using heat and pressure, resulting in stunning, permanent, and high-quality images. Whether you're customizing t-shirts for your business, creating personalized gifts, or designing unique apparel for events, sublimation is the way to go.

The process of putting sublimation on a shirt involves several key steps. First, the design is printed onto special sublimation paper using dye-based inks. Next, the printed design is placed face-down onto the shirt and secured in place with heat-resistant tape. The shirt and paper are then subjected to high heat and pressure using a heat press, causing the ink to transform from a solid to a gas state. This gas then permeates the fibers of the shirt, resulting in a permanent bond between the ink and the fabric. The final result is a vibrant, durable, and long-lasting design that is sure to impress.



How To Put Sublimation On A Shirt?

Understanding Sublimation Printing on Shirts

Sublimation printing is a popular method for transferring unique and vibrant designs onto shirts. Unlike traditional printing methods, sublimation involves dyeing the fabric itself rather than applying a layer of ink on top. This results in a long-lasting, fade-resistant, and high-definition print that feels soft and comfortable to wear. If you want to learn how to put sublimation on a shirt, this article will guide you through the process step by step.

Step 1: Choose the Right Sublimation Printer

The first step to putting sublimation on a shirt is to choose the right sublimation printer. There are various types of printers available specifically designed for sublimation printing. Look for a printer that has a dedicated sublimation ink system, as regular inkjet printers are not compatible with sublimation inks. Additionally, consider the size of the printer and its printing capabilities based on your specific needs.

Once you have the sublimation printer, ensure that you have the appropriate software installed to manage your designs and print settings. Most sublimation printers come with their own software, but you can also use popular graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDRAW.

Finally, make sure to purchase sublimation inks and sublimation paper compatible with your printer. These specialized inks and papers are essential for achieving vibrant and long-lasting prints on your shirts.

Step 2: Prepare Your Design

Before printing your design, you need to prepare it appropriately. Start by creating or selecting a design that you want to transfer onto your shirt. Ensure that the design is in a high-resolution format to achieve the best results.

Next, mirror the design horizontally using your graphic design software. When you apply the design onto the shirt, it will transfer in reverse, so mirroring it ensures that the final print appears correctly.

Additionally, consider the size and placement of the design on the shirt. Measure the dimensions of the shirt and adjust your design accordingly to ensure that it fits well and looks visually appealing.

Once you have finalized the design, save it in a format compatible with your sublimation printer and software, such as JPEG or PNG.

Step 3: Prepare Your Shirt and Heat Press

Proper preparation of your shirt and heat press is crucial to ensure a successful sublimation transfer. Follow these steps:

  • Start by pre-washing the shirt to remove any chemicals, dirt, or oils that may interfere with the sublimation process. Use mild detergent and avoid fabric softeners.
  • Ensure that your shirt is made of a suitable fabric for sublimation. Sublimation works best on polyester or polyester blend fabrics, as they have a higher percentage of synthetic fibers that can absorb the dye.
  • If needed, stretch the shirt on a heat press pillow to make sure the print area is smooth and flat. This will prevent any unevenness or wrinkles during the printing process.
  • Preheat your heat press to the recommended temperature for sublimation printing. This temperature can vary depending on the type of fabric and ink you're using, so refer to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Step 4: Print and Transfer the Design

Now it's time to print and transfer your design onto the shirt:

  • Load the sublimation paper into your printer's paper tray, ensuring that the printable side is facing up.
  • Open your design in the software, adjust the print settings (such as color profile and image size), and send the design to print.
  • Once your design is printed on the sublimation paper, trim any excess paper around the design, leaving a small border around it.
  • Position the trimmed sublimation paper with the design facing down onto the desired area of the shirt.
  • Secure the paper in place using heat-resistant tape to prevent it from moving during the transfer process.
  • Place the shirt with the attached sublimation paper onto the heat press, ensuring that the design is facing up.
  • Close the heat press, apply the recommended pressure, and set the timer according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Once the timer is up, carefully open the heat press and remove the shirt. Be cautious as the shirt and heat press can be hot.

Allow the shirt to cool completely before removing the sublimation paper. Peel off the paper slowly, starting from one corner, to reveal the vibrant and permanent design transferred onto your shirt.

Using a Heat Transfer Press

Another method for putting sublimation on a shirt is by using a heat transfer press. This method is commonly used for larger-scale production or when a heat press is not readily available.

Step 1: Choose the Right Sublimation Heat Transfer Press

Similar to choosing a sublimation printer, selecting the right sublimation heat transfer press is crucial. Look for a reliable and durable press that can consistently maintain the required temperature and pressure throughout the transfer process.

Consider the size of the press, as it should accommodate the shirt you're working with comfortably. Smaller presses may be suitable for smaller designs or limited production, while larger presses are ideal for larger designs or higher volumes.

Additionally, check if the press allows for even heat distribution and has adjustable pressure settings. This will ensure that the sublimation transfer is uniform and consistent across the entire design.

Step 2: Prepare Your Shirt and Sublimation Paper

Prepare your shirt and sublimation paper following the same steps mentioned earlier in the article. These steps include pre-washing the shirt, selecting a fabric suitable for sublimation, stretching the shirt if necessary, and preheating the heat transfer press.

