T shirt printing hack

Welcome to this week’s edition of PrintCraft, the go-to source for… HTV and sublimation printing

Looking to take your sublimation skills to another level? Today, we’ll show you some interesting hacks that’ll finally let you print on 100% cotton t-shirts and on dark colors.

What’s included:

🌟 Some lovely sublimation ideas that we found online

🎨 How to create beautiful designs with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) and sublimation printing

💥 3 must-buy products of the week


🌟 2 Best DIY Crafts

A pink-glittery butterfly mug

A lazy cats sweatshirt

🎨 How to Print on 100% Cotton T-Shirts and on Dark Colors

You may have noticed that sublimation has some obvious limitations. Sublimating dark clothing produces gloomy results. Plus, sublimating 100% cotton products is like flushing your ink down the drain.

What if there was a way to get past this?

Well, there is a solution! It involves the use of both HTV (heat transfer vinyl) and sublimation 🤯!

We guarantee that this hack works. Let us show you how to do it.

What tools will you need?

 📠 Cricut Explore Air 2: You’ll need this to print and cut out your HTV designs accurately. It’s used together with a Cricut Cutting Mat.

🖥️ Cricut Design Space: This software comes with the required presets to create the Cricut Explore Air 2’s designs.

👕 Black Cotton T-Shirts: They’ll be the canvas for this project.

📜 Sublimation HTVRONT Paper for Dark Fabrics: This will serve as the HTV layer on which your designs have to be sublimated (more on this later on!)

🖋️ Pin Pen Weeding Tool: You’ll need this to weed the HTV paper and get the correct shape for the printouts.

📝 Sublimation Paper: Use high-quality sublimation paper to get colorful designs.

🖨️ Sublimation Printer: A top-notch printer like this one will boost the printout’s visual appeal.

🛡️ Heat Tape: It’ll hold the t-shirt and the designs together.

🛡️ Heat-resistant Gloves: These will protect your hands when handling the heat press.

🏢 Heat Press: You’ll need a high-pressure heat press to easily transfer the designs onto the t-shirt.

💈 Lint Roller: It’ll be used to straighten and clean up the t-shirt.

📑 Butcher Paper: It’ll prevent excess heat damage to the cotton t-shirt.

How does this work?

The steps outlined below are specifically for sublimating bright designs onto dark t-shirts that are 100% cotton. However, you can also use these steps to sublimate dark t-shirts made of polyester or a polyester blend.

💡 Pro Tip: For white cotton t-shirts, you’ll have to change your HTV layer to clear HTVRONT vinyl instead.

Step 1: Sorting your sublimation supplies

Arrange all your tools in one area so that they’re within reach.

Step 2: Creating your designs

Open a new page in the Cricut design space and choose a cute design. Next, duplicate the design, leave one in its original color, and change the other to a basic gray color. A complete design space tutorial can be found here.

P.S. Make sure that you mirror both images before printing… more or less like this but with your own design 🙂.

Step 3: Printing out your designs

Print out the non-gray cut design on the sublimation paper using the Epson Ecotank ET-2720.

After that, bring out your cutting mat and attach the HTVRONT paper to it. The glossy side of the paper should face the mat. Now, print out the basic gray cut design on the HVTRONT paper using the Cricut Explore Air 2.

Step 4: Trimming your designs

Gently trim the excess paper off the gray cut HTV with a pin-pen weeding tool. Do the same for the sublimated design. Make sure that they’re both the same size!

Step 5: Prepping your t-shirt

First, use a lint roller on your blank t-shirt. Then, pre-press it for 5 seconds at 300 F. Next, place the HTV cutout on the shirt and pre-press it with heavy pressure at 310° F for 10 seconds.

Allow the HTV to cool for 6–10 minutes. After that, carefully peel off its thick cover.

Step 6: Layering your designs

Place a sheet of butcher paper underneath the t-shirt. Next, line up the HTV and the sublimated design to fit each other. The non-gray cut design should be on top.

Secure them both by using heat-resistant tape and connecting this to the t-shirt. Then, finish it up with another piece of butcher paper.

Step 7: Sublimating your designs

Close the heat press and let it sublimate at 390° F for 45 seconds. Once the 45 seconds are over, put on your gloves and remove your t-shirt from the heat press.

Step 8: Finally!

Allow it to cool off for a few seconds and then gently peel off your sublimation paper to reveal the final result!.

Voila, your newly sublimated dark 100% cotton t-shirt is now ready for use.

Potential issues

Ghosting: The designs might look faded in certain places if you don’t use a high pressure heat press

Ventilation: Ensure your crafting room is properly ventilated during this process ❄️

A helpful extra

💥 3 Must-Buy Products of the Week

Okay! That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Reply with the word “PrintCraft” and we’ll send you a $10 Amazon Gift Card for your next project.

Happy sublimating,

The PrintCraft Team

🙂 P.S. Please ask 1 or 2 friends to join by sharing this link with them!

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