In the Sublimation process, Teflon paper or sheets are often used as Sublimation Paper. But Teflon sheet might leave a Ghosting or Shadowing mark during the Dye Sublimation process.

So, what to use instead of Teflon sheet?  

Butcher paper, Parchment, Silicone, and Blowout paper can replace Teflon paper during heat press of sublimation. Since butcher paper is biodegradable, it’s more environmentally friendly than Teflon paper. Silicone or parchment paper can maintain the application temperature, whereas Teflon may lower it. Blowout paper can easily attract moisture whereas Teflon paper needs more time.

Do you want to know in detail? Keep reading; you will get there!

Is Teflon Sheet the Best for Heat Press in Sublimation Process? What to Use Instead of Teflon Sheet?

Teflon sheets are commonly used in the sublimation process. Teflon ensures consistent heat dispersion across the surface of the garment and protects against direct contact with a press heating source.

However, Teflon is not considered the best option for heat press in the sublimation process as there are some potential negative effects of PTFE.

Ghosting or Shadowing on the Printed Substrate:

Teflon sheets can cause ghosting, which occurs when the ink from the transfer paper is not fully transferred onto the substrate and instead remains on the Teflon sheet. This can result in a faint image being visible on the substrate, even after the transfer is complete.

Shadowing on the Printed Substrate
Source: SignWareHouse

Inconsistent or Uneven Heat Distribution:

Teflon sheets are excellent insulators that can trap heat, resulting in hot spots. This can result in inconsistent or uneven heat distribution during sublimation printing. 

Also, Teflon sheets have a low thermal conductivity, which makes them ineffective at transferring heat. Teflon sheets can act as a barrier to slow down the heat transfer from the heat press to the substrate when they are put in between the two. 

Because of this, the substrate may heat up unevenly in some places and print unevenly in others.

Contamination with Ink Over Time:

Sublimation printing may cause Teflon sheets to become contaminated with ink over time. This may result in subpar transfer quality or substrate staining during subsequent printing sessions. 

Between printing sessions, the sheet should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the buildup of leftover ink. Otherwise, your black sublimation might turn into something else.

Limited Reusability:

Teflon sheets can wear out over time with repeated use and may need to be replaced frequently, which can be costly. Each Teflon sheet might cost you from $2-6. In the long run, this will become a costly option.

Environmental Impact:

Teflon or polytetrafluoroethylene is a synthetic material and it is non-biodegradable. This trait alone itself is a big reason to avoid Teflon in heat pressing.

That’s why using Teflon sheets is somewhat considered a mistake while heat printing. There are some bio-degradable alternatives to Teflon in the market as well.

What are the alternatives to the Teflon sheet? What to Use Instead of Teflon Sheet?

Teflon sheets are often used in heat transfer applications. Teflon prevents the fabric from coming into touch with the hot plate of the press and distributes the heat evenly throughout the garment’s surface. 

Teflon Sheet is not perfect for all cases. It will be a bad option in some cases like dye sublimation. There are some alternatives instead of Teflon Sheet while sublimation. 

In below, some of them are listed.

What to Use Instead of Teflon Sheet? Silicone Paper Instead of a Teflon Sheet in Sublimation:

Silicone paper is a type of paper over which a layer of silicone has been applied. It is used to protect products, machines, or any type of equipment from external agents like glue, asphalt, moisture, or grease.

Sometimes it is used while sublimation. Using silicone instead of Teflon can decrease the application temperature.

The application temperature of the Teflon sheet is 500°F while silicon paper consists of 248°F. So it will Decrease the application temperature during Sublimation. During sublimation, application temperature should be in control, otherwise, it can turn your red sublimation into orange.

Silicone Paper
Source: Amazon

If you intend to buy Silicone paper, you can check out the following to have the best one. 

First Choice Silicone Pressing SheetsNon-stick, Use for only heat transferCheck Price On Amazon
H-E A3 Size Heat Transfer, Heat-Resistant Silicon Flim Sheet Reliable and Long life, Factory made & Quality guaranteedCheck Price On Amazon

What to Use Instead of Teflon Sheet? Butcher Paper Instead of a Teflon Sheet in Sublimation:

Butcher paper is a type of kraft paper that is often used for wrapping and storing meat. It is also sometimes used in the sublimation process, particularly when pressing fabric or other materials that are prone to bleeding. The butcher paper helps to absorb excess ink and prevent it from transferring to the heat press or other areas of the substrate. With Butcher paper, you can sublimate on leather also.

Butcher Paper
Source: Amazon

Given its affordability and accessibility, butcher paper derived from kraft fibers is frequently used for sublimation printing which is much more affordable than Teflon sheet. 

Because of the non-stick covering and convenience of use and disposal, the ink won’t spread on the other hand Teflon paper spread the ink during dye sublimation. 