Step 3: Print and Transfer the Design

Here's how to use a heat transfer press for sublimation printing:

  • Print your sublimation design onto the sublimation paper using the sublimation printer and compatible inks.
  • Trim the excess paper around the design, leaving a small border.
  • Place the sublimation paper with the design facing down onto the shirt.
  • Secure the paper with heat-resistant tape to prevent movement during the transfer process.
  • Position the shirt with the attached sublimation paper onto the heated platen of the heat transfer press.
  • Close the press, applying the desired pressure based on the fabric and paper thickness.
  • Set the timer according to the recommended transfer time.
  • Once the timer is up, open the press and carefully remove the shirt.

Allow the shirt to cool completely before removing the sublimation paper. Peel off the paper slowly to unveil the vibrant and permanent design on your shirt.

Sublimation printing offers endless possibilities for creating unique and personalized shirts. By following the steps above, you can achieve professional-quality sublimation transfers that will impress and last for a long time.


How To Put Sublimation On A Shirt?

Guide to Applying Sublimation on Shirts

If you want to create vibrant and detailed designs on shirts, sublimation printing is an excellent method. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to put sublimation on a shirt:

Materials You'll Need:

  • Sublimation printer and ink
  • Heat press machine
  • Sublimation paper
  • White polyester shirts
  • Teflon sheet
  • Scissors

Step-by-Step Process:

1. Design your artwork on the computer using sublimation software.

2. Load sublimation ink into the printer and adjust the settings for printing on sublimation paper.

3. Print the design onto sublimation paper. Allow it to dry completely.

4. Preheat the heat press machine to the recommended temperature for sublimation.

5. Cut out the design from the sublimation paper and place it face-down on the shirt.

6. Cover the design with a Teflon sheet to protect it from direct heat.

7. Place the shirt with the design onto

Key Takeaways: How To Put Sublimation On A Shirt?

  • Sublimation is a process where heat and pressure are used to transfer designs onto fabric.
  • Start by choosing a sublimation-ready shirt made of a high polyester content.
  • Create or choose a design for your shirt using a graphic design software.
  • Print the design onto sublimation paper using sublimation ink.
  • Use a heat press machine to transfer the design onto the shirt through heat and pressure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers regarding how to put sublimation on a shirt:

1. Can I use any type of shirt for sublimation?

While you can technically use any type of shirt for sublimation, polyester shirts yield the best results. Polyester allows the sublimation ink to fully transfer onto the fabric, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting prints. Natural fiber shirts, such as cotton, do not absorb the ink as well and may lead to a faded or washed-out appearance.

It's important to note that the higher the polyester content in the shirt, the better the results will be. Aim for shirts that are at least 50% polyester for optimal sublimation printing.

2. What equipment do I need for sublimation printing on shirts?

To put sublimation on a shirt, you will need the following equipment:

- Sublimation printer: This is a specialized printer that uses sublimation inks to create vibrant and long-lasting prints on shirts.

- Heat press machine: This machine is used to transfer the sublimation ink onto the shirt. It applies heat and pressure to ensure the ink fully saturates the fabric.

- Sublimation paper: This special paper is used to print the design using the sublimation printer. It has a coated side that holds the ink and releases it when heat is applied.

3. How do I prepare the shirt for sublimation printing?

Before sublimation printing on the shirt, you should:

- Wash and dry the shirt to remove any dirt or chemicals that may affect the sublimation process.

- Pre-press the shirt with a heat press machine to remove moisture and flatten any wrinkles. This ensures a smooth surface for the sublimation ink to transfer onto.

4. How do I transfer the design onto the shirt?

To transfer the design onto the shirt, follow these steps:

1. Print the design onto sublimation paper using a sublimation printer.

2. Place the printed sublimation paper with the design facing down onto the shirt.

3. Use heat-resistant tape to secure the paper onto the shirt, ensuring it doesn't move during the transfer process.

4. Set the heat press machine to the appropriate temperature and time indicated by the sublimation paper instructions.

5. Place the shirt with the attached paper onto the heat press machine, close the machine, and apply pressure.

6. After the designated time, open the heat press machine, remove the paper, and peel off the sublimation paper to reveal the transferred design on the shirt.

5. How do I care for a sublimated shirt?

To maintain the quality of a sublimated shirt, follow these care instructions:

- Wash the shirt in cold water using a mild detergent.

- Do not bleach or use harsh chemicals, as they can fade the sublimated design.

- Avoid washing the shirt with abrasive materials or garments that may cause friction.

- Hang the shirt to dry or use a cool iron if needed.



To conclude, sublimation is a popular method for adding designs to shirts. It involves transferring ink onto fabric using heat and pressure, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting designs.

To put sublimation on a shirt, you will need a sublimation printer, special sublimation ink, sublimation paper, and a heat press machine. Start by designing or selecting the image you want to transfer. Print it using the sublimation printer and ink onto sublimation paper. Then place the paper onto the shirt, ensuring that the design is facing in the right direction.