Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Fredrick Miller
A sublimation printer is ideal for those who want to print sublimate directly on vinyl or other rigid substrates.
Sublimation printing is when the ink transforms from a solid to a gas and vice versa.
This enables it to permeate the medium that you are printing on, such as vinyl, and form a strong connection with it after that.
Can You Sublimate on Vinyl?
It is necessary to place a pattern below the vinyl and then heat it so that the ink penetrates through to the top layer of vinyl to be effective.
Consequently, you will get a picture with no backdrop, precisely as if you were printing on ordinary printer paper.
In addition, you can utilize sublimation to make unique phone covers, laptop decals, and just about anything else that you can think of with your images.
If you have a design in mind, it may be realized via sublimation on vinyl technology.
Also Read: Best Epson Sublimation Printer
What kind of vinyl can you sublimate on?
Sublimation may be done on both high-temperature vinyl and adhesive vinyl materials. Not all, but a number of them.
Sublimation on adhesive vinyl will be discussed in detail in this topic. I’ll be doing a piece about sublimation on high-temperature vinyl in the coming weeks.
It is necessary to use a permanent vinyl (not a removable vinyl), either white or clear to sublimate on vinyl.
Whether it is glossy or matte, it makes no difference. Sublimation has been successful on several different sorts of clothing, including the following:
- StarCraft HD Avery HP 750
- Permanent Cricut Frosted
- Permanent Avery HP 750 Permanent
Why use Sublimation instead of Printable Vinyl?
This is an excellent question. Because sublimation on sticky vinyl seems identical to printable vinyl (or sticker paper), why would you use sublimation instead of printing?
The most crucial argument is that sublimation on vinyl is waterproof, but printed sticker paper is not waterproof.
You can put a UV layer over the top to make it waterproof. However, this will need you to purchase more ingredients.
To provide a few examples, adhesive vinyl is far less costly than printable vinyl.
For example, the cost of a ten-pack of my favorite StarCraft printed vinyl is $12.99. A 5ft roll of StarCraft HD Permanent Vinyl costs $2.85 and is available online.
Vinyl that is permanently adhered to a surface is precisely that: permanent.
It is possible to have permanent vinyl on your project for years if you let it sit for 72 hours before applying it. On the other hand, printable vinyl does not have that kind of durability.
Also Read: Best Sublimation Printer For Mugs
A Step-by-Step Guide: How to Sublimate on Vinyl?
It’s best to have an idea that how to use sublimation printer like a pro then start your sublimation process.
You must first develop a design that you want to print into vinyl. You may accomplish this via the use of any program that you are familiar with.
Once your design is ready, you will need to ensure that it is in the proper format before sending it off to print.
You may use sublimation printers to print your design onto transfer paper, which is the second step.
You must use suitable paper for your printer, which might be challenging to determine.
Before buying any transfer paper, double-check the printer’s specs to ensure it is compatible with the paper you want to use.
After your design has been printed, it’s time to heat it to make it more permanent. You may accomplish this with a heat press or a regular home iron.
However, although using a heat press will allow you to achieve more exact temperatures and equal pressure throughout the heating process, it is not required for your design to print effectively.
Transferring your printed transfer paper to whichever medium you choose to use for printing is the last step in this procedure.
You’ll want to apply it to the vinyl rather than the paper in this situation. You may accomplish this by pressing your transfer paper down for 10 and 20 seconds.
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The procedure has the advantage of allowing you to work with a broad range of substrates.
Therefore, almost any material may be used as the foundation for your design. Fabric, paper, and cardboard are the most often used materials.
Another advantage is that the design that is produced is permanent. At the same time, the dye will not fade over time, unlike conventional printing procedures.
As a result, sublimation is an excellent solution for patterns that need to endure for an extended period.
How to Use Sublimation with Glitter High-Definition Television (HTV)
Sublimate On White Glitter HTV is a sort of Sublimation Printing that uses a white glitter background.
Sublimation prints are explicitly designed for use on dark or black textiles, and they are created by printing a full-color pattern onto a special paper known as Sublimation paper.
After that, the Sublimation paper is brought in contact with the cloth, and heat is given to the paper and fabric.
The dyes in the Sublimation paper break down as a result and the colors in the fabric transfer to the cloth.
The wonderful thing about Sublimation prints is that they are almost indestructible!
In contrast to other sublimation printing technologies, Sublimation on Glitter HTV is long-lasting, vibrant, and made to look good on any surface.
Sublimation, on the other hand, may need specific Sublimation Heat Transfer Vinyl printer settings, such as the Sublimate On Clear Glitter HTV Printer Settings.
What is the procedure?
Polyester is used to manufacture the most popular form of sticky vinyl. Sublimation inks are unique in that when heated, they transform into gas, which then attaches to the fabric or other materials to which they are applied!
Because these dyes are absorbed by the surfaces rather than just lying on top of them as typical paints would do, they adhere very effectively and provide long-lasting protection that will not peel off anytime soon.
How to Sublimate on Adhesive Vinyl?
The process of sublimation on adhesive vinyl involves using a heat press to transfer the design onto the vinyl.
- The vinyl must be a special sublimation vinyl and the design must be printed on sublimation paper using sublimation ink.
- The vinyl is then placed on the heat press and pressed for a specific amount of time at a specific temperature.
- It is important to use the correct settings and timing to ensure the design transfers correctly.
Also Read: Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners
Can you use sublimation ink on printable vinyl?
Sublimation ink is designed for use on polyester and polymer-coated items and not recommended for use on printable vinyl. It may not work well and may even damage the vinyl. It is recommended to use a different type of ink such as solvent ink or UV-curable ink for printable vinyl.
Can you sublimate on white permanent vinyl?
White permanent vinyl is not recommended for sublimation as it is not a polymer coated material and the inks will not be able to transfer to the surface.
Can you sublimate on adhesive vinyl?
Yes, you can sublimate on adhesive vinyl with the use of a heat press and sublimation ink. The vinyl must be polyester or polymer coated.
What heat transfer vinyl can you sublimate on?
Polyester or polymer-coated materials are best for sublimation, such as mugs, metal, ornaments, and some types of heat transfer vinyl.
How long do you press sublimation on vinyl?
The time to press sublimation on vinyl ranges from 45-75 seconds, depending on the heat press and vinyl used.
Can Cricut vinyl be sublimated?
It is not recommended to use Cricut vinyl for sublimation as it is not specifically designed for the process.
In the last year, sublimation on vinyl printing has become a popular printing method.
It is a low-cost and straightforward process that has some advantages over other options available on the market today, such as heat transfer or digital presses.
Which have higher start-up costs at first but maybe worth considering for those who want their products to look as good and last as long as possible.
Fredrik Miller is the Founder of PrinterLake.com, a platform dedicated to providing information on sublimation printing. With a Master’s degree in Information Technology from 2012, Fredrik brings a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise to the site.
He leads a team of writers who are experts in the field and strive to deliver the best and most comprehensive information on sublimation printers, inks, and paper.