How To Sublimate A Shirt 2022 Dark T-Shirts | November 2022

Are you eager to master how to sublimate a shirt with a sublimation printer? Why not use sublimation printed shirts if all of your preferred t-shirts are damaged or discolored? This unique printing procedure employs beautiful images that will never fade! Sublimation printing is an effective technique to easily learn how to sublimate a shirt. White and black polyester shirts are traditionally becoming trends to print photographs and logos on.

A particular sublimation printer and distinctive dyes that can turn into a gaseous form and then bind with polyester fibers are all required for sublimation printing. You’ll also need a heat press to sublimate all ink and print the design on your shirt. The Sublimation printing work with high-heat and heat-reactive dyes. Consequently, the dyes are transformed into a gaseous state. Also, you’ll learn how sublimation printing works in this guide.

How To Sublimate A Dark T-Shirt

Finally, you’ll be able to understand how to sublimate a dark t-shirt, fabric, and supplies for performing the sublimation process. So, let’s jump right into it:

What is sublimation?

Sublimation is a method for transferring pigments to various designs and textiles. First, we choose a design that This design is then published using sublimation ink with sublimation paper. This design is completely transferred on numerous substrates such as mugs, T-shirts, hoodies, etc. Further, for permanently transferring the pattern, we use a heat press.

What is sublimation on shirts?

Sublimation on the shirt is a technique of printing that starts with a design getting printed on sublimation paper. This design is then transferred to any other substrate such as polyester shirts. Afterward, the ink starts heating till it gets absorbed completely into the cloth.

Sublimation on a shirt is somewhat pricier than other processes. But, sublimation shirt printing is a long-standing process. It does not break or tear throughout time, unlike other procedures.

How to sublimate on shirt
What is sublimation on shirts?

Material required for sublimation on shirt:

Sublimation on shirts is easy to configure using sublimation equipment. Yes, you will require some resources, but they are simple to obtain and utilize. To sublimate on shirts, you’ll get several goods that we have discussed below:

1. Sublimation printer:

The best sublimation printer for t-shirts is particularly helpful in producing sublimation designs. Your inkjet printer can easily be converted to a sublimation printer. This would require the use of sublimation ink. Epson printers usually work well for sublimation on shirts.

2. Sublimation ink:

It is essential to remember that sublimation works best with sublimation ink. You must not sublimate with regular ink that arises with any inkjet printer. This can damage your designs and printer.

3. Sublimation paper:

Sublimation printing cannot be done on any type of paper. You would require a special sublimation paper for sublimating. The sublimation process is enabled on the sublimation paper by the unique covering on the sublimation paper.

4. Heat press machine:

The heat press machine helps to heat and press your designs before transferring them. Heat press machines are available in a wide range of sizes. So ensure that the heat press you are using has an appropriate heating panel to handle the designs you are going to sublimate.

5. Software for design:

In order to produce your printed design and graphics, you’ll need software applications. There is various software offering free design making that you can acquire from their sites. You can also make designs through procreate available on iPads or other devices.

6. Butcher paper:

Butcher paper is responsible for covering the fabrics and shirts from the heat plates. Also, the butcher paper is positioned between the dyes and the shirt you are printing. This aids in preventing the dyes from being forced onto the backside. You can get butcher paper easily from Amazon on a large roll at a very low price.

7. Lint roller:

Fabrics, shirts, and other textiles may contain various amounts of pollen and lint. You can get a fast 3-second lint roll that removes the dirt from your to-be printed shirt. Consequently, your sublimated design is sharp and of the finest quality.

