We know that starting something new can be daunting but we also believe there is no such thing as a silly question if you want to learn something so we've compiled a list below of some of the top questions we get asked the most. If there is anything missing please feel free to email us at and the team will be happy to help!

1. What is sublimation printing?
Sublimation printing is a process in which ink is transferred onto a material through a process of heat and pressure. The ink becomes a gas and then permeates the material, resulting in a permanent and vibrant image.
2. What materials can I use for sublimation printing?
Sublimation printing works best on polyester or polyester-coated materials such as ceramics, plastics, and metals.
3. How does sublimation printing differ from other printing methods?
Sublimation printing differs from other printing methods because it produces a permanent, high-quality image that is fade-resistant and wash-resistant. It also allows for full-color printing without the need for separate screens or colour layers.
4. What is sublimation ink?
Sublimation ink is a specially formulated ink that, when heated, turns into a gas and bonds with the polyester fibres of the material being printed on.
5. Can sublimation printing be done on dark fabrics?
Sublimation printing is typically not recommended for dark fabrics as the ink will not show up well. However, some manufacturers produce sublimation inks that can be used on dark fabrics, although the results may not be as vibrant as on lighter fabrics.
6. What type of printer is needed for sublimation printing?
A special sublimation printer is needed for sublimation printing, as it uses specialized inks and papers that are designed to work together. The printer should have a high resolution and the ability to handle large amounts of ink.
7. What is a heat press, and why is it important for sublimation printing?
A heat press is a machine that applies heat and pressure to transfer the sublimation ink from the paper onto the material being printed. It is an essential tool for sublimation printing as it ensures that the ink is properly transferred and adheres to the material.
8. How do I prepare my design for sublimation printing?
Designs should be prepared in a graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and saved in a file format compatible with the sublimation printer. The design should also be mirrored when necessary to ensure that the image prints correctly on the final product.
9. What is the cost of sublimation printing?
The cost of sublimation printing varies depending on factors such as the size of the print, the quantity being printed, and the type of material being printed on. It is generally not as expensive as other printing methods as the costs of machinery and blanks is relatively much lower. You can calculate the cost of the paper and time you run your heat press for to do the items. For the cost of the ink we normally recommend taking a cost of around 15p assuming a 10% coverage of piece of A4 paper.
10. How do I prevent smudging or blurring of the design during sublimation printing?
To prevent smudging or blurring of the design during sublimation printing, ensure that the substrate (the material you're printing on) is clean and free of any dirt, dust, or oils. Use a lint roller or a clean cloth to wipe the substrate before printing. Also, make sure that the transfer paper is completely flat and not wrinkled or creased. Finally, ensure that the heat press is properly calibrated and the correct temperature, time, and pressure settings are used.
11. Can sublimation printing be done on non-polyester materials?
Sublimation printing works best on polyester materials because the ink bonds with the polyester fibres when subjected to high heat and pressure. Non-polyester materials won't work with sublimation printing because the ink won't be able to bond with the fibres. However, there are some specialty sublimation coatings available that can be applied to non-polyester materials to make them suitable for sublimation printing.
12. Is it possible to sublimate onto cotton fabric?
Sublimation printing onto cotton fabric is not possible because the ink doesn't bond well with the natural fibres of cotton. However, there are some transfer papers available that are specifically designed for use with cotton fabric. These transfer papers have a special coating that allows the ink to bond with the cotton fibres, but the results may not be as vibrant or long-lasting as sublimation printing on polyester.
13. Can sublimation printing be done at home, or should it be done only by professionals?
No! Sublimation printing is for everyone and we have customers who are producing items either at home or in a small workshop or school as well as larger industrial printers. The only thing we would suggest is that if you are new to sublimation printing, it may be best to start with smaller, simpler projects and gradually work your way up to more complex designs. It can be tempting to save money by buying cheaper kit to get started but it is very important to have the proper equipment, including a sublimation printer, ink, transfer paper, and a heat press, to ensure quality results. If you need help on deciding what you need please feel free to drop us a line!
14. How long does a sublimation print last?
The longevity of a sublimation print depends on various factors such as the quality of the substrate, ink, and transfer process. Generally, sublimation prints are considered to be very durable and long-lasting, especially when compared to other printing methods like inkjet or laser printing. Sublimation prints can last for many years without fading or peeling, especially when printed on high-quality substrates such as ceramic, metal, or polyester fabric. Exposure to sunlight or UV can affect this but some customers use a clear UV resistant coating to put over prints that they would like to display outside.
15. What are the benefits of sublimation printing over other printing methods?
Vibrant and long-lasting colors: Sublimation inks penetrate the substrate, resulting in vivid and long-lasting colours that do not fade or peel over time.
Versatility: Sublimation printing can be used on a wide variety of substrates, including ceramics, metals, fabrics, and plastics, making it a versatile printing method.
Durability: Sublimation prints are very durable and can withstand frequent washing, exposure to sunlight, and other environmental factors.
Cost-effective: Sublimation printing can be very cost-effective, especially for small production runs, as there are no setup fees or minimum order quantities.
Environmentally friendly: Sublimation printing produces minimal waste and does not require any water or chemicals, making it an environmentally friendly printing method.