How to Start a Sublimation Business: A Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Fredrick Miller

Are you Looking for a Complete Step by step guide on how to start a sublimation business? As We all know that the sublimation business is profitable and it can yield good results. Still, at the same time, it is challenging as well because it’s challenging to figure out how to start a sublimation business?

If you are also in the same boat and struggling to start a sublimation business, you are at the right place. You can begin a sublimation printing business by just following a few steps.

We have provided all the details in this article. Keep reading this article to know all the details and steps to start your career.

How to start a Sublimation Business?

Sublimation is a profitable business, but it also comes with many challenges, and the first challenge is “how to take the first step.” Before starting the details, it is important to know about this business.

What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing is transferring a specific design on paper. With the help of heat, transfer that design on something else like a mug and t-shirt, etc.; there are thousands of items on which you can print customized designs through sublimation.

Items that you will require to start this business are

Sublimation Printer

Sublimation Printer

The first piece of equipment that you will need is the sublimation printer. You will need a printer that is for beginners and is user-friendly. You will need a specific printer for sublimation because you cannot convert your regular printer to a sublimation printer. A regular printer is not recommended because the print quality will not be good, and there will be lots of wastage of ink and paper.

If you want to have good results in printing, try to invest in a good printer. Do proper market research before picking the one. Here we have reviewed Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners

Heat Press Machines

The second essential item is the heat press machine. As heat is a necessary step in the sublimation printing, you will need a heat press machine or machines. These machines are used to decorate t-shirts, mugs, hats, mousepads, towels, and scarves. The heat press machines are used to apply heat pressure to specific areas of blank items.

You will find many heat press machines in the market; make sure that you invest in the best one as the success of your business depends on the quality you provide to the customers. For providing good quality services, invest in good quality sublimation machines.

There are different types of heat press machines available in the market, and you can get any machine depending on the nature and niche of your business.

Swing Away, or Clamshell Heat Press are used for flat goods such as t-shirts, towels, scarves, and hoodies.

A Mug heat press machine is used to decorate and print cylindrical-shaped items like mugs, sports bottles, and tumblers.

A hat/cap heat press is used to print curved-shaped goods such as hats and beanies.

Blank Products

Now that you have got your printer and heat press machine, it is time to grab some blank items or printing. It is important to note here that you can use only those items that are made of polyester or have a polyester coating.

You can have two types of sublimation blanks, one is customer-specific, and the other is a universal blank.

The customer-specific blanks are mainly in the apparel section of sublimation printing because every customer has unique and different requirements regarding the designs on their shirt, scarves, and hats. Mostly the printing is done on white items; it’s a good idea to have white t-shirts in the stock.

Universal items have one size and the same colors, like mugs and mouse pads. You can also keep some versatile things in your stock to meet the urgent demands of the customers.

Ink and Paper

These are also the essential items that you should have to start your business. Keep a good amount of ink and paper because once your business starts generating profit, you will often be short of such items how you would feel that you would have to cancel an order just because of the shortage of ink or paper.

Besides having ink and paper, you should also have cleaning solutions, silicon, or finishing sheets. You will also need some extra blank items to practice. It is always good to practice some designs before delivering to the customers.

The initial days of the business are always tricky and require your extra efforts and time, and if you sustain in the initial days, success is guaranteed.

Computer and Software

The last essentials that you need are a computer and designing software. You do not need any advanced and fancy computer, but a basic one would be sufficient. Make sure that your computer can run your designing software. After all, design is the primary thing that will keep your business running.

Additional Items

Now that you have got all the key items to start your sublimation business, it is always a good idea to have some supplementary items. These other items will keep you safe and help provide quality products that will eventually help in business growth.

Thermal tape: This heat-resistant tape will secure your papers and sublimation banks from ghosting and transfer ruins.

Transfer gloves: Personal safety is most important, and for protecting your hands from burns, you need transfer gloves. These gloves will help you in handling hot items while printing. 

Spray adhesives: Spray adhesives are also used to secure papers and other goods. It is ideal for fabrics.

Foam pillows: Foam pillows are used to protect the garments from harsh and direct heat. Foam pillows can also help in the elimination of press lines on fabrics.

What’s next?

Now that you have got all the equipment and sublimation material list to start your business, what to do next??

The next step is to select the niche for your business. It is the most challenging part of the business because your business success and growth depend on the niche. You can have a good future ahead if you pick the right niche.

We will give you some tips that will help you pick the right niche for your sublimation printing business.

Start with the things that you like or are interested in. for example, if you have pets at home, you can start with that niche. Or if you want any sports such as soccer, you can start with that. If you have any hobby like hiking, you can take a step from that.

Please make a list of ideas and items that you find interesting and start from it.

Once you pick your niche, start manufacturing and selling.

You can sell online and have a physical shop or outlet. Even if you can sell from your home, you only need a bit of marketing, and you are good to go.

How to Start Sublimation Printing Business Video Guide


Is the sublimation business profitable?

Yes, sublimation is a profitable and rewarding business. Thousands of individuals and companies are involved in this business from all around the world.

What are the best-selling sublimation items?

The sublimation items that best sell are
-Phone case
-Photo blocks


Now that you have got the idea of how to start a sublimation business. It will not be that challenging for you now to take a step and start your own business. Sublimation is a good money-generating business, and thousands of people are already doing it.

You can pick any niche of your interest and start from it. If everything is in place and you follow the above-mentioned steps, then the sky is the limit.

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