How to Sublimate on Dark Shirts -Sublimation on Black Shirts

The trend of home businesses has elevated to a new level after the outbreak of Covid 19. Sublimation printing is the best idea because of its low running cost, freedom of creativity, and profitability. Sublimation on white shirts are common but sublimation on dark T-shirts is not widely known. Many people are still unaware that can you sublimate on black shirts. There is a common misconception that sublimation is not possible on dark fabrics. However, it can be possible. If you are interested in to know thet how to sublimate on dark shirts, then you are in the right place.


The process of sublimation dark t-shirts is not so much difficult. It is same as we sublimate on other colored cotton shirts including white color t-shirts as well. Directly we can not sublimate on dark colors. We will make it possible by using white glitter HTV or EasySubli. Both EasySubli and white glitter HTV contain polyester which makes it possible for sublimation.

As an entrepreneur you have to look after different clients and their requirements,. Sequentially you should know about different kinds of substrates for sublimation using heat transfer machine. For many of us, “how to sublimate on dark shirts” is a big deal, so I tried my best to answer this query below.

How to Sublimate On Dark Shirts – Sublimation on Dark Colors

In sublimation process, ink is transfer onto different substrates, like sublimation on vinyl, cotton, paper, PVC, glass, wood, canvas, or more. In this process, different kinds of technologies are used in order to penetrate the dyes into materials including laser technology and heat-transfer systems. Among all, I found the heat-press mechanism most reliable, affordable, and technically convenient; however, it depends on your printer quality too.

How to Sublimate On Dark Shirts Without Bleach?

Sublimation on dark cotton shirts is similar to sublimation on colored shirts or even white tees unless you’re not bleaching the shirt. In my opinion, there is no need to bleach the dark fabric to sublimate it because there are some top-notch printers available in the market that offer printing on black substrates too, for instance, a Sawgrass sublimation printer, Epson EcoTank printer, and so forth. Remember not to use a regular printer for sublimation as this way you’ll put your device at threat.

Things Required to Sublimation on Dark Shirts

Once you get your hands on a nice printing machine, you’ll need the following additional materials to complete the sublimation procedure:

  • Sublimation printer
  • Heat transferring vinyl
  • Heat press
  • Scissors or cutter
  • Dark Shirt or fabric
  • Lint roller
  • Parchment paper

Make sure to line up all the required things before you start the process to avoid any inconvenience in the middle of the process.

Over that, I want a bit of your attention over the ink or hues you’re using as it plays a major role in the end result. Good quality ink is the one that provides vibrant, vivid, well-contrasted, and precise print, and is not prone to fading or rupturing. As per my experience, you should use genuine ink similar to your printer’s brand to end up with picture-perfect results: like Epson ink tank is ideal for an Epson printer only.

Step By Step Process to Sublimate on Dark Colors

How to sublimate on dark shirts, here is the step by step process to sublimation on dark shirts. In the first step, you need to select or create the design to be printed on your black shirt. You can draw a creative design using different illustrators, or also download already made patterns or graphics from search engines. Once you have selected the design, it’s time to start the sublimation printing on black shirts.

Now print the chosen graphic on the sublimation paper. For your information, the sublimation paper has two sides: a shinier face and a rough surface you have to print the artwork over the coarse or matte side as the shiny surface cannot hold ink. By using the scissor or cutter, remove the extra part and keep it aside. After that, it’s time to prep your t-shirt with a roller that removes all the wrinkles.

Place the heat press over the tabletop and set the temperature to 360 F. It is recommended to pre-press the fabric using an iron to reduce the humidity level to zero. Now place the shirt and parchment paper like a sandwich in the heat press and hold for a minimum of 15 seconds. The process is over here, but ensure that you have to wait for the dark shirt to dry completely before you wear it.

Tips to Sublimate on Dark Shirts

To get good sublimation result on dark shirts follow these some useful tips

Tip 1: Use sublimation specific dark transfer paper: Regular sublimation paper is not designed for dark fabrics. Look for sublimation transfer paper specifically designed for dark colored garments. These papers have a white base that helps the colors of your design stand out on dark shirts.

Tip 2: Select a design with vibrant colors: Dark shirts can absorb some of the colors during the sublimation process, making the design appear less vibrant. Choose designs with bold and vibrant colors to ensure they show up well on the dark fabric.

Tip 3: Pre press the shirt: Before applying the sublimation transfer, pre-press the dark shirt using the heat press. This helps remove any moisture and wrinkles from the fabric, ensuring better transfer results.

Tip 4: Test and adjust: Achieving the desired results when sublimating on dark shirts may involve some experiments. It’s always a good idea to conduct a test run on a similar fabric or an extra shirt to fine-tune your process before applying the design to the final garment.

Remember, sublimation works best on fabrics with a high polyester content, as the sublimation inks bond with the polyester fibers. Dark shirts with a high polyester content will yield better results compared to shirts with low polyester content.


How to sublimate on dark t-shirts?

Sublimation on dark shirts is similar to sublimation on colored shirts or even white tees. There is no need to bleach the dark fabric to sublimate it because there are some top-notch printers available in the market that offer printing on black substrates too, for instance, Sawgrass sublimation printer, Epson EcoTank printer, and so forth. I found Epson WF-7720 best for sublimating on dark colors.

How to sublimate on dark cotton shirts?

Cotton and polyester fabric are among my top preferences when it comes to sublimation because of their porosity, durability, stretch, and resistance. You’ll need an excellent quality printer, heat transferring vinyl, scissors or cutter, heat press, shirt or fabric, lint roller, and parchment paper to undergo sublimation on dark cotton shorts. For more details about how to sublimate on dark shirts, read the article.

Can I use sublimation on dark shirts?

Yes, of course. Sublimation on black shirts is possible via a compatible sublimation printer or through bleaching. Personally, I do not prefer bleaching because it weakens the fabric and eliminates its natural color and existence; therefore, you should buy a printing device like a Sawgrass sublimation printer, Epson ET printer, and Epson WF sublimation device to undergo the process.

Can you sublimate on a black shirt?

Yes, you can sublimate a black shirt with the help of a faultless sublimation printer. All you need to do is select the design, print it over sublimation paper, and place the paper, fabric, and parchment-like a sandwich in the heat press and hold for 15 seconds. Your customized tee is ready to wear.

Final Thoughts!

Now you have learnt how to sublimate on dark shirts. We can easily transform our old tees or customize new shirts using a perfect sublimation printer in simple steps. While performing the process, make sure to gather the required materials at first and write down the instructions given above to avoid any mistakes. You’ll get a super light, fresh, resistant, vibrant, and beautiful customized shirt in minutes.

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