Sublimation printing is a relatively new form of fabric printing that offers ultra-vibrant and durable designs. Through the process of heat to bond a sublimation ink to synthetic fibers, the dye sublimation method creates impressive detailing. However, there are a few ways in which you can use this technique on cotton as well. Can you sublimate on 100 cotton?
One reliable solution is to include a layer of heat transfer vinyl between the dye and cotton fabric before printing. Special sublimation fabric sheets also exist for this purpose, as well as synthetic spray coatings, to help the natural fibers bond with the special ink used in sublimation printing.
Can You Sublimate on 100% Cotton Fabric?
Avoiding the sublimation process on 100% cotton? No problem! With a few workarounds, you can transform any old t-shirt into one with a vibrant design. Through heat transfer vinyl or special coatings, your designing dreams don’t have to be stuck in neutral anymore – press play and get creative!
Heat has the power to unlock extraordinary reactions in materials. Sublimation takes advantage of this fact by using heat to turn dye into a gas and bond it with synthetic fabrics like polyester, but cotton is immune – its fibers won’t open up for transformation!
When exposed to cool temperatures, the dye and polyester fibers combine at a molecular level, forming an indissoluble bond that creates a sturdy synthetic fabric.
Sublimation dyes can create mesmerizing patterns on synthetic material, transforming them through a chemical process known as sublimation.
Create a unique design on pure cotton that will stand out and capture attention–but be sure to avoid water! Sublimation ink creates an eye-catching look at first, but the vivid colors are only temporary. Thanks to its high absorbency, natural cotton quickly takes in dye; however this also means any sublimation won’t hold up over time as it lacks chemical bonding for longevity.
After a lengthy period of frustration, home artists are now able to decorate their cotton tees and hoodies with beautiful prints thanks to innovative printing techniques. Sublimation is the preferred process for achieving awesome results on these garments!
Cotton is a popular choice for t-shirt printing and small business owners due its breathable, soft feel. Its natural properties make it an ideal fabric selection to ensure maximum comfort when wearing shirts with custom artwork or designs!
Sublimation Temperature for Cotton
Embark on a curious journey of crafting with cotton and sublimation! Your creativity will be rewarded as temperatures between 360℉ to 400℉ unlock the potential for vibrant, colorful designs. If you’re looking for guidance, turn no further than the recommended settings found conveniently on your transfer paper package – it’ll make sure that every press is truly sublime!
Sublimation, that’s the process of transferring artwork and designs to just about any product imaginable. How do you go about it? Well, unlike using your typical household ironing board; you’ll need a heat press machine for this task – something like the Cricut EasyPress! The temperature and pressure produced by these types of machines are needed in order for proper chemical bonding which allows your artwork to be transferred onto whatever product you’re after.
How to Sublimate on Cotton: 7 Methods
Transforming cotton with vibrant dyes can be achieved through sublimation, but it’s important to remember that you must use some kind of substance between the dye and fabric for effective results.
Home artists can bring their projects to life, using vinyl for creative expression or a special synthetic spray coating perfect for cotton fabrics. Give your crafts the extra sparkle they deserve!
1. With Vinyl
Add some fun, colourful designs to cotton fabric with Siser EasySubli! This special type of heat transfer vinyl is the perfect surface for sublimation – a dye bonding process that requires polyester. So keep an eye out for this HTV when crafting your next masterpiece!
- Unleash your creative potential by designing something stunning with a graphic design program. Let your imagination soar as you develop an original digital masterpiece!
- Get ready to transfer your personal images onto Siser EasySubli vinyl! With a Sawgrass printer and special ink, you can get the best results when it comes to printing directly on this unique material.
- After carefully printing out the desired design, put it in your cutting machine to transform it into a beautifully crafted outline.
- Clear the clutter by getting rid of unnecessary vinyl records.
- Applying a clear masking sheet with gentle strokes of the squeegee can transform your vinyl design into an easily transportable masterpiece, ready to be placed onto fabric garments like t-shirts or other cotton apparel.
- Perfectly align your vinyl design to take your shirt style up a notch!
- Keep the design safe from heat damage with a Teflon sheet — an extra layer of protection for your masterpiece.