How to perform sublimation on shirts:

After acquiring the important resources, you may quickly start your process of sublimation on shirts. To start, simply go through these steps one by one:

  • Firstly, import your favorite design through any design software. You can also create your own artwork via using software like Procreate, Photoshop, and more.
  • Print the design you chose on the sublimation paper by using the sublimation ink. Remember you should mirror the design before printing.
  • With the help of heat, the press makes a flat, leveled surface on which you will transfer the design.
  • Always have a lint roller with you. It’s a good idea to remove dirt from shirts every time. Also, tint the roll before applying the transfer paper. Doing so is an important step as each crumb of dust or dust may add stains and spots to your work.
  • Arrange the butcher paper. You’ll require butcher paper to place at the base of the heat press. Place another butcher paper between the heat plate and the shirt. This is necessary to stop the sublimation ink from ruining the back of the shirt.
  • Lay the shirt on the butcher paper placed on the heat press. Put your desired design in the correct spot. Then apply moderate pressure for 40-55 seconds via the press.
  • Withdraw the sheet from the heat press as soon as it is complete and carefully detach the transfer paper.
  • Wait for the sublimated shirt to cool before removing it from the heat press.

How to sublimate on dark shirts:

Although sublimation on dark or black fabrics is not effective, you can get how to sublimate on dark tones via vinyl sheets. For sublimation on dark colors, most of the steps are the same as in the regular sublimation process.  The most distinguishing factor is that the graphic will be printed instantly onto a sublimation vinyl sheet for heat transfer. Then using the heat press you sublimate the design into the heat transfer vinyl. Also, this will bind the heat transfer vinyl to the cloth.

  • Arrange the shirt and design as previously stated in the post. However, there’s one distinction that does not mirror the image before printing this time. As you will be printing directly onto the Heat Transfer Vinyl.
  • Place a layer of heat transfer vinyl in your printer. Ensure that the dull side is facing upward. This leads the ink to get on the dull side.  A glossy peeling sheet is on the underside, which you could detach afterward. You can’t use ordinary HTV for this. You’ll need to look for sublimation Heat Transfer Vinyl with polyester, or the chemical will not adhere once the dye warms up.
  • You can cut the extra vinyl with a scissor or a Cricut. This is not important as it is totally based on your design.
  • After peeling off the underside, you can apply the heat transfer vinyl on your shirt.
  • Heat press around 15 seconds at 360°F after applying your insulating Teflon sheet.

This is generally the fastest method of sublimation print on dark fabric. Another approach is by applying the shirt with a thick white coating before applying the transfer design.

How To Sublimate On Shirt Full Guide In Video

What Type Of T-Shirt Is Suitable For Sublimation?

A shirt composed entirely of polyester is the optimal choice for sublimation printing. To sublimate effectively, transfer dye must adhere to polyester. However, performing sublimation on 100% cotton is not possible. Cotton will quickly wash away the color. If you prefer a smoother and more flexible t-shirt choose a tri-blend fabric with a massive proportion of polyester. The polyester in the tri-blend fabric must be 75 percent.

Frequently ask questions:

How to sublimate on dark polyester shirts:

Ans: Vinyl sheets allow sublimation on dark polyester shirts. The majority of the methods for sublimation on dark colors are similar to ordinary sublimation. The artwork will be printed directly onto a sublimation vinyl sheet for heat transfer, which is the most unique feature.

Can you sublimate on a black shirt?

Ans: Yes, we could easily print sublimation on a black t-shirt. For sublimation on a black shirt, heat transfer paper is important. Heat transfer vinyl works for sublimation on black shirts. You can make use of 100 percent cotton, leather, polyester mixes, and various other materials.


To summarize, by reading our guide hopefully, you can understand how to sublimate a shirt easily you can sublimate on your favorite shits. Also, we can sublimate dark colors that are a plus aspect. Furthermore, the sublimation print is incredibly clear, washable, and has brilliant colors. Sublimation printing is a good option for those who prefer unique and permanent designs on shirts.

When subjected to severe heat, this printing technology uses a unique dye. This in turn transforms into a gas and then interacts with polyester fabric. We can use sublimation printing technology to generate nearly any type of pattern, even color sublimation pictures. However, sublimation can only perform on polyester or material with a greater ratio of polymer materials.