What Is a Dye Sublimation Printer and How To Do Printing

Sublimation is always preferred over another printing method by industry experts and professionals. You get better and permanent results with sublimation which most of the consumers want when they buy any printed shirt, cap, jacket, or any other apparel.

What Is a Dye Sublimation Printer

Dye sublimation printers are a great way to do sublimation. In addition, you can expand your product line by adding more products once you know how to do it correctly. And here we will be explaining everything you need to know about dye-sublimation printers and the process of printing with them.

What Is Dye Sublimation Printing?

Dye Sublimation and Sublimation both are the same. It’s just two names of the same thing. 

Sublimation is a process in which your design is printed on paper and then transferred on a substrate using heat. 

In sublimation, print is infused on the substrate, which results in more permanent and vibrant colors of the print on the substrate.

Sublimation printing mainly works on polyester material. You can use a 60-40 ratio as well. But in general, the more polyester substrate is, the better the result will be. 

Polyester is the best material for absorbing the ink when it’s heated. Thus when the print is heated via heat press to transfer on it, it absorbs the ink, and that print’s ink becomes the part of the substrate.

You cant achieve this result with any other printing method because none of the other methods infuses the ink in the substrate rather, you will get a layer of print on your substrate.

What Is Dye Sublimation Printer?

The printer used for sublimation printing is called a sublimation printer. There are two types of printers that are used for sublimation prints.

1. Converted

2. True Sublimation Printer

Converted Printers:

A converted printer is a printer that is not designed for sublimation but is still used for it. You can insert sublimation ink and cartridges into your standard printer and print 4-5 times as testing, once it starts printing correctly, your converted sublimation printer is ready. 

People use this method because it’s quite a cheaper way to do it but it also has many drawbacks, such as.

  • Warranty Ending

When you put sublimation cartridges and ink into your printer, it may affect your inner printer system, and your printer can also stop working. Companies don’t support this practice that’s why as soon as you insert sublimation cartridges, your warranty gets expired. No matter when you buy that printer or it was in warranty period. Still, the company will not help and support you in this case.

  • Ink Wastage

When something is not designed for any specific practice, and you still force it to do, it results in some drawbacks. Ink wastage is one of them in converted sublimation printers.

  • No Support From The Company

The company/Brand of the printer will not support you when you convert their printer into a sublimation printer. So you have to look after everything on your own such as troubleshooting a printer.

  • Shorter Life Span

Converted printers have a shorter life span as compared to true sublimation printers which are truly designed for sublimation.

Tip: These converted printers are not recommended, especially for those who want to start a business and non-techy people as well. Because people will be waiting for you and you can’t afford delays delivering the product, otherwise it will affect your business.

True Sublimation Printer:

True sublimation printers are those printers that are focusedly designed for sublimating process. There are not many brands manufacturing these true sublimation printers. 

Only a few brands are available in the market, and Sawgrass is way ahead of the rest of all. Sawgrass also has many variants of the printer, but the best of all is the SG1000 sublimation printer.

Using a true sublimation printer is always recommended for all especially for new entering people in this sublimation business. Some of the advantages of true sublimation printers are

  • Long Life Span

This is the most important thing to know that your converted printer has a much shorter life span as compared to the true sublimation printer. Because it is designed for sublimation.

  • Warranty Restrictions

There is no fear of warranty restriction while using a true sublimation printer. While on the other hand when you convert the normal printer into sublimation, a warranty by the company ends.

  • Easy To Use

Thus true sublimation printers are designed for sublimation, they have sublimation-friendly features. Anyone who is even entering into this field can operate them.

Tip: If you are new, non-techy, or seriously wanting to do great in the sublimation business then must go for a true sublimation printer

Pros and Cons Of Sublimation Printing and Printer


The feel and reliability of the print are great.

Last as long as the original fabric/substrate itself.

You can print sharp and vibrant colors with a sublimation printer.

Best for small batches and one-off orders OR personal use.


Competitively expensive.

A limited variety of substrates can be printed.

Process Of Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printing involves a few simple steps, if you have the correct machinery/resources and follow these steps then you will achieve astonishing results.

Step 1:

You first need to print your design on a sheet using sublimation paper. 

Step 2:

Now transfer that design onto an adhesive sheet using a heat press machine. This process is also known as marrying.

Step 3:

Put the design on your substrate and put a sheet on top of the print so it will not get stuck with a heat press and between the shirt as well so the color of print will not be printed on the backside of the substrate.

Step 4:

Then heat press it via heat press machine at 375F – 400F for 140-180 seconds with medium pressure.

Step 5:

Slowly remove the sheet from the substrate. 

The sublimation process is completed and your sublimated substrate is ready and now the print is permanently infused in the substrate.

Uses Of Dye Sublimation Printer

A sublimation printer is mainly used for sublimation printing. You can get clear and high-quality print using a sublimation printer or dye-sublimation printer.

Sublimation is easy to do yet it can make you money as well. Sublimation business is getting popular day by day, you can research in this niche as well.

Using a sublimation printer, you not just sublimate shirts, but you can sublimate caps, masks, jackets, uppers, keycaps, trousers, ceramic plates, and many other apparels as well as other stuff. It needs to have 60% at least polyester but the more polyester the substrate has the better the results will be.

You can use a sublimation printer for printing for yourself as well. The sublimation ink gets infused in the polyester and it becomes part of the fabric. Durability, reliability, and life span of sublimated fabric are great as well. Normally it lasts as long as the original substrate does.

To start sublimation printing, you need a few accessories like a printer, heat press, computer(every house has this at least), transfer paper, ink, designs(you can find many on google), and substrate on which you wanna do sublimation.


Dye-Sublimation Printer is the basic need of today’s offices and many professionals as well. Sublimation printing is a great business and can be your possible way of source of income as well.

If you are confused about which dye-sublimation printer should I buy then simply write your needs and then search for the one which fits and fulfills your most needs.

If you are a new entrance then you should be focused on warranty and support from the brand rather than the price of the printer. If you are experienced then you can choose what fits best for you.

FAQs – What is a dye sublimation printer?