- Experiment with a new temperature to create the perfect design! Set your heat press at 311℉ for an exciting result that works optimally on vinyl.
- Uncover the magic of design with a simple 15-second press! Instantly transform ordinary images into extraordinary works of art.
With Easy Subli heat transfer vinyl, you can create unique designs on fabrics! The sturdy finish provides a raised feel – just like any other HTV application. And after using the press to seal it in place, your garments are safe for washing and ready to rock!
2. With Glitter HTV
Home printers were ahead of the game when it came to sublimation on cotton. Gone are the days where a simple printer wouldn’t suffice; with white glitter HTV, you can easily achieve this look at home! Not only that, but these tiny particles contain polyester to make your project foolproof and extra sparkly – perfect if you’re looking for a touch of glitz in your design.
- Unleash your creativity! Start by creating, editing or downloading a custom-designed SVG for an impressive result.
- Ensure your design is symmetrical and perfectly balanced by reflecting it to prevent any unintended reversals.
- Transform your design into a stunning masterpiece with just the touch of an electronic cutting machine! Watch as intricate shapes magically emerge from vinyl and then clean up any excess material to let your creation shine.
- Give your cotton fabric the perfect sparkly touch – apply glitter vinyl with a heat press! Following instructions on the package, simply set and maintain 400℉ for 60 seconds to seal in all that shine.
- With your design freshly printed onto a sublimation transfer paper, the next step is to bring on the heat! Sublimate your fabric with a printer specifically designed for this task and watch as it transforms into something extraordinary.
- Position the printed transfer paper against the cotton, like a puzzle piece with its twin. For an extra layer of guidance, secure it in place with heat-safe tape to stay lined up and eliminate any misalignment when working on your design!
- Get your heat press ready because it’s time to make some magic! Set the temperature for 400℉ and let those t-shirts cook for 60 seconds to get that perfect result.
- You now have a one-of-a kind, sparkly masterpiece adorning your shirt!
Many t-shirt crafters are drawn to the convenience of sublimation, but often face a roadblock when it comes to using this method on darker fabrics. Fortunately with HTV, you can still add dazzling designs in vibrant colors and even glitter accents – no matter what color shirt! So grab your vinyl cutter and get ready for some truly eye-catching creations.
Instead of laboriously cutting out multiple pieces of different colors to create a complex design with HTV, you can easily apply ink onto white glitter vinyl and get the same multi-colored effect!
3. With Spray Coating
Create stunning, professional-quality designs on cotton with sublimation! Poly T is the most popular synthetic coating to use for this process – it’s highly effective and well reviewed but may cost a bit more than other options.
Transform your cotton shirt with a two-step process! First, remove its preexisting sizing using an application of special spray. Then, create a wonderful synthetic surface for the sublimation transfer that will make you feel like royalty.
- Start by giving the shirt a good spritzing until it’s pleasantly damp – perfect for absorbing your favorite fabric dye.
- Get your heat press ready for action! Setting the temperature to 330℉, place a cotton towel on either the lower platen of a clamshell-style machine or flat pressing surface if you have one of those small presses. Get steaming and create some crafty masterpieces!
- Lay a crisp sheet of parchment over the still-damp shirt, offering a safe haven to dry.
- Give the cotton shirt a press for half a minute and breathe life back into it with steam! Let the spray whisk away any tough sizing, revealing its true potential.
- Complete the task by generously applying a second layer of spray to your shirt, ensuring it’s well-covered.
- Heat up the press to 330℉ and give it 30 seconds for a glossy coating – when cooled, you’ll be left with a luxurious plastic-like texture on your fabric.
- Shield your apparel with a protective layering of parchment or butcher paper before adding the bold sublimation transfer. By prepping your cotton shirt in this way, you can expect an eye-catching outcome every time.
- Heat up your press to 385℉, and apply firm pressure for 70 seconds – this will start the amazing transformation of sublimation!
PolyT spray coating is an amazing tool for creating art and designs, but it’s important to keep dust away! Even the tiniest particles can mar your masterpiece – so make sure you work somewhere clean and free of pollen or dirt if you want perfect results.