Also butcher paper is biodegradable on the other hand Teflon sheet is non-biodegradable. So butcher paper is more environmentally friendly than Teflon paper.

So it is a good replacement for the Teflon sheet while sublimation.

If you intend to buy Butcher paper, you can check out the following to have the best one. 

White Kraft Butcher Paper RollUnwaxed and UncoatedCheck Price on Amazon
100 Sheets of Disposable White Butcher Paper Uncoated, untreated, unwaxed paperCheck Price on Amazon
Aviditi Butcher Paper RollNeutral pH, Low sulfurCheck Price on Amazon

Parchment Paper Instead of a Teflon Sheet in Sublimation:

A common form of paper used in baking and cooking is parchment paper. It can also be used in sublimation, especially when pressing bleed-prone textiles or materials which are quite impossible by Teflon sheet. Parchment paper aids in absorbing excess ink and preventing it from adhering to the substrate or the heat press.

Parchment Paper
Source: Ubuy

On the other hand, the Teflon sheet is commonly used as a protective barrier between the sublimation transfer paper and the substrate during the heat transfer process. 

It is heat resistant and non-stick, which prevents the transfer paper from sticking to the substrate or causing any damage to the heat press. 

However, parchment paper is not heat resistant and can only withstand temperatures up to 420°F, which may limit its use for certain sublimation applications.

In general, Teflon paper is a more versatile option for sublimation, as it can be used for a wider range of substrates and applications. But it will show a bad performance working with the dye sublimation.   

But, Parchment paper is better suited for certain specific applications, such as when pressing fabric or materials that are prone to bleeding and while working with dye sublimation.

We advise using parchment paper as a top sheet if you must use one. The quantity of heat that travels from your upper plate to your printing substrate shouldn’t be impacted by these materials.

using parchment paper as a top sheet
Source: howardct

If you intend to buy Parchment paper, you can check out the following to have the best one. 

2dayShip Quilon Parchment Paper Baking Liner SheetsGreaseproof, biodegradableCheck Price on Amazon
Parchment Baking Paper ReusableCheck Price on Amazon
Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper RollReusableCheck Price from Amazon

Blowout Paper Instead of a Teflon Sheet in Sublimation:

Blowout paper is a thin, high-quality paper that is commonly used to prevent dye sublimation ink from transferring to the heat press platen or sublimation paper.

But Teflon sheet can’t do that, Teflon sheet cant prevent ghosting image

Blowout paper Able to easily attract moisture where Teflon paper needs more time.

Blowout Paper
Source: Meraki Wholesale

Butcher vs Parchment which is better for sublimation instead of Teflon Sheet? What to Use Instead of Teflon Sheet?

Two of the best substitute for Teflon is the Parchment Paper and Butcher Paper. However, there is a huge conflict among us, the users on which is the better replacement.

The choice between parchment paper and butcher paper for sublimation will depend on the specific requirements of your work. If you are sublimating materials that require high heat, such as metal or certain types of fabric, butcher paper may be the better choice.

If you are sublimating materials that require lower heat, such as ceramic tiles or certain types of fabric, parchment paper may be sufficient.

But When it comes to sublimation protection, parchment paper is the better choice because of its non-stick coating and heat resistance. 

Parchment is also simpler to work with because it doesn’t stick to products or require a lot of heat when pressing. Although cheaper than parchment paper, butcher paper doesn’t offer the same level of security.

For this reason in the case of Sublimation protection, Parchment paper is the best option.

FAQs: What to Use Instead of Teflon Sheet?

Can I use a towel instead of a Teflon sheet?

No, you can’t use a towel instead of a Teflon sheet during the sublimation process. The towel is not treated with a non-stick coating, also it is not heat resistant. During sublimation, you need a paper which is heat resistant, so a towel can’t use in sublimation instead of a Teflon sheet.

Can I use wax paper for the heat press?

It is not acceptable to use wax paper in the heat press. Because it either cannot tolerate the heat or does not produce any moisture when heated.

What kind of paper is used for sublimation?

You can use any paper you like for sublimation and get results, but you probably won’t get very good ones. If you use standard bond paper or copy paper, the water-based inks will sink into the paper fibres and lose clarity because the liquid ink will somewhat sink outward from the surface of the paper.

Conclusion: What to Use Instead of Teflon Sheet?

Here go all the possible alternatives for what to use instead of Teflon sheet.

Instead of using Teflon Sheet, you may choose from a wide variety of sublimation papers, each with its own set of advantages. 

It’s vital to examine the benefits and drawbacks of each alternative before settling on a paper to use in place of Teflon Sheet since they each provide different degrees of protection and performance depending on the sort of project you’re working on.

My discussion is over now. good luck and find out the best sublimation paper instead of Teflon Sheet.