How to Print Sublimation Images ?

Sublimation images are synonym for versatility because they can be used for many purposes. Some use them to spread knowledge and make informative content.

On the other hand, they help communicate the right idea behind a brand in advertising. From individuals to companies, use sublimation images for multiple purposes.

But these images need to have a high quality and for that you need to know how to print them properly.

Read this blog to know the printing technicalities behind sublimation images.

What is a Sublimation Image?

Sublimation imaging is a process to transfer an image onto a material using heat and pressure.

This process is commonly used in printing designs onto fabrics, such as polyester, nylon, or other synthetic materials.

The sublimation imaging process involves printing a design onto a special type of transfer paper using sublimation ink.

This transfer paper is then placed onto the material to be printed and subjected to heat and pressure in a special sublimation press.

The heat and pressure cause the ink to vaporize and become embedded into the fibers of the material, resulting in a permanent and high-quality image.

Things you need to print sublimation images

To print sublimation images, you need to have a basic infrastructure. Following are the arrangements you need to make if you want to print sublimation images.

Sublimation Printer:

epson sublimation printer

This type of printer uses special sublimation inks that turn from a solid to a gas when heated, which then bonds with the polyester coating on the sublimation paper.

Sublimation Paper:

inkjet Sublimation Paper

This paper has a special coating that allows the sublimation ink to transfer when heat is applied. Make sure to use sublimation paper that is compatible with your printer.

Sublimation Ink:

Sublimation Ink

Sublimation ink is specifically formulated to turn into a gas when heated, which allows it to bond with the polyester coating on the sublimation paper.

Heat Press:

A heat press is necessary to apply heat and pressure to transfer the sublimation ink from the paper onto the substrate (the item you want to print on).

Polyester-Coated Blanks:

Polyester Coated Blanks

You can sublimate onto a variety of items, but they must have a polyester coating in order for the sublimation ink to bond. Common substrates include mugs, t-shirts, hats, and phone cases.

How to Print Sublimation Images?

To Print Sublimation Images kindly follow the below guidelines:

Sublimation Ink

Ink is an essential part of the sublimation process, and you’ll need to make sure you have the right kind if you want your images to print correctly.

Sublimation ink is specifically formulated for heat transfer printing to a wide range of substrates.

It’s important to get the right type of ink for your printer, so check with your manufacturer to find out which kind they recommend.

With the right ink on hand, you’ll be ready to start producing beautiful sublimation prints!


Now that you know what kind of ink to use, you’ll need to make sure you have the right kind of printer.

It’s crucial to invest in a sublimation printer that suits your printing needs since various printers are created for specific tasks.

Look for a printer with dye-sublimation technology that can handle the heat necessary for transferring images onto substrate materials.

A good quality printer will help you achieve the best results and give you long-lasting prints.

So don’t skimp on this step – invest in a reliable printer and make sure it fits your needs!

Prepare The Image For Printing

Before printing a sublimation image, it’s important to prepare the image correctly. Start by selecting an image of high quality and resolution in a PNG format.

This will ensure that the printed image is sharp and vibrant.

Once you’ve selected your image, open it with a photo editing program such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP.

Make any adjustments necessary to adjust the contrast, brightness, and saturation of the image before resizing it to fit onto whatever product you are printing on.

After that, save the file as a JPEG so that it can be printed with a sublimation printer. Following these steps will ensure that your printed sublimation images turn out perfect every time!

Load The Sublimation Transfer Paper

First, you’ll need to load the sublimation transfer paper into your printer. Make sure the paper is facing up in the correct orientation, with the logo or label on the back of it facing down.

If your printer has a rear tray, use that instead of the main tray.

Once loaded, select ‘Sublimation Transfer Paper’ as your media type in your printer’s settings. This will help ensure that your image prints correctly with the right level of saturation and sharpness.

Next, choose the image you’d like to print and open it in an image-editing software such as Photoshop or Gimp.

Adjust any settings you want to customize before printing, then send it to your printer for output.

To ensure maximum vibrancy and longevity for your printed images, use a heat press after printing to apply a layer of clear foil laminate over top.

And you’re done! Your sublimation images are now ready for display or sale.

Print The Image

Printing sublimation images is relatively easy.

