Sublimation vs Inkjet Printing Methods – What is the Difference?

Are you confused about the differences between sublimation and inkjet printing? Do you want to learn about sublimation vs inkjet printing? Do you want to learn which printing method is best for your printing requirements? Then remain with us, In this article, we will explain the different characteristics of these two printing techniques.

Sublimation vs Inkjet Printing Methods

In sublimation printing we use heat to transfer ink onto different materials, like metal, fabric, wood etc. and create vibrant and long lasting prints.

In case of inkjet printing, we spray liquid ink on to the printing materials surface. It is cheap and we can use it for everyday printing.

Differences Between Sublimation Vs inkjet

Sublimation and inkjet printing methods are two different printing approaches. Both of the methods have their own characteristics. Here we will discuss some main differences between sublimation printing and inkjet printing.

Printing Process

  • In sublimation printing, we heat the sublimation ink and it directly converts into a gaseous state and spreads over the surface of the material. Then ink dry and make a vibrant and long lasting print onto the material.
  • In the inkjet printing method, liquid ink spreads onto the printing surface of material with tiny nozzles. This ink can be pigment ink or any dye based ink. And it is good for paper materials.

Printing Materials

  • Sublimation printing works best on polyester coated materials. Mostly it is used  on fabrics, metals, wood and other polyester coated materials.
  • Inkjet printing method is vast and we can print different materials like paper, canvas, some fabrics and much more.


  • Sublimation prints are durable and long lasting. Prints do not fade away with the passage of time. The ink becomes the part of the materials that makes it more vibrant.
  • The durability of the inkjet printing method depends on the ink used for printing. Pigment based inks are better than dye based ink.

Color Vibrant

  • In the sublimation printing method, it produces more vibrant, high resolution and long lasting colors.
  • Inkjet printing produces high quality colors but the color durability of the ink depends on the usage of ink.


  • Sublimation printing is a little bit costly.
  • Inkjet printing is cost effective.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Sublimation Vs Inkjet

Keep in mind the basic difference between inkjet and sublimation,  there are multiple factors to keep in mind when choosing sublimation vs inkjet printing.

  1. Materials: Keep in mind the materials you are going to print on. Inkjet printers are versatile and can handle various materials, while sublimation printing works best on synthetic fabrics.
  2. Cost Comparison: It is the most important factor while choosing the printing methods. Compare the prices of sublimation and inkjet printers, also the cost of supplies like heat press machine, sublimation ink and sublimation papers. In this way you will get the most cost effective options according to your needs.
  3. Project Size: Consider the design flexibility and paper size. Inkjet printers can handle any size of paper that makes them more suitable for large projects.

These factors help you while choosing between sublimation vs inkjet.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Is Sublimation Printing Better Than Inkjet?

Yes, sublimation printing is better than inkjet for certain applications. We mostly use sublimation printing when we require vibrant colors and long lasting durability. Sublimation printing mostly used materials like fabrics, ceramics, and metals. Inkjet printing is cost effective and mostly used for daily printing needs. 

Can I Use My Inkjet Printer for Sublimation?

Yes you can use an inkjet printer for sublimation printing but it requires some modification. But for sublimation printing you have to require special sublimation ink, sublimation paper and also check the compatibility of your computer.


In conclusion, sublimation vs.  inkjet printing has its own pros and cons. Sublimation printing offers vibrant and durable prints on various materials, making it ideal for clothing and customized gift items. On the other hand, inkjet printing is more affordable and commonly used for everyday printing needs.

When you want to choose between sublimation vs inkjet, it’s important to consider factors such as cost, print quality, and the specific materials for which you are choosing the printing method. So choose the right one that best fits your printing requirements.

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