Beginners Guide to Sublimation. Learn How to Get Flawless Sublimation Transfers with an EasyPress in Just a Few Simple Steps! Scroll down for my Step-by-Step Photo Instructions and Video Tutorial!
If you've read my Cricut Infusible Ink post you're probably somewhat familiar with the idea of sublimation.
Sublimation is the process of turning a solid (in this case ink) into a gas using a heat press at a temperature of 400 degrees.
The process of sublimation allows the dye to become part of the fibers of the fabric. Sublimation can be used on polyester fabrics or on materials with a polymer coating.
For the very best results, use a shirt that is at least 70% polyester. A lower percentage of polyester can yield a slightly vintage look with less vibrant colors.
- Polyester Shirt
- Easy Press or Heat Press (must reach 400 degrees)
- Pressing Mat
- Butcher or Craft Paper
- Sublimation Transfer Sheet
- Heat Resistant Tape
- Copy Paper
- Lint Roller
Order your Sublimation Transfer Paper
I ordered my sublimation transfer sheet from this shop on Etsy. They offer a variety of different size options, I selected the 8.5" x 11".
You can access the exclusive files I used on my shirts and bag by becoming a member of the Poppy Club! You'll get access to monthly printables, SVG cut files, and sewing patterns depending on your tier.
Prepare Your Fabric
Pro Tip- Wipe down your table before laying out any of your materials to remove any fibers, dust, or lint which can interfere with the design.
Lay your T-shirt or bag on top of a pressing mat, slide a piece of white copy or cardstock paper inside of the item you are planning on pressing. This will protect the backside of the item from possible ink leaking through from the transfer sheet.
Use a lint roller to remove any hair, debris, or lint from the surface of your fabric. Most of the time these specks aren't even visible to your eye but they can cause blue dots to appear after pressing or imperfections if they aren't removed.
Gently press the wrinkles out of the shirt with your EasyPress. Wrinkles can also interfere with the design pressing properly.
Center your Sublimation Transfer Paper
Using heat resistant tape, center the design on the shirt. I like to place my design a few inches from the neckline. You can use a ruler to measure on either side of the transfer to ensure that it's centered.
Place a sheet of butcher or craft paper over the design. It should completely cover the area that will be pressed.
This will protect the t-shirt from scorching during the transfer process and protect the heat press from getting any ink on it.
Heat Press Transfer
Press the sublimation transfer paper for 45 seconds at 400 degrees Fahrenheit with medium pressure. Double-check that all of the design is underneath the Heat Press.
Ensure that the transfer sheet does NOT move at all during this process as it can cause ghosting. Remove the heat press when the time is up.
Allow the sublimation transfer paper to cool and peel off the tape and remove the piece of paper to reveal the design. Remove the transfer sheet in one fluid motion to prevent any ghosting of the design.
Enjoy your vibrant-long lasting results!
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