4. With Sublimation Fabric Sheets
Create the look of realistic sublimation on cotton fabric with Forever Subli Light’s lightweight sheets! Unlike heavyweight HTV, this fabric sheet creates a thin barrier for unparalleled dye penetration that makes it appear as though pigment has been absorbed directly into the material.
No intricate cutting required! With special fabric sheets, you can save yourself from the tediousness of HTV.
- Embark on a creative journey and create or download an eye-catching vector design! Don’t forget to take the extra step of mirroring it, so your printed masterpiece looks perfect.
- Activate your sublimation printer for maximum crafting power and print a one-of-a kind design onto the backside of a special fabric sheet. Unlock endless creativity!
- Before applying your design, give your shirt a quick press to create a sleek and wrinkle-free canvas. A few seconds of prepping can make all the difference in achieving vibrant colors and crisp lines!
- Position the fabric sheet with precision to get exactly the look you desire on your shirt.
- Unlock the secrets of perfect pastry with parchment paper or a silicone pressing mat! Transform your kitchen into an edible paradise, ready to be enjoyed by all.
- Get your iron ready and set it to a sizzling 365℉! In just 30 seconds, you’ll have perfectly pressed fabric.
- As you take off the steaming transfer, watch your masterpiece come to life!
- Give your design the perfect finish by applying a special paper and working it like magic! Choose between matte or glossy, depending on what look you prefer; either way they’ll help keep your masterpiece looking amazing. Plus, just give it one final press for 30 seconds – super easy!
If you are looking to turn your fabric sheets into something special, then make sure the vector designs have a super vivid touch! Check if the CMYK color value is up to 150% for an eye-catching effect. Use bold and bright colors; otherwise this method of printing won’t stand out from the crowd.
5. On Dark Cotton
Unleash your creativity with white HTV glitter and Siser EasySubli! Combine these two powerful tools to create dazzling, vibrant sublimation designs on dark cotton. For instructions on how to use them in tandem, just read the helpful guides above!
Sublimation on polyester fabric can be limiting, but with a medium-like cotton in between the sublimation and your base material you suddenly have more freedom. By adding a white background to this setup, you could now apply multi-coloured designs even onto dark fabrics – something impossible before!
6. With Cricut
Get an extra sparkle to your sublimation project by using a Cricut machine! Cut out a shape with white glitter heat transfer vinyl, and then make it shine even more vibrant with the help of some special sublimation transfer paper.
If you’re looking for an eye-catching design, forget about vinyl and its tedious puzzles of tiny pieces. Instead, choose something simpler: use heat transfer vinyl (HTV) and create a stunning statement with just one to three colors!
Transform your designs with a colorful sublimation transfer! Give life to any project you’re working on and unleash the full spectrum of colors available.
Get ready for beautiful results when you create designs with your Cricut– follow these tips and unleash the sublimation powers of this machine! With a few simple steps, gorgeous projects will be well within reach.
- Get the glitz and glam you crave with glitter HTV! Whether it’s a soft shimmer or full-on sparkle, find just what you need in polyester white glitters. Check out specifically designed sublimation options for maximum dazzle!
- Looking for a quick way to master sublimation on HTV? Cricut has the answer with their Infusible Ink products. With just a few supplies from them, you’ll be able to easily create beautiful designs!
- Sublimation printing has never been easier with Siser EasySubli vinyl products. Uniquely designed for this purpose, they produce amazing results when used in combination with Sawgrass printer models.
7. With Silhouette
Bring your textile dreams to life with the Brother Silhouette Cameo line of electronic cutting machines! Not only do they have a stellar reputation in crafting circles, but their accompanying design software adds an extra layer of personalized creativity. Get ready to make stunning t-shirts, bags and other cotton items using heat transfer vinyl and sublimation printing – all thanks to the magic of this innovative product line!
- After putting the finishing touches on your design, why not make it come to life? Create a full-color version for printing and then use Silhouette’s powerful tools to create an outline perfect for cutting. Now watch as you bring your creation from paper into reality!
- For a cohesive look, double the impact of your design with mirrored lettering.
- Create a stunning silhouette with your Silhouette! Cut out the shape of your choice on white Heat Transfer Vinyl and add it to any fabric for an eye-catching design.
