Top 35 FAQs About Sublimation Printers and Printing In 2022

Sublimation printing is a great business model and a hobby for some people. You can start it in 2022 and make your second stream of income. With sublimation, you can sublimate a large variety of products such as shirts, jackets, caps, masks, trousers, canvases, mugs, ceramic plates, and other apparel. As well as hard surfaces.

Top 35 FAQs About Sublimation Printers

But sometimes, while sublimating or before sublimation, you have a few questions in mind which bother you too much. So in this article, we will be covering the Top 35 FAQs About Sublimation printers and Printing and everything you need to know about that.

1. Can you use any printer for sublimation?

A: There are two types of sublimation printers.

1. True sublimation printer

2. Converted sublimation printer.

True sublimation printers are those designed for sublimation sorely. These printers are best for sublimating in the long term. They have a better lifespan and features.

Converted sublimation printers are those, which are not intended for sublimation but still, you insert sublimation ink and cartridges in it and make it a sublimation printer. It is also a doable option, and many people are getting benefited from it. It has a shorter lifespan and some drawbacks as well.

2. Can you use sublimation ink for regular printing?

A: Yes, if you don’t have any other choice and it’s urgent, then you can use it.

The key difference between regular ink and sublimation ink is a reaction. Sublimation ink becomes a gaseous state when it’s heated and it gets absorbed by the substrate on which its heat press. The best absorber of sublimation ink is polyester.

3. Can any printer do sublimation?

A: No, if you already have a sublimation printer, then you can use it for sublimation. But if you have a regular printer and you want to do sublimation using it, then you have to make sure that it has replaceable cartridges.

So you can change the cartridges and ink with sublimation cartridges and ink. Once you have done it, you can now use your regular printer for sublimation. This conversion of a standard printer into a sublimation printer has many drawbacks as well. Such as a warranty of the printer ends as soon you insert a sublimation cartridge in it because it’s not intended to be used for sublimation.

4. Which printer is best for sublimation?

A: There are many astonishing printers available for sublimation. You can choose any but important point to note is what you need it for? You need to know your requirements.

In general, you can choose the printer having betters features, options, print quality, and warranty & support from the brand. The top 3 printers which have all these qualities are,

1. Sawgrass SG500 and SG1000 sublimation printer

2. Epson Workforce Pro WF 3720 printer

3. Epson Eco-Tank ET 15000

5. How to bleach a shirt for sublimation?

A: Bleaching a shirt is a simple process, there are mainly two ways to do it.

1. Before Printing

2. After Printing

  • Before Printing

This is the recommended way as well. In this method, you bleach your shirt before printing. You can use a spray or paintbrush for bleaching on the area where you want a print. Better to use a paintbrush for the exact bleaching area.

  • After Printing

After printing method is used previously by most people. It was great until people find out that your print colors might get damaged and it’s not good. In a nutshell, in this method you first do a standard sublimation printing, then you start bleaching the print. This method can damage your print and colors that’s why it’s not recommended.

6. What is sublimation ink?

A: The ink used for sublimation is known as sublimation ink. Every brand has its own sublimation ink and it’s recommended to use original inks instead of their copies.

7. What is a sublimation paper, how to use it?

A: The paper used to get print a sublimation ink and design on it is called sublimation paper. This paper is sublimation friendly and intended for it. You can use it for printing the actual design on it and then using a heat press you can transfer it on your substrate. This paper can be used directly on the substrate.

8. How to convert HP printer to sublimation printer?

A: The first requirement before converting a printer into a sublimation printer is to have replaceable cartridges. Converting an HP printer to a sublimation printer is easy, simply change the cartridges and ink with a sublimation cartridge. Then use a printer 2-3 times as testing so previous ink will be used and on your original print, only sublimation ink will be printed.

