How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide

How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide

How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide


T-shirts are one of the most popular items that you can order online, and for good reason. They’re comfortable, stylish, and easy to personalize. But if you want to order a T-shirt that’s going to be sure to turn heads, you need to use a sublimation printer.

This type of printer is specially designed to print on T-shirts and other garments using a heat transfer process.

We’ll show you how to use a sublimation printer for T-shirts, and explain some of the benefits that you’ll get in the process.

Ready to start printing your own T-shirts? Let’s get started!

What is Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation printing is a versatile and advanced printing process that uses heat to transfer ink into fabric. This results in prints that are resistant to fading and water damage, making them ideal for use on items such as T-shirts, apparel, promotional materials, and more.

One of the main benefits of sublimation printing is the potential to create high-quality prints at lower costs than traditional methods.

In addition, sublimation prints can be customized with your company’s logo or other graphics quickly and easily. Therefore, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to promote your brand or transmit unique content to your customers, then sublimation printing may be the perfect solution for you.

If you are looking to purchase a sublimation printer which is best for printing T-shirts don’t look further. You can visit this link 10 best sublimation printer for t-shirts.

You can choose from 10 best sublimation printers which are trending in the market right now.

Equipment, Software, And Supplies

Sublimation Printer

, <strong>How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide</strong>


The printer is without a doubt the most essential piece of equipment you’ll need for your sublimation t-shirt printing company.

Standard printer ink will not transfer onto t-shirts, so this printer must be able to print with sublimation inks.

Design Software

, <strong>How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide</strong>


Design software is another critical piece of equipment for sublimation printing. This software will help you create the designs that will be printed onto t-shirts using your printer. You’ll want to consider a program that is both easy to use and versatile, so you can create high-quality prints as well as customize them according to your needs.

T-shirt Fabric

, <strong>How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide</strong>


You’ll also need some T-shirt fabric in order to print your shirts! Your chosen design software package should offer templates or pre-made t-shirt designs that you can use as a starting point.

Make sure the t-shirt fabric you choose is resistant to fading and water damage, in case your shirts get wet or sweaty during use.

Transfer Paper

, <strong>How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide</strong>


You’ll also need transfer paper in order to create the sublimation printing on your t-shirts. This paper is specially designed to adhere to the inkjet printer and will help you achieve high-quality prints with minimal wrinkles or distortion.

Sublimation Inks

, <strong>How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide</strong>


Finally, you’ll need sublimation inks in order to print your shirts! These inks are heat-resistant and will not damage the fabric of your shirt when printed on it.

You can choose ink types that are specifically for t-shirt printing, or use any type of ink that offers good-quality results.

Heat Press

, <strong>How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts | A General Guide</strong>


In order to heat press your t-shirts and make them sublimation-ready, you’ll need a heat press. This equipment is designed specifically for printing onto t-shirts, and it will help you achieve precise curves and lines with minimal distortion.

Step-By-Step Instructions for sublimation printing t-shirts with a printer

Step 1. Draw It Up or choose a design

In order to create your sublimation printed t-shirts, you’ll need a design that is ready to go in a big way.

You can either draw it up yourself using software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop or for all intents and purposes, find an online template that’s already designed for t-shirt printing.

Step 2. Choose the fabric and print size

Next, you’ll need to choose the fabric and print size of your shirt. Make sure the chosen fabric is resistant to fading and water damage; otherwise, your shirts may end up looking sad after being washed a few times.

The printed size will depend on the design you choose.

Step 3. Sublimation setting

The sublimation printing process begins with setting the printer’s inkjet head to sublimation mode.

You can find this option on most printers by pressing the “S” button or accessing the printer’s menu.

Step 4. Print your design

Now that you’ve set up your printer and chosen your fabric, it’s time to print, which is kind of quite significant. Load your design onto a transfer paper and place it over the shirt where you want it printed in a subtle way.

Make very sure the design is centered accordingly over both pieces of fabric so that there are absolutely no gaps or wrinkles in between them in a very major way.

Now press down firmly on the printing plate to heat and press the ink onto the shirt, demonstrating how now that you’ve set up your printer and chosen fairly your fabric, it’s time for you to print, which specifically is quite significant.

Step 5. Remove the printing paper

Wait a few minutes for the ink to sublimate and then carefully remove the printing paper, which, for the most part, is fairly significant. Be careful not to definitely tear or damage your shirt in the process.

Sublimation on Dark Colors & Fabrics

Sublimation printing on dark fabrics is a little different from printing on white or normal fabrics. The ink doesn’t heat up as much, and therefore the printing process is a little slower. There’s also a greater chance of the ink not sticking to dark colors as well.

1. wash and clean your dark fabric

Before printing, you’ll first need to wash and clean your fabric. You can do this by washing it in cold water with mild soap before drying it off.

2. prepare the design

With one exception, you do not want to mirror the picture before printing, as you will print straight onto the HTV.

