Sublimation printing is an excellent method for creating personalized t-shirts, phone cases, and other items. Before sending your design to the heat press machine, you must first create it in a program such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Because you don’t need screens or plates, it’s a less expensive option than screen printing, but you can still create high-quality designs that will last long after they’ve been printed on your products.

The birth of sublimation printing

Sublimation printing, which was invented in the 1960s, is a method of printing on polyester fabric using a standard heat press. While conducting textile research, a Frenchman named Noel de Plasse discovered it in 1957. Sublimation printing did not become a reality until the late 1960s, when an American company invented the first electronic machine capable of printing using the sublimation method.

What is sublimation printing

Dye sublimation printing is another name for sublimation printing. Heat and pressure are applied to a specially coated substrate, causing the dye molecules to move from their original location (paper) into another substance (fabric). It is suitable for polyester, polymer coated items, or anything containing at least 80% polyester. It is most commonly used in the textile industry to create ink-free fabrics and colorfast garments such as T-shirts.

A sublimation printer is printing a t-shirt with a sunflower pattern

The term “sublimation” was coined because it was thought that the dye would transition between solid and gaseous states without passing through a liquid phase. Because the dye would liquefy, this understanding of the process was later proven to be incorrect.The proper name for this process has since been dye diffusion, though this technically correct term has not replaced the original name.

Why is it called sublimation printing

A sublimation printing printer is working

Sublimation is a chemical term that originally referred to the process of a substance directly transforming from a solid to a gaseous state without passing through a liquid state. It is a state change that occurs when a substance’s temperature and pressure are lower than the triple point. This principle is also used in sublimation printing to allow the dye to transition from a solid to a gaseous state without passing through a liquid state.

Pros and Cons of Sublimation Printing


  • As no ink or paint comes into contact with the fabric at any point during the process, it helps to reduce waste by using less ink during production and less water for cleanup.
  • Sublimation printed designs will not peel, crack, or fade because they have a high durability rating and typically do not fade or crack over time.
  • Sublimation printing is also fast and cost-effective.

A man is adding paint to a sublimation printer


  • Due to the process requires specific types of inks, it can be difficult to find a supplier who can provide the correct type and color you require, especially if you are working with large orders or unusual designs.
  • Sublimation design can also take longer because there is no fixed matrix like screen printing. Before production can begin, each transfer requires its own setup.
  • It must be printed on paper, which wastes resources, so recycled paper, such as paper made from corn stalks, is recommended.
  • As it sublimates, ink pollutes the atmosphere.
  • Material must be at least 80% polyester or polyester coated, cotton is not acceptable.

A roll of white special paper for sublimation printers

What sublimation products sell best?

For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 selling sublimation products.


T-shirts, especially in white and black, are timeless. This is a constant in all clothing stores. T-shirts are available for purchase in any clothing store. Sublimation printing adds color to the short sleeves in cartoon, anime, and graffiti styles. If you want to make a gift for your best friend, I recommend using his or her favorite item (such as Iron Man) or a picture of the two of you. With sublimation printing, this couldn’t be simpler.


Coffee in the morning? Mugs can be found anywhere, whether at home or at work. You can expand your business by selling sublimation printed mugs; simply improve your mugs and increase buyer interest. A hot cup of coffee in a nice mug. If you consider these two points, you will not be concerned about the lack of cup sales.

Mouse pads

Computers have become standard equipment for modern people, and almost everyone owns one. As a result, mouse pads have become a necessity for computer users. Sublimation printing your favorite cartoon characters or brand logos on a mouse pad will make people inadvertently think, “So I bought a mouse pad in a certain brand store.” This will almost certainly lead to the buyer recommending you to his family and friends, which is fantastic news for you.


Bags are more commonly seen in the hands of women, and women are the group with the most purchasing power. They frequently go out with bags of various styles, and different bags elicit different emotions in them. Nobody wants to carry an ugly bag, but everyone appreciates a bag that they designed. If you own a bag shop, JetPrint can provide you with a variety of bag styles as well as personalized customization.

Shower curtain

A nice-looking shower curtain appears to increase your enjoyment of lying in the bathtub. When you create a beautiful shower curtain, you can’t help but admire your work and forget that your shower is taking longer than the previous 30 minutes. Making a Christmas shower curtain for Christmas will remind your child that Santa Claus has arrived with a valuable gift.

A man is putting stickers on a t-shirt


The dye-sublimation printing process is widely used for long-lasting, high-quality prints. The sublimation process begins with the design program’s creations, which are then transferred to the item using the heat and pressure of a heat press. While there are numerous factors to consider when designing for sublimation printing, the durability of these materials makes them an excellent choice for polyester or polymer coated items such as t-shirts or mugs.