First, you need to get the image you want to print onto a special type of paper. This paper must be made for sublimation printing, which allows for vibrant colors and sharp details.

Next, you’ll need to use a printer that is specifically designed for sublimation printing.

Once you have your image printed onto the paper, place it into the heat press machine and apply heat and pressure to transfer the ink from the paper onto the item you are printing on.

Make sure that all measurements are accurate before you begin pressing, as any mistakes could ruin your finished product.

After a few minutes in the press, remove your item and let it cool off before handling or displaying it.

With these steps, you should be able to easily print beautiful sublimation images with ease!

Transfer The Image To The Object

First, we need to prepare the surface of our object, by cleaning it and ensuring it is smooth.

Then, we can transfer the image using a sublimation printer and heat press.

Finally, we can apply a clear coating to the image to finalize it.

Prepare The Surface

Getting started on sublimation printing is easy – all you need to do is prepare the surface of your object!

It’s important to make sure that the surface is smooth, clean and non-porous so that the image will transfer properly.

Use a lint-free cloth to wipe away any dust or dirt, then give it a quick coat of heat-resistant spray paint if necessary.

Finally, make sure that the object is heated before applying the sublimation paper with the printed image so that it will stick correctly.

That’s all there is to it – now you’re ready to start printing beautiful images with your sublimation printer!

Transfer The Image

Now that the object is prepped and heated, it’s time to transfer the image!

Start by positioning the printed sublimation paper onto the surface of your object – you may need to use a few pieces of tape or a heat press to keep it in place.

Once it’s secure, apply an even layer of heat and pressure for a few seconds so that the ink will transfer onto your item.

This process can take longer for thicker materials, but with some patience and practice, you’ll get great results in no time.

It’s important to note that this process should only be done using specialized equipment as this can be dangerous if not done properly.

Now you’re ready to show off your beautiful creations!

Finalize The Image

Once you’ve completed the transfer process, it’s time to finalize the image!

To do this, you’ll need to remove any excess heat and paper residue that may be left behind. You can use a cloth or brush to gently rub away any debris.

This will help ensure that your design looks as crisp and clean as possible.

It’s also important to let the item cool completely before touching it – otherwise you could end up smearing the ink or damaging the object.

Once everything is cooled off, your image should be ready for display!

Heat Press The Image

To start, let’s discuss choosing the right heat press for the job. We’ll need to consider the size, heat plate material, and type of press before we decide.

A heat press is necessary to apply heat and pressure to transfer the sublimation ink from the paper onto the substrate (the item you want to print on).

Next, let’s talk about setting the heat press temperatures. We’ll have to make sure we’ve set the right temperature and time to ensure our image transfers properly.

Lastly, let’s figure out how to transfer the image to the heat press. We’ll need to know what kind of paper to use, how to lay it on the press, and how to safely remove it afterwards.

Choosing The Right Heat Press

Choosing the right heat press for sublimation printing is crucial to achieving the desired results.

You’ll need to consider the size of your images and the type of material they are printed on, as well as the amount of pressure required to press them into the fabric.

The heat press should be capable of producing even, consistent heat and pressure that won’t damage or warp your fabrics or images.

It’s also important to look for a machine with temperature control settings that can be adjusted depending on the type of material you’re pressing and its required temperature level.

Investing in a quality heat press will help ensure that your prints come out looking sharp and professional every time.

Setting Heat Press Temperatures

Once you’ve got the right heat press for your sublimation printing job, the next step is to set the temperature.

Different materials require different temperatures to ensure a successful transfer, so it’s important to understand what temperature settings are best for your project.

This can be done by consulting with the manufacturer of the material or doing your own research to find out what temperatures work best.

Once you know what temperature is required, you can adjust the heat press accordingly and get ready to start pressing!

Transferring Image to Heat Press

Now that the temperature is set, it’s time to transfer the image onto the heat press.

It’s important to make sure that you have a high-quality image and that you place it correctly on the press before applying heat.

Make sure to also check if there are any instructions from the manufacturer about how to properly transfer images onto their product.

If not, then you can use a few basic tips such as preheating the material, using proper pressure when pressing, and paying close attention to timing.

This will ensure a successful transfer of your image onto your desired material!

