How Do Sublimation Printers Work? – Sublimation Material

Nothing is better than starting off your own business in times of social media. Making your own customized t-shirts, printed mugs, bags, pants, and other accessories is much fun. But how to do such a creative and fun thing? For that, you need a sublimation printer. Now you might be thinking, what kind of printer is that and how do sublimation printers work? A sublimation printer is basically a printing process, which prints designs on t-shirts and on other materials. For printing creative and inventive designs, you must buy the best sublimation printer for yourself.

How do Sublimation Printers Work

But, one cannot just buy and start using it. There is a certain process to know and understand its basic functioning before you start off with your work. Now, it seems difficult when it comes to learning how anything works. Well, let’s make it easy for you, as here I have come across how do sublimation printers work. Sit back and give a quick read to the article, which will surely make your working experience of sublimation printers even easier.

How Do Sublimation Printers Work? Dye Sublimation Equipment

The sublimation printers work smoothly and efficiently. Sublimation is a process in which design is printed on the fabric by using heat and pressure. This process is all done by the sublimation printers. The sublimation printers use gas. But for making it clearer to you, here is a process that shows how the sublimation printers work.

Working Process of Sublimation Printers

Firstly for using the sublimation printer, one must need the ink that is required for the sublimation process. It is a type of laser printer which prints the images on the fabric by using ink. For sublimation printers, the paper that is used is also of a special type that is basically made for sublimation printing work. But now, there are some printers that use standard paper as well.

Ghost sublimation toner is also used in some of the printers, which is basically a dye, and it converts a liquid thing into a solid one. It means that the ink is a liquid, which changes into a solid material like the printing design. The toner allows the sublimation printer to directly print the dye on the polyester rather than on the sublimation printer.

For directly applying the dye, you need to press the printer at a temperature of about 200 degrees Celsius. Similarly, the other materials like trousers, t-shirts, and sweaters, etc. accept the color likely. The sublimation printers work best for printing designs because of the vibrant and deep colors induced on the fabric. There is a wide range of printers presents that work according to your work.

What Materials can be used for Sublimation?

There are some specific materials that are used for sublimation printers. Sublimation can be used on other materials, too, but some specific ones give the best results. Some materials like polyester and PVC-coated ones provide the best results. During the process, what really happens is that the pores of the fabric open and allow the ink to indulge into it. While the temperature comes back to normal, the ink is absorbed into the fabric, and the image/design is formed on it. There are two basic materials that come under the sublimation category are;

  • Sublimation Sheet Material (consist of polymer-coated aluminum; the plastic sheets, coated plywood, polymer-coated magnetic materials, polycarbonates, and fiberglass)
  • Sublimation Material (plastic for vacuum forming, PVC, polyester textile, and foam board)

Materials That are not Suitable for Sublimation Printer

Sublimation printers mostly prefer polyester or PVC-coated items for printing. Other materials like cotton do not accept the printing of images and designs. Such fibers have no pores, so it does not allow the ink to be absorbed into the 100% cotton fabric. You can sublimate the cotton cloth, but it does not result as well as the polyester does. After some washes, the image will be crackly, and the colors will fade with the passage of time.

White Toner Sublimation

White toner sublimation printers provide the best images on white t-shirts. The colors are more vibrant and clear. They are more flexible and allow multiple options of using different colors. The white toner sublimation printers are more appealing and demanding to the users.

What Type of Ink is Used for Sublimation

A special type of sublimation ink is used for printing, which is SubliJet-HD. It is very viscous and unique. It prints fast and works efficiently. This ink provides the best and bright images on the t-shirts. This ink prints high-quality images, which are stamped permanently. The sublimation ink is reliable and durable, which prolongs the quality of the design and prevents cracking and fading.

How Long Do Sublimation Shirts Last

If the ink and sublimation printers are of high quality, then the images and prints are of good quality. The prints are long-lasting, and it prevents fading of the colors. Suppose the fabric used is of preferred quality, then the sublimation design or prints last for almost ten years, which is huge. The reason is that the dye or ink is absorbed in the fabric properly.

What Equipment Do You Need For Dye Sublimation

For sublimation printing we have required

  • Sublimation printer
  • A computer
  • Heat press machine

If we are using a sublimation printer, then we need a tablet or a computer screen for creating the designs of our choice. For creating the designs on the fabric, we need a heat press. While, if we are printing the designs on the mugs and hats, for that, we need a mug and hat press, respectively. These are the basic equipment that we want for dye sublimation.

Advantages of Sublimation Printers

There are many advantages of sublimation printers. It provides benefit to the user by giving the best and satisfactory results. You can also get all the advantages if you have got the best sublimation printer for yourself. Following are the perks of having the best sublimation printer.

  • Firstly, the sublimation printers print the design on stiff materials like mugs, plates, clocks, photo slates, etc.
  • The sublimation printer consists of 1000 prints for you to print the designs of your choice.
  • Its functioning is very simple once you get to know how it works.
  • It works fast, which saves you time, and you can print more designs in a short time. The fast speed of sublimation printers provides more productivity of work.
  • The dye is completely integrated into the fabric or material, so it does not fade down with time.
  • Once you print the design, it saves your money because the vibrant and bright colors are printed in just one go.
  • There are numerous choices of colors that it provides. Also, there are a variety of printing designs that one can choose from and print on the required fabric or any other materials.

Printers Suitable as Sublimation Printers

The printers which works on viscous dyes are suitable for sublimation printing. Due to pressure and heat sensitivity of the ink, special type of sublimation printers are needed. Simple or regular inkjet printers work with special water bas ink. And there is a difference between special and normal ink and it is not suitable for print heads and tubes.


Can sublimation print white?

Yes, sublimation printers do print the designs on white and light shade shirts because it produces vibrant color on them. But, for white t-shirts, the ink should be of dark color rather than light.

What is a sublimation ink printer?

The sublimation ink printer transfers the designs and creative motives on the t-shirts, trousers, mugs, bags, and on other materials. For printing purposes, sublimation ink is required.

What makes a printer a sublimation printer?

Sublimation printers use heat to print the design on fabric. Firstly, you have to make the design of your choice on the sublimation paper. After that, you need to put the paper in the printer, and then under the heat, the design is printed on the fabric.

What can I do with a sublimation printer?

With the sublimation printer, you can print the designs of your own choice on the t-shirts and on other materials as well. Make your own choice designs and print them on t-shirts to start your own customized business.

Is sublimation printing expensive?

Sublimation printers use special ink for printing the designs on the fabric by using heat. This overall process is costly. The sublimation printers are expensive but worth buying.


Sublimation printers work best and according to the choice of the user. Make your own customized t-shirts and start a business of your own. After reading this article, you will clearly know the how do sublimation printers work? The ink, sublimation paper and other equipment that you need to use are also mentioned for your convenience. Print your favorite designs and establish the work of your own choice.

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