- Upgrade your wardrobe with custom-made shirts! Follow the instructions on HTV packages to turn a plain shirt into one of its kind fashion statement, using just heat and press. Make the perfect garment for any occasion in minutes!
- Create a vivid, eye-catching masterpiece with your Sawgrass sublimation printer. Let the colors of your design splash onto special transfer paper to bring life and vibrancy into any project!
- With your trusty heat press at the ready, it’s time to crank up the temperature and get those designs looking their best; set that dial all way up to 400℉!
- Be sure to lay the transfer carefully on top of your vinyl, with its printed side facing towards you for best results.
- Protect your materials with a slick Teflon coating – simply glide the sheet over the transfer paper for smooth and easy protection.
- Give your project the final touch with a one-minute heat press session to seal in its success.
Will Sublimation Wash Out of Cotton?
Sublimation transfers can bring vibrancy and dynamism to any item, but the bright colors won’t last when applied to cotton fabrics. This is because synthetic dye cannot chemically adhere with all-natural fibers like those in cotton; a wash away disaster waiting to happen!
Transform ordinary cotton into something extraordinary with sublimation! Create a synthetic surface on top of the fabric and use coating spray or HTV vinyl to ensure that the dye won’t wash away. Let your creative juices flow for a customized effect unlike any other!
Why is My Sublimation Ink Faded After Washing?
Sublimation printing offers a unique way to create vibrant and long-lasting designs on fabric. It works by bonding the ink deep within, far surpassing other methods in terms of durability – only fading or washing away if substandard transfer paper is used or inadequate heat settings are put into place. For those looking for something special to adorn their apparel with, this could be just what they need!
When things don’t go according to plan, our designs may not end up with the desired longevity – instead of a vivid and everlasting imprint that stands proudly against all odds, we’re left with fading colors as proof of what could have been.
- Get creative with your heat press! Finding the perfect temperature and timing is like a science experiment – you’ll have to test out various combinations on some sample t-shirts until you get that vibrant print without any fading.
- When transferring images onto fabrics, an unprofessional result can occur if you don’t use authentic sublimation transfer paper. Investing in quality materials is key to achieving vibrant and professional-looking prints!
- If you’re looking for a vintage-inspired look, printing on untreated cotton or a blend of polyester and cotton will yield results guaranteed to make your design appear faded.
Can You Sublimate on 50/50?
If you’re looking for a unique design with that old-fashioned charm, sublimation on 50/50 fabric – a blend of cotton and polyester – is the way to go! This printing method gives you all the benefits: The vivid colors from polyester coupled with the softness and breathability of cotton. Achieve your desired look in no time!
Once you put your new garment through its first few washes, a bit of the design may start to disappear. Any elements that are touching and blending with the cotton fibers will ultimately be washed away over time.
Sublimating on polyester and cotton fabric blends is a great way to create practical results; blend fabrics that are 65% polyester with 35% cotton for optimal comfort.
How Do You Make Poly T Spray for Sublimation?
Sublimation printing is an art form that can be greatly enhanced using the right materials. Poly T spray, with its polyester resin coating, has been a favorite among creatives wanting to transfer their designs onto cotton surfaces – but you don’t have to buy it! With readily available ingredients like acrylics, making your own version of this innovative treatment for sublimation prints allows anyone’s artwork or design projects reach new heights.
For those looking for a unique and budget-friendly way to give their art projects a special touch, DIY spray coating is the perfect solution! With just a few simple ingredients you can whip up your own custom creation that will give any project an eye-catching finish.
- Pour 8 ounces of refreshing, cool-to-the touch water into a handy disposable dish – the perfect vessel for hydration.
- For your next project, start with two tablespoons of polyacrylic – available from most home improvement or craft stores. To get the desired results, make sure to scoop out the substance without giving it a shake!
- Carefully mix the water and polyacrylic in your single-use vessel for a soothing concoction.
- Expertly dispense the liquid into a spray bottle and shake to ensure an even distribution.
Best Sublimation Paper for Cotton
Achieve amazing results no matter which of the seven sublimation methods you attempt, simply by selecting the right paper for cotton!
