Sublimation T-Shirt Printing

This piece explains How to print on a sublimation t-shirt. Custom T-shirt printing has a huge demand. Businesses, brands and the big companies want custom printed t-shirts during events or parties. Also, people nowadays want to print their designs or quotes on t-shirts. T-shirt print designs with trendy logos and quotes also have high demand in the market.

What are the best quality t-shirts for printing?

We deal in several kinds of t-shirts

How to print on a sublimation t-shirt

There are various methods of printing t-shirts. Some of the best way to print on a t shirt include:

  1. Heat transfer.
  2. Direct to the garment.
  3. Screen printing.

But here, we will dive into the heat transfer printing method. The heat transfer method is used commonly for sublimation printing on t-shirts

If you are a newbie, then the heat transfer method is simple to learn and apply. Also, it is economical as well, and for this reason, most businesses choose this method.

In the heat transfer method, you can use the following three sheets: 

  1. Heat transfer sheet
  2. Sublimation paper
  3. Vinyl sheets

Let’s get into the steps and details of the heat transfer printing method to make a t-shirt print design.

Step 1 – Choose a design.

You will need a great design to print on the t-shirt. You can print text on t-shirts or photos or logos. The pattern depends on the type of business you are doing. 

If you make designs on your own, print them and sell them, you will have to make great designs. For this, choose a particular niche and cater to the needs and interests of your target audience. 

But if you are into on-demand t-shirt printing, your customer will tell you the design they want.

How to print on a sublimation t-shirt

Step 2 – Print the design 

Now, to print the design or print text on t-shirt, you may choose heat transfer paper or sublimation paper or a vinyl sheet. Let’s get a basic idea of how these three sheets are different. You can print text on t-shirts and also print your logo on t-shirts.

Heat transfer paper: 

The heat transfer paper adds a layer to the t-shirt when you transfer the design. It is not self-weeding, and hence along with the image the entire sheet ads a layer over the t-shirt. 

So, you need to cut or trim the sheet with a scissor or a plotter to remove the unwanted area. Heat sublimation paper is available for both light coloured and dark coloured t-shirts.

Ink – Dye Ink

Print using –  Epson Inkjet printer

How to print on a sublimation t-shirt

Sublimation Paper

You print a sublimation paper with sublimation ink. To print on a sublimation paper, you will also need a sublimation printer. The sublimation ink turns into gas on heating, and once it cools, it becomes solid. 

So, when you heat to transfer the sublimation paper on a t-shirt, the sublimation ink gets transferred on the t-shirt and becomes a part of it. Hence there is no extra layer when you use the sublimation paper. 

Also, only the sublimation ink transfers to the sublimation paper and is self-weeding. You use sublimation paper only on polyester fabrics and dark coloured fabrics. This is the most durable form of heat transfer method because the print becomes a part of the t-shirt and does not wash away. Sublimation printing is the best way to print on a t-shirt.

Ink – Sublimation ink

Print using – sublimation printer

Vinyl Sheet:

A vinyl sheet is more durable than a heat transfer sheet, but it also costs more. Also, vinyl sheets are best to use with limited colours as vinyl is available. Vinyl is recommended mostly for single colour and simple designs with fewer design elements.

To use vinyl for t-shirt printing, you need to cut the vinyl with a plotter in most cases to get your design on it. While you may print on vinyl and cut it you need to know that is a hard task. 

Plotter – Skycut Plotter 

Step 3 – Heat press the design to print on a sublimation t-shirt

Now that you are ready with the design printed and the t-shirt, you need to transfer it to the t-shirt with the help of a heat press machine.

Heat tape – 

You will need heat tape to hold the printed sheet in place. Heat tape is resistant to high temperatures and does not create a mess in the printing process. It helps to keep the sheet aligned and transfer the design to the correct place on the t-shirt. 

Use heat tape to stick the printed sheet on the t-shirt before you start the printing process.

Heat Press – 

A heat transfer machine has heating beds that heat up to the temperature you set on the machine, and also it heats for a certain time that you set on the heat transfer machine. 

Now all you need to do is set the temperature and time on the flat press machine. Then place the t-shirt along with the printed sheet in the heat press machine and switch it on. After you switch it on, press your t-shirt by lowering the upper heat bed with the handle. When the set time is complete, the machine will beep, turn it off.

How to print on a sublimation t-shirt

Step 4 – Remove the printed t-shirt.

Once the heat transfer is complete, raise the upper lid of the heat press machine and wait for a few mins to cool down. Remove the t-shirt with heat gloves and remove the heat tape and your custom t-shirt is ready.

Heat Gloves – Always use heat gloves to protect you from the heat of the t-shirt safety is first. Make sure to get a pair of heat gloves from us and work safely.

Our YouTube channel

Do visit our YouTube channel and check out our videos. We have content related to all facets of our business, you’ll get videos on how to start an online t-shirt printing business.

You can check out our video on How to use a 5 in 1 machine for printing

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