How to Sublimate A Shirt – Sublimation Prints for Shirts

Do you have lot of old worn t-shirts in your wardrobe? The designs on your t-shirts have cracked and you do not want to waste your these favorite t-shirts? Then you can sublimate these t-shirts according to your requirements and make new again. Sublimation is the best printing process which never fade the t-shirt design even after many washes. Now here the question how to sublimate a shirt?

how to sublimate a shirt

There is no need to worry. I usually do t-shirt sublimation with my worn stuff to play a role in a sustainable fashion. If you are ready to give a chance to your inner fashion designer and want to know how to sublimate a shirt? Stay tuned to this informative blog we will discuss how to sublimate shirt in detail.

How To Sublimate A Shirt – T-shirt Sublimation

What is Sublimation

Sublimation is the process that involves transferring dyes or hues onto the material. That happens with the help of different methods like heat transfer, laser technology, and so forth. The materials used in sublimation printing are technically known as substrates, and the examples are fabric, paper, glass, vinyl, PVC, etc. In this article, we will stick to the fabric materials like pure cotton, mixed cotton, etc., to explain how to do sublimation shirts.

How To Make Sublimation Shirts – Shirt Sublimation

Before we move on to how to sublimate a shirt, I want to discuss the chemistry of this process. Fabric is a porous material and upon heating, its pores become open this way dyes are integrated or indulged into those pores permanently. The same chemistry applies if we are sublimating other products like sublimation on canvas, glass, nylon etc. Once we complete the printing process, we need to dry the shirt and it’s ready to wear.

To bring out a perfect shirt sublimation we will need these basic materials:

  • A sublimation printer
  • An excellent quality substrate
  • Genuine sublimation inks

Please never try to use a regular printer for sublimation as it will ruin the machine as well as our time, money, and effort. A sublimation printing device is designed to undergo a specific process, so we need to stick to that only.

Secondly, the substrate we use is of great concern as low quality material is less durable, resistant, and looks average. Pure polyester is the top notch substance to make a sublimated shirt for its strength and capacity to hold the ink. While we can consider any fabric with high polyester or cotton ratio to undergo this process nicely.

Over that, the inks we use matter a lot. As cheap quality toners are prone to fading and might break apart from the fabric after use. That’s why we should use excellent quality USA made inks to get the best sublimation prints. In my suggestion, one should use the genuine ink of the printer’s brand. For instance, if we are using an Epson printer, the ink tanks or cartridges manufactured by the same brand are most reliable.

How To Make Sublimation Designs For Shirts

In order to make sublimation designs for shirts, we will need the following things:

  • A sublimation printer
  • Sublimation ink
  • Sublimation paper
  • Polyester shirt
  • Lint roller
  • Heat-press
  • Butcher paper
  • Heat resistant tape

Please gather all the required materials in line before start the process to avoid any hassle. Once we are done with materials, it’s time to pick our favorite design and print it onto the paper; it could be a logo, graphic, artwork, picture, or anything.

  1. Finalize the design, create it from photoshop, illustrator, corel draw or from other software or download it.
  2. Now print the design on sublimation paper by using sublimation printer.
  3. Preheat the heat press machine according to the requirements mentioned on heat press/
  4. Place the butcher paper beneath the fabric. In the case of shirts and pillows, we need to set the butcher paper inside the apparel to get the perfect results.
  5. Adjust the shirt on the butcher paper and keep the printed sheet over the fabric in a way that the design is facing the shirt. Tape it down if it is moving.
  6. It’s time to begin the heating for 45-55 seconds and our sublimated shirt will be ready shortly.
  7. After that lift the heat press carefully remove the butcher paper and sublimation design.
  8. Give the shirt some time to cool it at room temperature.

It’s a complete process how to sublimate a shirt and how to make sublimation designs for shirts.

Tips to Sublimate A shirt

  • Please make sure that the fabric is wrinkle less.
  • Paper doesn’t move to get the best results. Tape it if it is moving.


How to dye sublimation printing t-shirts?

The process is pretty simple and fun; you need to decide on the shirt and design of your choice. Set the heat press and place butcher paper beneath the substrate and printed sheet over the substrate in a way that the design is facing the shirt. Tape it down to avoid any error in printing. Once you’ve set everything correctly, begin the heat press process to make a picture perfect sublimated t-shirt.

How to make shirts with a sublimation printer?

Sublimation printers are used to transfer the design like logo, captions, images, graphics, artwork, etc., onto the substrate including fabric. For this purpose, you’ll need the best sublimation printer, a polyester shirt, genuine inks, and some additional accessories. To know more, please swipe up and read how to sublimate a shirt.

How to make dye sublimation shirts?

Making dye sublimation shirts is not a big deal unless you have a promising sublimation printer, an excellent-quality fabric, and inks. Download your favorite design and print it out onto the paper; now place the paper over the fabric and sublimate it using a heat press.

What shirts are good for sublimation?

Polyester is the most reliable material for sublimation because of its excellent ink holding capacity, porous surface, resistance, and stretchability. Shortly, any fabric with high poly and cotton ratio is good for sublimation.

Final Thoughts

Sublimation has evolved in previous years and for its increased hype in today’s market. A lot of people now use it as an earning source. After this detailed discussion I am sure you have come to know “how to sublimate a shirt”. Sublimation designs are high quality and long lasting designs. A special type of sublimation ink is used for sublimation printing. It merges in to the fabric and make a strong bond with fabric. We can can create any type of design but we the sublimation performs good for polyester or polyester coated fabric.

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