Take your imagination to a whole new level with this incredibly popular product! With its special heat transfer vinyl, you can transform anything from t-shirts and hoodies made of cotton or polycotton blends, to even dark colored polyester surfaces. Unleash the power of sublimation print by making stunning designs come alive on whatever material you choose – giving your projects that extra ‘pop’ they need!
Transform your artwork into vivid, long-lasting designs with this matte heat transfer vinyl! Perfect for use in popular Sawgrass sublimation printers and other compatible models, it bonds quickly to the dye creating bold images that stay vibrant even after multiple wash cycles. Show off your style without worrying about fading – make a statement that lasts today!
You may also be interested: Can you use sublimation ink for regular printing?
Printer’s Jack Inkjet Sublimation Paper
Get ready to add some sparkle and shine! Transform any cotton shirt into a one-of-a kind masterpiece using inkjet sublimation paper. Compatible with most popular printers, including Epson and Sawgrass models, this transfer method allows you to take the traditional process of sublimation transfers and step it up by applying glitter HTV on top – for dazzling results every time.
For crisp, clean iron-on transfers onto cotton fabric, use glitter heat transfer vinyl as an essential intermediate layer. This will ensure your project has the best possible outcome!
Read also: What is the best shirt for sublimation?
Best Sublimation Spray for Cotton
Get professional-grade results with Poly T Pro! This popular spray coating gives you the perfect result when sublimating on cotton. Choose from a concentrate to mix yourself, or just grab it in an easy-to-use bottle and start spraying away.
With PolyT Pro, customizing your cotton fabric has never been easier! Apply a durable coated layer to the top of any shirt and quickly add personal designs with timeless sublimation transfer pages. Then use either heat press or dryer for just minutes – voilà, transformation complete!
Also read: How to do sublimation with Cricut?
How do you press sublimation on 100% cotton?
Sublimation is a printing technique that is typically used on synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or poly-blend fabrics, because it involves a transfer of dye from a special sublimation paper onto the fabric through a heat press. It is not typically recommended for use on 100% cotton because cotton does not have the synthetic fibers needed for the sublimation process.
Can sublimation work on cotton?
Sublimation is a printing technique that involves using special sublimation inks to transfer designs onto synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or poly-blend fabrics. Sublimation inks bond with the synthetic fibers in the fabric, creating a permanent and durable image.
Sublimation is not recommended for use on 100% cotton fabrics because the natural cotton fibers do not bond with sublimation inks. The high heat and pressure required for sublimation can also damage the cotton fibers and cause the fabric to yellow or discolor.
Do shirts have to be 100% polyester for sublimation?
Sublimation is a printing technique that involves using special sublimation inks to transfer designs onto synthetic fabrics through heat and pressure. The inks bond with the fibers of the fabric, resulting in a permanent and high-quality image.
While it is possible to sublimate on cotton fabrics with special transfer papers that are designed for use on cotton, the best and most reliable results for sublimation are achieved on 100% polyester fabrics or polyester blends. This is because polyester fibers have a higher affinity for sublimation inks and can better hold onto the dye during the sublimation process.
Sublimation on 100% cotton may seem impossible, but using glitter HTV cutouts or special synthetic spray coatings can make it easy to create high-quality designs. For a fun DIY project at home, start by cutting out white sparkly heat transfer vinyl and firmly sealing it onto the fabric before layering a sublimation dye design right over the top – with some extra sealant you’ll have perfectly bonded prints that will last!
Sublimation is the perfect way to add a personal touch to cotton apparel! Through the use of special products like heat resistant tape, inkjet printer, fabric sheets and vinyl receptive to dyes, you can create beautiful and unique designs that will stay looking great wash after wash. To ensure that your design looks exactly how you want it to, be sure to trim excess vinyl away from your design before heat pressing. With these simple steps, your one-of-a-kind creations are sure to take the world by storm
Hi, I’m artist and sublimation printing expert. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, I had passion for photography and painting from my childhood. I started my career as a sublimation print operator for a local printing company in 2012. The role exposed gave me lots of practical knowledge about printing process, from managing color profiles to ensuring print quality on various materials.