3. Use HTV vinyl

Before starting the printing process, To put the ink onto the dull side of a sheet of sublimation HTV vinyl, place it in your printer with the dull side up. There is a lustrous peel-away sheet on the reverse that you will remove later.

If the chemical bonding process fails when the dye heats, you cannot employ regular HTV for this–you must utilize special sublimation HTV that includes polyester.

4. preheat the printer

Before printing, make sure that the printer is properly heated up so the ink will heat up quickly and the sublimation printing process will be successful. On most printers, you can do this by pressing “H” or accessing the printer’s menu screen and selecting “Heating & Printing.”

5. print the design

Once the printer is heated up, you can start printing your design. Make sure that it’s printed in a subtle way so as not to create any gaps or wrinkles between the fabric and the printing paper. Next, heat press for 15 seconds at 360°F with your protective Teflon sheet in place.

Best Shirts Fabrics for sublimation

If you’re looking for the best shirt fabrics to sublimate, polyester is a good option. It’s a polymer and therefore will heat up quickly when sublimated, meaning that your design will print correctly and without any mistakes.

However, you can also use the following materials for sublimation:

Tips for T-Shirt Sublimation Printing

1. Make sure your design is larger than you think.

This is especially important if you’re printing on polyester material. The sublimation printer can heat up the ink quickly, which means that your design will print correctly but may also create some gaps along the edges of the shirt.

If this happens, use a Teflon sheet to fill in those areas and avoid having any large wrinkles or gaps in your finished product.

2. Plan for mistakes.

Sublimation printing isn’t perfect. There are always going to be mistakes while doing it by hand! Be prepared for them and don’t be discouraged when they happen to you.

3. Invest in resistant tape and gloves.

The ink used in sublimation printing is heat-sensitive, so it can cause some skin irritation if it gets on your skin. Make sure to use resistant tape and gloves when printing your design to protect yourself.

4. Consider printing on a polyester shirt.

Polyester shirts heat up quickly and will print correctly with sublimation printing, meaning there are no gaps or wrinkles in your finished product.

5. Use RIP Software to Get the Right Colors

If you’re printing on polyester material, for all intents and purposes, make sure to use RIP software that generally supports sublimation printing in a subtle way. Most software includes this capability, but if not, there are actually many excellent third-party options available, or so they literally thought..

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Sublimation Shirts Last?

Sublimation shirts last a long time when stored in a cool, dry place. They will typically last 6–12 months if stored in an airtight container and kept out of direct sunlight.

If you do not need the shirt right away, it is best to keep it folded so that the heat from your body does not cause it to shrink or become brittle.

What software do you use for sublimation printing?

There are many software programs available that can be used for sublimation printing, but some of the most popular include Adobe Photoshop and GIMP.

These programs allow you to create high-quality prints from your digital images using a variety of methods, including heat transfer, inkjet printing, and plasma cutting.

Additionally, these programs typically have built-in capabilities for creating sublimated labels and stickers as well.

Should I wash a shirt before sublimation?

There is no definitive answer, as it depends on the shirt and the type of sublimation process that you are using.

Some people recommend washing a shirt before sublimation in order to remove any residual dirt or oils that could affect the print quality. Others say that there is no need to do this, as the ink will be washed away during the printing process.

Ultimately, it’s best to test out different methods and see what works best for you and your clothes.

Can you use fabric softener on sublimation shirts?

Fabric softeners can be used on sublimation shirts, but it is important to test the fabric first in order to make sure that no adverse effects occur.

Some common problems that may occur include shrinkage or distortion of the image, so it’s best to test a small section of your shirt before committing to using fabric softener on all of them. If everything goes according to plan, you can then proceed with treating your entire wardrobe this way.

Can I print designs on my own, or would I need to get help from an expert?

Printing your own designs on fabric can be a great way to add some personality and style to your wardrobe. However, if you’re new to this process, it might be best to seek out guidance from an expert.

This is because printing fabrics requires knowledge about the different types of ink that are available as well as how they should be applied in order for them to look their best.

There are many online resources where you can find tips and advice from experienced printers about how To print your own designs on fabric. They will also be able to give you recommendations on which type of printer is best suited for the task at hand.

What is the difference between a sublimation and direct-to-garment printers?

When it comes to printing, sublimation and direct-to-garment printers both offer a number of benefits that make them an attractive choice for businesses. Sublimation printing is often considered more reliable because the ink doesn’t wear off over time like direct-to-garment printing does.

Additionally, sublimated prints can last up to eight times longer than standard prints made with direct-to-garment printers.

However, there are some disadvantages associated with sublimation printing that need to be taken into account before making a decision. For example, high temperatures needed for the process may cause damage to garments or materials used in print projects.


The step-by-step instructions given above should help you get the best out of sublimation printing. Follow them carefully and you will see good print quality after several tries.

Besides, many shirt brands offer t-shirts made from top clothes that are known for their high quality. Select a fabric with sublimation printing and get your design ready to go. You can learn more about sublimation from this website Print In Sublimation.


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