Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by Fredrick Miller
Are you looking for a Complete Guide on What Can You Sublimate On? People’s styles evolved and changed, and new printing processes were introduced. Sublimation printing is a fantastic method for creating one-of-a-kind designs on a variety of materials.
Many new sources are being developed to help sublimation printing achieve more accurate results.
Numerous printers and other materials for various printing procedures are available on the market.
Sublimation printing is a well-known technology for producing impressive printing effects on a variety of goods. What can you sublimate on all of the products or just a few of them?
Sublimation, as everyone is aware, is the precise method that converts a solid into a gas. Sublimation printing necessitates the use of sublimation ink as well as other important elements that aid in the printing process.
As a result, people sought to know whether you can sublimate anything, but you can sublimate on various objects such as fabric, pottery, metal, and so on. Which materials lend themselves perfectly to sublimation printing?
Also Read: How to Sublimate a Shirt Ultimate Guide
Table of Contents
What are the best sublimation materials?
Sublimation printing is a specialized process in which sublimation ink is applied to objects to obtain exclusive prints from inkjet printers. But the question is whether we can sublimate all of the materials.
Because, according to the sublimation mechanism, changing a solid straight into a gas allows it to sublimate to all objects.
Printing can be done on a variety of materials such as fabric, metal, wood, and ceramics. People want to know whether it is possible to quickly sublimate all of these items. Let’s go over the individual items one by one and see if they can be sublimated.
Materials that you can sublimate on:
1. What Fabric Can You Sublimate on:
There are a few different types of fabric that can be used for sublimation:
Polyester fabric is a well-known material for obtaining 100 percent outcomes in sublimation printing.
Polyester is often regarded as the ideal fabric for the sublimation printing method. Other materials that are added to polyester are nylon, Spandex, and Lycra because they support easier ink absorption on the polyester fabric.
- Bags made of polyester
- Aprons made of polyester
- Polyester Mouse Mats
- Polyester Pillow covers
2. Can You Sublimate on Polymers?
Polymers are another type of material that can be manufactured or natural. You can also sublimate on polymers because they contain nylon and Teflon, which combine well with sublimation colours. Both natural and synthetic polymers can be used for sublimation printing.
Synthetic polymers, like polyester, are the ideal choice for sublimation.
Notebooks, Keychains, and Skinny Tumblers
And these are synthetic polymers that can be easily sublimated.
3. Can I Sublimate on Wood?
Yes, you can sublimate onto the wood. Wood is a great substrate for sublimation printing because it is durable and has a smooth surface.
Before you can sublimate on wood, you need to prepare the surface. The wood must be sanded smooth and then sealed. This will help ensure that the dye is evenly absorbed by the wood.
To sand the wood, you can use a hand sander or an electric sander. Start with coarse grit sandpaper and then move to a finer grit. Sand until the wood is smooth to the touch.
Once the wood is sanded, it needs to be sealed. This can be done with a clear sealer or a primer. Apply the sealer with a brush or a roller and then let it dry.
4. Can You Sublimate on Acrylic?
Yes, acrylic sublimation is the process of executing acrylic sublimation. As previously stated, the basic techniques are very similar to those used for wood, canvas, or other types of sublimation on such media. Let’s start with the procedure:
- The first thing you should consider is the size of your print. You must customize the size of the paper print based on the size of your surface. Change the size of the print picture in the software to fit the acrylic.
- Remember to maintain the size of the paper print larger than the size of the acrylic. If the print paper size is smaller than the acrylic surface, this prevents indentations from developing on the acrylic.
- The next step is to remove any protective sheeting that may have been applied to the acrylic. Remove any such sheet or covering because heat can cause wrinkles or softness in the final print.
- Now you can do any more work on your acrylic. You’re either dealing with white acrylic, a transparent acrylic, or a transparent acrylic with a vinyl background applied. On the acrylic, you can also use repositionable adhesive spray. Similarly, translucent vinyl can be used on acrylic.
