Sublimation-What is it and how do I get started?

Sublimation-What is it and how do I get started?

What is Sublimation?

Have you ever wondered what sublimation is and how to get started with it? In this blog post, we will define sublimation for you and give you a few tips on how to get started. Sublimation is a process that can be used to create custom prints on fabric, paper, metal, or other materials. It's a great way to personalize your projects while still using standard printing processes. Let's take a closer look at what sublimation is and how you can get started with it!

In simple terms, sublimation is a method of printing that transfers a design into a material or fabric using ink and heat. Heat is the key to sublimation printing.  A design is printed with special ink onto special paper using a sublimation printer. The design is then transferred to a substrate such as fabric metal by using a very high heat press such as a tumbler press, mug press, or flat press. 

Does Sublimation Produce a Good Quality Print?

Sublimation is known to produce quality images that can last a long time, are scratch resistant and hold up when washed. When you print with sublimation, the image becomes part of the material it was printed on, therefore, the print can't be damaged unless the item is damaged. 

Sublimation can last a very long time, especially if care is taken with the printed items. Most sublimated items can be machine washed or washed in the dishwasher, but will last even longer if special care is taken and items are hand washed. For example, a sublimated coffee mug will last a long time even when washed in the dishwasher, but will have an even longer life if hand washed. 

Sublimation is a great way to print personalized and custom merchandise for a reasonable price and is considered an acceptable industry standard. 

Do I need special equipment to do sublimation printing?

Yes. You will need a special printer specifically designed to hold sublimation inks and sublimation paper. There are a variety of sublimation printers available that hold varying amounts of ink and paper as well as different sizes of printers that hold different sizes of sublimation paper. 

What are some of the items known as substrates that can be sublimated on?

There are a large variety of sublimation blanks available on the market these days and the list continues to grow. Mellow Jane Creative Co carries can glass blanks, skinny tumbler sublimation blanks, sippy tumbler blanks, tote bag blanks, and more. It is important to note that when sublimation printing on fabric, the fabric content should be at least 50% polyester. 

Sublimation printing is a great way to explore and express your creativity. If you are interested in getting started in sublimation printing, be sure to do a little research in deciding what printer you might want to begin with as well as what substrates you might want to print on first. Feel free to email me at with any questions! 

Back to blog