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What Is Sublimation Printing? How Does Sublimation Printing Work? [Complete Guide – 2023]

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Last Updated on January 13, 2023 by Michael Levi

With the passing day, trends may see that the business of sublimation printing is making its way all over the world. Complete reading this article until the very end to know everything about the sublimation printing business with every detail.

Must Read: Top Rated 11 Best Affordable Sublimation Printer Reviews & Buying Guide

Must Read: Top Rated 9 Best Sublimation Ink Reviews & Buying Guide

What Is A Sublimation Printer?

Sublimation printers can also work as regular printers, but the print cost will be expensive because sublimation ink is costly. Sublimation printers give the perfect print with the cleanest and most good result, and this is the main reason the modern world is turning its way toward the sublimation printing business.

Sublimation printers differ from regular ones as the dye ink printed from a sublimation printer is changed into vapor or gas when the heat transfer process occurs. In this way, the printed material (graphic, text, picture) is transferred onto the needed surface.

A sublimation printer is a different and special type of printer that is only related to printing graphics, which can be sublimated onto something that a person might want. Sublimation printers are different from regular printers. They use a special l type of ink commonly referred to as dye sublimation ink, making the printed material lustrous, clean, and easy to sublimate.

Video Guide – What Is Sublimation Printing

Is There A White Ink Sublimation Printer?

When we talk about artists, there might be new tricks to print the color white by using different shades that give the color white. There might be a way, a special technique, to make white color printed by a printer, whether a sublimation printer or a regular printer, but so far, no such common way has been displayed.

In conclusion, the white part of the graphic you want to get printed through a sublimation printer will remain unprinted, exposing the background or base color of the object you are transferring the print to. The color printers read white color as the absence of color; due to this, there are no white ink sublimation printers.

The white ink for sublimation can not b printed. For the color white to be displayed on your print, you have to choose a white background. The graphic containing white color will remain unprinted, so it’s best to choose the background white if you want white color.

What Is Sublimation Ink?

What is sublimation ink - What is Sublimation Printing -

As mentioned above, a sublimation printer is a different and unique kind of printer that needs different products – one of the different things that a sublimation printer needs are sublimation ink. Sublimation ink is different from regular ink as it changes into vapor or gas when heat transfer happens. It is used mainly for the dye printing process, changing to gas, leaving the print on the required surface.

If you are wondering if regular inks are different from sublimation inks or not, then yes! Sublimation inks are different from regular inks. You can not make the mistake of putting regular ink into your sublimation printer, as it might destroy the capability of your sublimation printer.

 The quality of sublimation ink is very important as it deals with the clarity, resolution, and brightness of the image or any kind of graphic transferred. Well, most of the sublimation inks are high quality which might be why they are costly. You may also need to know that there is also a special type of paper used for the process of sublimation printing, which is nothing like regular printers.

The Sublimation inks are not like regular inks as they are different chemical products. Since the process f sublimation printing s generally mainly specific to dye sublimation, then sublimation ink is used to carry the process as it can transfer or sublimate the print onto the fabric or any surface required.

Dye sublimation inks may seem less in color (lighter) until heat is transferred. It all tells how sublimation printers and their inks are different from traditional printing.

What Is Sublimation Print On Fabric?

Over a few years, a new trend has leaped: sublimation printing on fabrics. It is not news that people like to go with the flow; that’s why sublimation print on the fabric is considered a new fashion trend. To sublimate prints on fabrics, we have to use a sublimation printer. All Sublimation printers are modified, and we can say that they are the advanced type of printers famous for their extra efficiency to provide prints on different daily life products, including clothes mugs, etc.

Sublimation prints are nowadays really common and trendy as people like to wear jackets with their names. There are so many other things on which different objects, fabrics, mugs, and bags can use the process of sublimation.

Sublimation printing is a method of converting your design to anything you want it to be on. It could be a piece of clothing, cotton fabric, or a shirt, and the design could be anything. It could be hand-drawn which you have filled in on your laptop, and you can easily connect your sublimation printer to your laptop so that your design can be on your desired object.

What Is A Sublimation Transfer?

After printing the required graphic design you want on your fabric, you have to transfer it using heat transfer. This whole process of transferring the printed design on your fabric’s surface can be referred to as sublimation transfer. Sublimation itself is a process where you have to transfer dyes onto the fabric and material.

The first step to this is that a sublimation printer gives a print onto a special kind of paper, a sublimation paper with the usage of sublimation ink. Then this print is transferred into the surface of any fabric that the person might want.

What Materials Can Be Sublimated?

There is a variety of materials on which sublimation can occur. Mostly nowadays, the most common thing on which sublimation is happening is fabric, as it has become a part of a trend to wear t-shirts and jackets with your name on them.

When there is nonglossy material, it can easily conduct the sublimation ink, and the graphic you have printed through the sublimation printer will be perfectly sublimated.

