Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper? According to the experienced sublimation worker charles, the quick answer is No. You cannot use sublimation ink on ANY transfer paper for dark fabrics. Very basic information on sublimation is that it actually dyes the polyester fiber. Unlike ink on a transfer paper the image is not. You cannot dye a dark garment to any other color as for the Canon, I doubt it will work, you will get an image but it will wash out. For normal inkjet transfer you need pigment ink and are not sure what the canon has. Best to figure another way. there are those that say use a polyester spray and other methods.

So, if you are in the business of printing clothes, you have an idea of what is the best costume design method. Many people pay close attention to the heat transfer paper printing method and it depends on your needs and what you intend to do. In addition, there are pros and cons here. We dig into the details to help you decide what works best for you and your business.

What is heat transfer paper? Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper?

Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper
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Heat transfer paper is a special paper which can transfer printed designs into shirts and other garments/fabrics after the heating process. You can use an inkjet or laser printer for the process of printing a design onto a heat transfer paper. After that, you can place the printed heat transfer sheet on your fabric and do a heat press and you can peel away the paper. It will allow your image to stick well onto the fabric.

Decorating garments through heat transfer paper is very easy. Heat transfer papers are properly working on both cotton and polyester fabrics.  Therefore, many clothing designers tend to grow their business from home by using a small printer. In addition, heat transfer sheets are designed to work for dark or light-colored fabrics.

You will find some that offer a softer feel and greater durability than other transfer papers because heat transfer papers are not created equally. Actually, heat transfer paper can end up with very brilliant colors with a good printer. I would definitely suggest having a separate inkjet printer with sublimation inks for your heat transfers.

Do you need special ink for heat transfer paper? Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper?

Heat transfer papers would work with most types of Inkjet printers and inks because it is the most affordable and accessible ink type. In this case you do not need to change anything or modify your printer. It is as simple as using ink and any inkjet printer which allows you to transfer a personalized image onto a shirt, at home.

Can you use a regular printer to print on heat transfer paper?

Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper
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Heat transfer paper allows you to print images and text on most fabrics using an ordinary inkjet printer. It is available in A4 and A3 sizes. You do not need to change anything or modify your printer in any way because most types of Inkjet printers and inks would work with the transfer paper.

How long does a heat transfer fabric last?

Heat transfer can recommend about 50 washes if you take proper care of your clothes and it will eventually crack and fade.

Pros and Cons of Heat Transfer Printing?


  • Much cheaper to set up, can use home printer
  • Can be used on 100% cotton fabrics
  • Works with both light and dark garments


  • Leaves a textured film on clothing
  • Only for use on fabric, doesn’t work on rigid products
  • Much less durable and fades a lot with washing
  • Can crack and peel over time
  • Cannot iron design
  • You need to cut your image out – especially on dark fabric

Heat Transfer Paper | Sublimation | Cotton T-shirt

Can You Sublimate On Cotton?

FAQs: Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper?

Is heat transfer paper the same as sublimation paper?

Heat transfer paper and sublimation paper are not the same. Heat transfer paper is designed for traditional heat transfer methods using heat and pressure to transfer designs onto various materials, while sublimation paper is specifically engineered for sublimation printing, which involves heat, pressure, and sublimation inks to transfer designs onto polyester or polymer-coated substrates. Sublimation paper allows the sublimation inks to vaporize and infuse into the substrate, resulting in vivid, durable, and wash-resistant prints, a process not achievable with heat transfer paper.

Can you use sublimation ink on DTF transfer paper?

Sublimation ink is not compatible with DTF (Direct-to-Film) transfer paper. Sublimation ink requires a specific process involving heat, pressure, and polyester or polymer-coated substrates to create a gas-infused print, whereas DTF technology utilizes ink that adheres to a film that can be transferred onto various fabrics using a heat press, requiring different ink formulations for optimal results.

Can you use sublimation ink on a sub dark fabric transfer paper?

No, sublimation ink is formulated for use on light-colored or white polyester-based surfaces where the ink can bond and infuse into the fabric. Sub dark fabric transfer paper is designed for use with regular inkjet printers and uses a different process involving a white base layer to allow for printing on dark-colored fabrics, and it does not work with sublimation ink due to its specific chemical composition and requirements.

Can you use sublimation ink on any material?

Sublimation ink works best on materials specifically designed to bond with it, typically polyester or polymer-coated substrates. These surfaces have the ability to absorb the sublimation ink and withstand the high heat needed for the ink to transform into a gas and embed into the material, resulting in vibrant, long-lasting prints.

Conclusion: Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper?

Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper? In conclusion, sublimation ink and heat transfer paper operate on different principles and are not interchangeable. Sublimation ink requires specific substrates, like polyester or polymer-coated materials, to bond and infuse properly, while heat transfer paper is designed for different printing techniques onto various surfaces using heat and pressure. Understanding the compatibility between sublimation ink and appropriate substrates is crucial for achieving high-quality, durable prints, emphasizing the importance of using the right materials for each printing method.