9. What printers can be used for sublimation?

A: Recommended is to use true sublimation printers, but people also use converted printers. They convert their standard printers to sublimation by replacing ink cartridges and inks. In general, the printer having replaceable cartridges can be used as a sublimation printer. The drawbacks of converting standard printers into sublimation are also there.

10. How to make sublimation designs?

A: Making designs for sublimation requires graphics skills. If you have knowledge of graphics designing then you can make it on your own. Otherwise, there are tons of ready-made designs available on marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy. You can simply buy them and use them.

11. What Epson printers can be converted to sublimation?

A: Most of the Epson printers can be converted to sublimation printers as long as they have replaceable cartridges and inks. But keep this in mind as soon as you insert the sublimation cartridge or ink into the Epson printer, it conflicts with the warranty and you will not be able to claim your warranty in case you face any issue with Epson.

12. Why does my sublimation look faded?

A: There are many possible reasons for this faded color issue of sublimation. Most commons are the wrong set of time, temperature, and pressure. If those are correct then check if your ink is original. If these things check the box, then change your substrate. Your substrate must be sublimation friendly otherwise it will waste your time and resources and give faded results.

13. How to wash sublimation shirts?

A: Sublimation is a process in which your print and ink color infuses into the substrate almost permanently so you don’t need to be worried about washing. You can simply wash your sublimation shirts using normal washing techniques. If you ask for a recommendation then washing your sublimation shirts by hand is recommended but still, it’s not a thumb rule. You can wash them in machines as well.

14. What is sublimation tumbler?

A: Sublimating tumblers means doing sublimation on the tumblers. The tumbler you are going to sublimate on must be sublimation friendly. 

15. How are evaporation and sublimation the same?

A: Evaporation and sublimation have almost the same process. Same like evaporation, in sublimation ink, becomes gaseous via heat press and gets absorbed by the substrate and becomes the permanent part of it.

16. How to remove sublimation ink from the shirt?

A: Sublimation is a process in which ink becomes the part of the actual fabric thus it’s not possible to remove it from the fabric. While on the other hand if the fabric is made up of cotton then print can get lighter with more washes and passage of time but on polyester, it’s not possible to remove.

17. Which Epson eco tank is best for sublimation?

A: Epson has many printers with great features. The Ecotank series is on the next level, and if we still look for the best ecotank printer in the whole series then ET-15000 would be the first choice. It is the latest as well as a wide format printer. 

18. How to make a sublimation mug wrap?

A: Making a mug wrap is not a big deal, you just need to have a standard silicone baking sheet, “S” hooks, and needles & thread. Cut the silicone sheet according to the size of the mug. Fold each side of the sheet over for about an inch. This space is for “S” shaped hooks. Now place your hooks in it and you are good to go. You now use this as a mug wrap and sublimate your mugs easily.

19. What is a sublimation printing Cricut?

A: In simple words, Cricut design is software used to adjust and edit sublimation prints. It’s absolutely free. But there are many alternatives now available in the market which offer the same or even better features.

20. How to make sublimation stickers?

A: There are multiple ways to do make stickers, the easiest way is just to use Matte Sticker paper directly for printing. If you don’t have that matte sticker paper then you can print the design on a standard cartridge sheet and put a clear tape on top of it. Now put double-sided tape behind the sticker and cut off the extra part of the whole sticker. Now you have your sticker ready to use and you can use it on anything because of double-sided tape behind the sticker.

  • As far as sublimation sticker concerns you need to use oracal 651 white. Wrap it in the laminate pouch and insert it in the laminator machine. The Laminator machine gives much better results than eat pressing because heat pressing causes bubbles within the sheet.
  • Now get your sublimation print-ready on sublimation paper and it should be mirrored image. Now put the print upside down on the laminated sheet, put some heat-resistant tape on the ends of the sublimation sheet so it can not able to shake or move around.
  • Once heat pressing is done, remove sublimation paper and cut off the extra laminate sheet from the stickers, and you are done. Your stickers are ready to use.

