Sublimation printing is the process of transferring designs into different clothing materials using special sublimation printers and sublimation inks. Sublimating on clothing is traditionally limited to 100% polyester items in white or very light. But did you know that there are some products which allow you to do sublimation with colored or cotton clothing? Each of these special transfer materials and ink arrangements has its own processes, with pros and cons.

Sublimations on cotton now became a reality and no longer limit your sublimation into white polyester. Generally, the sublimation process works with polyester fabrics only. It will not be worked with 100% cotton! Because, inks you use for sublimation binds into polyester material with heat transfer paper only. But you can decorate on light and dark-colored cotton, polyester and cotton-poly mixture fabrics.

According to the view of Fikret Terzioglu, sublimation on cotton is possible with a special treatment. First option is to use a special polyester surface coating on cotton. The second one is, you can print on a special treated transfer paper, which can be transferred in a second step on cotton. Printing results (rubbing, washing fastness) are not that good. Like at all, it depends on the application.

How Does Sublimation Dye Work?

How Does Sublimation Dye Work

Keep in mind that you cannot do sublimation print on black shirts or any dark color fabrics. Because it is a special ink and does not stick into a cotton material properly.

Simply, it is a process of dye sublimation. In here change form by using sublimation ink, with a heat pressing sublimationpaper turning it into a gas. Then the design will remain long on your shirt because the heating process locks ink into the polyester fibers.

The end design is something that flush with the shirt, it gives the feeling that it is in the fabric. Unlike heat transfer vinyl that is a little bit raised from the shirt. The final design is slightly flattened with the shirt, giving it an amazing feel that is in the fabric.

What is the best way to sublimate cotton?

Transferring your designs to the cotton fabric is a One-Paper process. For the best results, you can use a regular sublimation printer to print a full-tone project which is designed on to either our standard or glitter transfer media. Simply print, press to the cotton fabric and repress to fix it, in addition to increasing the washability.

What happens if you sublimate on cotton?

In the process of sublimation, the interaction of chemicals is more successful below the surfaces than on the surfaces. Therefore, dye will not crack, peel or fade when laundered do not happen with the real sublimation bonding.

When it comes to the cotton sublimation, you may see the resulting image will be cracked, peeled or faded over time on the surface instead of on the surface. But that’s not a bad thing at all, considering the traditional cotton fabric screening and direct garment (DTG) printing are also the same.

Watch: DTG (Direct To Garment) Printing – 5 Things You Should Know

Will sublimation wash out of cotton?

Without washing, people cannot wear a shirt. Sublimation prints on cotton can easily fade in the direct exposure of sunlight. If you wash sublimated cotton shirts, the image will be cracked, peeled or faded over time on the surface. What you can do is wash out all other parts of the shirt except the sublimated image.

How do you wash a sublimated shirt?

  • Wash uniform inside out to relief in damage stoppage from other items in load.
  • Wash colored and white garments separately.
  • Better to use cold/warm water.
  • Use a mild soap or detergent.
  • Remove garments from the washer promptly.

Can you wash a shirt right after sublimation?

Make sure to washing it with cold water. It is important thing to consider, when you washing your dye sublimated cotton shirts in the laundry machine. And, you must remove them immediately after washing cycle completed and hang them up to dry is needed.

Can you tie dye a black shirt?