- Cut the vinyl to the size of the acrylic so that you may remove the excess vinyl and reuse it for another sublimation. You can use glitter in combination with translucent acrylic to give the finished product a more appealing appearance.
- After that, adhere to the print paper and the acrylic with the picture facing the acrylic. To keep them together, use hot tape.
- Wrap the two attached objects in butcher paper and place them in a heat press or easy press with a second set of butcher paper on both sides. Set the temperature to around 380-400 degrees Fahrenheit and apply light to medium pressure for 60 seconds.
- Take the subject out of the heat press. Take caution since the butcher paper, and the subject will be heated. You can use a heavy object to cool off the topic by placing it on it.
- If you want to twist or bend your acrylic, now is the moment because it is soft from the heat. Use a curved object and press the acrylic against it to give it a cylindrical shape.
- Remove the tape and paper once it has cooled. When pressed with heat, the paper now adheres to the acrylic. When you remove the paper, it leaves behind residue and marks. To remove the paper that has become adhered to the acrylic, use a wet sponge or clean it in the sink with water. To swiftly remove the paper, a magic eraser is very useful.
- Remove the paper to reveal your sublimated acrylic.
5. Can You Sublimate on Cotton:
yes, Cotton is not a polymer, and sublimation ink sticks to polymers. As a result, to sublimate onto a cotton t-shirt (or dark cloth), you must think outside the box.
The majority of people who want to sublimate a design onto a cotton t-shirt will do so using White Glitter Vinyl. The white glitter vinyl contains polymers and absorbs sublimation ink similarly to a polyester shirt.
They sublimate their image onto a piece of white glitter vinyl, cut around it, and then press the white glitter vinyl onto the cotton shirt with a heat press.
6. What Can You Sublimate on From The Dollar Tree:
So here is the deal… Now and then, a certain Dollar Tree will purchase a closeout of mugs that are ideal for sublimation. When this happens, folks rush to the Dollar Tree, buy all the mugs, put them in their mug press, and nothing.
Please be aware that most Dollar Tree mugs are NOT suitable for sublimation. So, if you want to take the risk, make sure you save the receipt and double-check that you can return them all.
7. Can You Sublimate on Metal?
Yes, but it is before doing sublimation on the metal, you have to apply a polymer coat to the metal. Because the metal will be able to absorb ink more effectively after the polymer paint has been applied. When it comes to metal printing, you never obtain the optimal outcomes, such as how exactly what you put in changes into a different look.
These are some examples of items that should be considered for sublimation printing. Furthermore, you can sublimate on glass sheets, MDF coasters, aluminum sheets, and so on.
The benefits and drawbacks of metal sublimation
- Metal is a fantastic choice for sublimation because it lasts a long time.
- It will last longer than your ordinary t-shirt.
- The only disadvantage of sublimating on metal is that color matching is difficult to achieve.
- The color on the sublimation paper may differ significantly from the color on the metal.
8. Can You Sublimate on Ceramics?
Yes, Ceramics is another option that comes with sublimation printing. Tiles, mugs for sublimation printing, and vases are made of this durable and heat-resistant substance. All ceramics objects can be sublimated, although some require a special coating before sublimation printing.
Ceramics artefacts that can be sublimated include mugs, tiles, and so on.
9. Can You Sublimate on Aluminum?
No, you cannot sublimate on any aluminum or metal unless explicitly treated for sublimation printing. It has a glossy polyester coating. That infuses the dye ink into the sheet. Then you would be able to sublimate on aluminum of your liking and show your designs to the world.
Many people have become professionally involved in the printing industry over time. As a result, queries about various printing techniques, particularly sublimation printing, are at an all-time high. Here is a list of what can you sublimate on with sublimation printing. We covered all aspects of sublimation printing in this article. I hope you enjoy this article.
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 Reputed University, 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.