Peel Off The Transfer Paper

Before you can begin printing sublimation images, you need to peel off the transfer paper.

To do this, make sure the printed image is face up and hold it firmly in one hand. With your other hand, carefully peel off the transfer paper at a 45-degree angle.

Make sure to tear away from yourself as you peel, so that the transfer paper doesn’t stick to itself or the image.

Once all of the transfer paper has been removed, turn the image over and ensure that all parts of it are properly adhered to the substrate.

If any areas are not sticking correctly, press down on them with a heat press for a few seconds before continuing with your project.

How to Print Sublimation Images from Canva?

Canva is among the favorite platforms of graphic designers.

To print sublimation images from Canva, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Create or select a design in Canva that you want to print using sublimation.
  • Make sure the design is in the correct size and format for sublimation printing. Typically, sublimation printing requires a PNG or JPG file in a high resolution, at least 300 DPI.
  • Download the design from Canva in the correct file format and resolution.
  • Print the image using a sublimation printer, sublimation ink, and sublimation paper. Make sure to follow the instructions provided by your printer and ink manufacturer for best results.

Note: Sublimation printing requires specialized equipment and materials, and may not be suitable for all printing projects. Make sure to research and understand the process and requirements before attempting sublimation printing.

How to Print Sublimation Images for Shirts?

Whether it is to spread a social message or produce customized shirts or t-shirts, sublimation printing is quite popular.

Here are the steps you can follow to materialize your creativity on a shirt.

  • Choose the design you want to print on the shirt and adjust it to the size of your shirt.
  • Print the image onto the sublimation paper using the sublimation printer. Make sure the ink is dry before handling the paper.
  • Preheat the heat press to the required temperature.
  • Place the polyester shirt on the heat press and smooth out any wrinkles.
  • Place the sublimation paper with the image facing down on top of the shirt, making sure it is centered.
  • Cover the shirt and paper with a non-stick sheet.
  • Press the heat press down and apply pressure for 30-45 seconds.
  • Release the pressure and lift the heat press.
  • Remove the paper from the shirt, and you will have a sublimated shirt with your design.
  • Allow the shirt to cool for a few minutes before handling.

How to Print Sublimation Images on Epson Printer?

Epson printer is always among the advanced printing devices when it comes to printing with quality.

To print sublimation images on an Epson printer, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Purchase a sublimation printer: Not all Epson printers are compatible with sublimation ink, so you will need to buy a sublimation printer that is compatible with sublimation ink.
  • Purchase sublimation ink: Sublimation ink is a special type of ink that can be used to print on special sublimation paper, which is then transferred onto the final product. You can purchase sublimation ink from various online retailers or specialized sublimation supply stores.
  • Install sublimation ink: After purchasing sublimation ink, you will need to install it into the sublimation printer. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the ink to ensure proper installation.
  • Print on sublimation paper:Once the sublimation ink is installed, you can print your design onto sublimation paper using your Epson printer. Make sure to select the correct settings for sublimation printing, such as selecting sublimation paper as the paper type and adjusting the color settings as needed.
  • Transfer the image: After printing the design onto sublimation paper, you will need to transfer the image onto the final product. This can be done using a heat press or other sublimation transfer equipment. Follow the instructions provided with your sublimation transfer equipment to ensure proper transfer of the image onto the final product.

How to Print Sublimation Images for Tumblers?

Tumblers and printing need attention on certain aspects because you may have to deal different kinds of surfaces.

Printing sublimation images on tumblers requires some specific equipment and materials.

Here are the general steps to follow:

  • Choose a tumbler with a sublimation-friendly coating. Stainless steel or aluminum tumblers with a white or light-colored coating work best.
  • Create your design using a graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Remember to reverse your design before printing, as sublimation printing transfers the image in reverse.
  • Print your design onto sublimation transfer paper using a sublimation printer. Make sure to use high-quality transfer paper to ensure the best possible image transfer.
  • Use heat-resistant tape to secure the transfer paper onto the tumbler, making sure it is positioned correctly.
  • Preheat your heat press to the appropriate temperature (usually around 400°F) and place the tumbler inside. Make sure the transfer paper is facing the tumbler.
  • Apply pressure and heat for the recommended amount of time (usually around 2-4 minutes), depending on the size and shape of the tumbler.
  • Remove the tumbler from the heat press and carefully remove the transfer paper, being sure not to smudge the image.
  • Allow the tumbler to cool completely before handling it or washing it.
  • Remember to follow the instructions for your specific equipment and materials, as they may vary slightly. With practice and experimentation, you can create beautiful and personalized sublimation images on tumblers.