The ideal materials on which sublimation shows its best results are hardboards, polymer-coated surfaces, and glass, generally. We are here talking about the rough surfaces that can conduct inks.

Though there is a vast list of materials, you can use sublimation.

  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Glass (Mugs, Drink Ware)
  • Plastic reinforced by a fiberglass
  • Wood
  • Cardboard
  • Hardboards
  • Canvas
  • Ceramics
  • Metals
  • Linen
  • Tote bags

In conclusion, we have to tell that sublimation can easily be conducted onto nonglossy surfaces and conduct ink. There are a variety of materials onto which sublimation can happen, but we see that nowadays, sublimation on bags, clothes, mugs, and mobile phone cases is really in trend.

What Do I Need For Sublimation Printing?

The process of sublimation printing is nothing like the process of regular printing. Sublimation printing is costly compared to regular printing.     

For the sublimation printing, you need the following gadget:

  • Sublimation printer
  • Sublimation paper
  • Sublimation ink
  • Heat transfer
  • Object to be sublimated

Sublimation printing is concerned with printing your design on sublimation paper. Then use a heat transfer to print on your desired object, which could be anything like wood, glass, mugs, shirts, it could be anything. Suppose you are thinking of investing in sublimation printing. In that case, it is highly recommended that you keep reading our articles as we have researched from different sites to give you the best information about the growing sublimation printing business.

How To Start A Sublimation Printing Business?

Read this article completely to learn about the sublimation printers and how they can provide you with a rocking profit in the minimum range of investment, keep reading to find out!

If you are thinking of starting a business that will provide you profit with minimum expense at the startup, If you are thinking of starting the business of sublimation printer, then here we are providing you with the legit information that we have gathered through the latest research.

Sublimation printing is famous because many people like the brand’s names and their profession on their notebook books. The sublimation printing business may be hard to set up, but once you have gathered all the main things, nobody can stop you from being successful.

  • Main things for setting up a sublimation business:
    • 1- Sublimation printer
  • All the things which you might need regarding the sublimation printer:
    • Sublimation ink
    • Sublimation paper
  • The object onto which you have to convert your design


The most important thing that most sites fail to tell the beginner in sublimation printing is that to develop your sublimation printing business, you must first gather people interested in buying your products. You must gather hundreds of clients interested in getting customized sublimated products for them.

Never lose hope while starting something new, as the better you try to work harder, you must achieve something after putting in your best.

How To Create A Sublimation Printing Design?

How to create a sublimation

The initial step in sublimation printing is to design a sublimation design. There is plenty of software by which you can create the perfect design for sublimation.

Some most used software for creating the best sublimation designs are:

  • ProCreate
  • Canva
  • Cricut
  • Adobe Photoshop

You can easily create your desired design by using different apps and software. Make sure to use the proper file type while saving your sublimation design, as the file type plays an important role when your design has to be printed onto the sublimation printer.

The file type which you should use is:

  • PNG
  • JPEG
  • SVG
  • PDF
  • EPS
  • TIFF

It is really important to create the perfect design that must be sublimated. With the usage of the apps we have mentioned above, you can easily give birth to the imagined designs in your mind.

Software For Sublimation Printing?

To get the best quality of your sublimation prints, you must use the right software for your printing process. You have to make sure that the software you are using meets all your cuts. You have to make sure that it gives the perfect results, whether you are printing abstract designs or printing texted quotes.


You also have to buy the perfect software for your printing process, but once you have found the best software, you have to invest once to buy it for your printing business.

Some of the highly recommended software for sublimation printing is discussed below:

Adobe Photoshop:

It is one of the most famous software used worldwide for printing. It is easily used and can give all the functions in its premium package. Photoshop has all the main tools you might need for your printing process. It is easy to use, and if you are new and don’t know how to use this software, you can find hundreds of tutorials online on how to work with it.


You might find it interesting that you can even use the word for dealing with your sublimation printing process; though we might tell you that it might take much effort for you to put in, it’s better to use some other software than this.


There is a variety of software to make your sublimation printing shine. One of those is Cricut. With this software, you can do most of the main editing regarding your printing process.

How To Make Sublimation Transfers?

Sublimation transfer is when the heat has been provided to the print, resulting in dye sublimation ink being transferred onto the fabric.

To perform the sublimation transfer, you need to have a sublimation printer. To transfer the design printed from your sublimation printer, you should have a heat transfer to transfer the design from the sublimation printer to the fabric or any other design on another material’s surface.

What Are Sublimated Graphics?

What are sublimated graphics? -

The term sublimated graphic can be defined as the graphic design printed on clothing, mug or wallet, bag, etc. As in sublimation printing, the dye, while being transferred through heat transfer, is converted into vapor or gas, leaving the design on the fabric or mug.

As we all know by now, the sublimation process is the process in which the printed part is transferred onto the surface of any ink-conducting material.

When this process of sublimation is completed, we can say that the graphic is printed on the fabric, or mugs are referred to as sublimated graphics.

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