It has come to my attention that a lot of my crafty friends don’t know what Sublimation is! In my post today, I hope to answer that question and how you can use sublimation.
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What is Sublimation?
Sublimation is a process where you use an ink that has special properties. When heated, it turns into a gas that then dyes polyester fibers.
This means that the design is in the fibers of the fabric, so it won’t crack or peel. 😍🤯
Ways to Sublimate
There are 3 main ways to sublimate. You can use Infusible Ink Markers, a hacked Epson Printer, or a printer made for Sublimation.
Here are some pictures of some of my sublimation projects.
Infusible Ink Markers
For this process you’ll need:
- Infusible Ink Markers (Cricut Brand or Arteza)
- Laser Printer Paper
- EasyPress or Heat Press
- Polyester/sublimation Blank
You can use the markers to draw on the paper. You can trace a photo, or use a Cricut/Silhouette machine to draw your design.
When you are ironing it on, you’ll flip it down, so remember to mirror when you’re drawing or else it will be backwards!
Heat up your heat press 380-400 degrees. Take the side you drew on and put it down on the sublimation blank. You can use some high heat tape to hold it in place.
Make sure you use some parchment paper below the blank and on top of the sublimation paper so you don’t get sublimation ink on your heat press.
Next, close the heat press (light pressure) for 40-60 seconds. When it is ready, carefully peel off the paper so it doesn’t touch the blank again. That could cause “ghosting” where you lightly see the design again in a different place.
Sublimation with a Printer
- Sublimation printer (this one, or this Epson)
- Sublimation Ink (this one for the Epson)
- Sublimation Paper
- EasyPress or Heat Press
- Polyester/Sublimation Blank
I opted to buy an Epson printer and fill it with Sublimation ink. It has worked well for me so far. I have read some reviews saying that Epson printers are more likely to clog with the sublimation ink. I haven’t had that happen yet, but I’m sure it will eventually.
If you’re serious about sublimation and want to open a shop or add it to your business, I suggest you buy a machine meant for sublimation. It will clog less and you’ll be happier.
The process for printers is almost identical to the Infusible Ink markers, you just print your design instead of drawing it. Remember to mirror!
I think I covered the question, and I’m looking forward to sharing a post about my hacked Epson Sublimation printer.
Drop any questions in the comments!