How to Print Sublimation Images for Mugs?

Printing sublimation images onto mugs involves a special printing process that transfers the design onto the surface of the mug. Here are the steps to print sublimation images for mugs:

  • Design your artwork: Use graphic design software to create your artwork. Make sure that it is high resolution and in the correct size and format for the mug.
  • Print your artwork: Use a dye-sublimation printer and sublimation ink to print your artwork onto sublimation paper. Make sure that your printer settings are set to mirror your image.
  • Prepare the mug: Clean the surface of the mug with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils or debris that could interfere with the transfer process.
  • Attach the design to the mug: Use heat-resistant tape to attach your printed sublimation paper to the mug. Make sure it is centered and secure.
  • Heat press the mug: Use a mug heat press to transfer the design onto the mug. Place the mug in the press with the design facing the mug. Adjust the pressure, time, and temperature settings according to the instructions for your specific heat press.
  • Remove the transfer paper: Once the transfer process is complete, carefully remove the sublimation paper from the mug.
  • Allow the mug to cool: Let the mug cool down completely before handling or washing it.

With these steps, you should be able to print sublimation images onto mugs. It’s important to note that the quality of your final product depends on the quality of your design, printing, and transfer process.

What’s the Free sublimation software for Epson?

There are several free sublimation software options available for Epson printers, including:

  • Sawgrass Print Manager: This software is specifically designed for use with Sawgrass sublimation printers, but it can also work with Epson printers. It offers color management tools, print optimization features, and the ability to create custom ICC profiles.
  • InkScape: This is a free, open-source vector graphics editor that can be used for designing graphics and artwork for sublimation printing. It can export files in a variety of formats that can be used with sublimation software.
  • GIMP: This is a free, open-source image editor that can be used for preparing images for sublimation printing. It offers a wide range of tools and features, including color correction, image manipulation, and filters.
  • FreePrint: This software is designed specifically for use with Epson printers and offers a range of printing options, including sublimation printing. It can be used to print images, text, and graphics onto a variety of materials, including fabrics, mugs, and plates.
  • Ricoh DTG Printers: This software is specifically designed for use with Ricoh sublimation printers, but it can also work with Epson printers. It offers color management tools, print optimization features, and the ability to create custom ICC profiles.

Also Read:

What is an Eco Solvent Printer ?

How to print from Canva ?


Nowadays, we have multiple printing methods and technologies. You can choose any depending on your requirements. The only important thing is that you need to ensure only and only good quality of print. Well, there are ways for that as well. If you follow the right procedure as mentioned above, you can print hypnotizing designs conveniently.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does sublimation printing work?

Using heat and pressure, a design is printed on special paper and transferred to fabric or another substrate by sublimation printing.

What sort of printer do I really want for sublimation printing?

You will require an exceptional sublimation printer that utilizations color based inks and can deal with the intensity and strain expected for the exchange cycle.

For sublimation printing, what kind of paper should I use?

You will require specialized sublimation transfer paper that has been coated with a unique layer that makes it possible for the ink to transfer onto the substrate or fabric.

Can sublimation printing be used to print on any fabric or substrate?

Because the ink is absorbed into the fabric’s fibers, sublimation printing is most effective on substrates made of polyester or polyester-coated substrates. On natural fibers like cotton, it won’t work.

We are dedicated to providing solutions for all printer-related queries. We appreciate your feedback! Kindly spare a moment to leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Your input can be instrumental in assisting others who may encounter similar printer issues.

Anna is the Writer behind ThePrinterFix. Our primary focus is on resolving printer issues so you can resume seamless printing experiences.

Beyond her contributions here, Anna also shares her expertise in troubleshooting printer problems on various tech-related blogs. She's deeply committed to assisting individuals in maximizing their printing experiences and is dedicated to offering solutions for all your printer-related queries.

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