You can also sublimate directly on the oracal 651 sheets but the colors are very dull and using the standard laminate sheet/pouch will give you much better and vibrant results.

TIP: If you want to remove the exact edges of your sticker then use a printer cutter for it. It will cut every tiny extra area from the sticker.

21. What is the difference between sublimation and screen printing?

A: Screen printing is still used by many people if you have a large number of orders for the same design then nothing is better than screen printing. But for a start and beginners sublimation is easy and best. With sublimation, the print is more long-lasting and permanent as compared to screen printing.

22. Where can I buy a sublimation printer?

A: You can buy the sublimation printer from multiple sites, such as.

1. Amazon

2. Etsy

3. eBay

4. Direct from the brand if they sale themselves.

23. How to make sublimation brighter?

A: If you want to make your sublimation brighter or already your sublimation is not that brighter then you need to check the temperature of heat-press, pressure, and time you are pressing it. In addition to that, you have to make sure that the ink you are using is original and not the fake/cheaper one. If all these are up to the mark then replace your substrate and try on another substrate or better. It will surely give you better results. Sometimes substrates are also the cause of an issue.

24. What are sublimation printers and printing?

A: Sublimation is the process in which ink is transferred on the paper and then on the substrate the main difference is that this ink becomes the permanent part of the substrate. The printer used for printing the design on the paper is called a sublimation printer and this whole process is called sublimation printing.

25. Can I use an inkjet printer for sublimation?

A: Yes, you can use an inkjet printer for sublimation. You just need to change the cartridges or ink of the printer and replace them with sublimation ink or cartridge. After replacing print 3-4 times as testing so any of the previous standard ink is in there will be used and onward pure sublimation ink will be used for your original design.

26. Can I use a Canon printer for sublimation?

A: Canon printers use thermal printing technology which impacts badly on the sublimation ink so it’s not recommended to use canon printers for sublimation.

27. Can you use a laser printer for sublimation?

A: Yes you can use a laser printer for sublimation. 

28. The best paper for sublimation?

A: The best paper for sublimation so far is an “A Sub Sublimation Printer”. It is better in price, quality, results, and instruction as compared to other papers.

29. What are the best shirts for sublimation?

A: The best shirts for sublimation are 100% polyester shirts. There is nothing better than these. Because polyester gives the best results when it’s sublimated.

30. Is sublimation printing expensive?

A: Sublimation printing can be expensive as well as a money-making tool for you. It all depends on how you use it and why you are using it. In the terms of business, sublimation is a great business without any doubt, and in business, you invest is in the machinery, and the better the tools you have the better the final product will be. 

In a nutshell, sublimation printing is not expensive. You just need to do the right research before entering this field. 

31. How long does a sublimation print last?

A: If it is done correctly, it will last as long as the original fabric. But in general sublimation prints last 10-Years on the fabric.

A: The best material for sublimation is polyester. Its recommended to use substrate made up of polyester or have at least 60% polyester in it. The more polyester the substrate has the better the results will be.

You still can sublimate on hard surfaces like wood or tumblers. The process is the same as it is for any polyester substrate.

33. Best sublimation printer brand

A: There are many brands out there who are creating great printers. But some brands are better than others and their features, quality, support, and warranty make them the best and those are,

1. Sawgrass

2. Epson

3. Brother

34. Sublimation printing VS heat transfer printing?

A: Sublimation printing and heat transfer printing, both consist of almost the same procedure. The main difference lies in the print. The ink used for sublimations gets absorbed by the substrate itself and becomes a permanent part of it. While on the other hand heat transfer printing leaves a thin layer of ink on top of the substrate. You can fee the difference easily. Sublimation printing also has better durability and color vibrancy.

35. Can a sublimation printer be used wirelessly?

A: Yes, nowadays the latest sublimation printers have this ability and feature. They are designed to be used with Wi-Fi. They can be used wired as well as wirelessly.