If you want to create t-shirts for a living, you should think about getting a sublimation printer. Whereas ordinary printers won’t print on fabrics, a sublimation printer is a little different. Sublimation printers are ideal for printing on T-shirts because they saturate the material with ink. Meaning that as the fabric moves, so does the design, resulting in a crisper image.

Sublimation printers usually are more expensive than other printers, but if your brand creates t-shirts to sell, they could provide you an edge over other brands. This article will give you some tips and tricks on How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-shirts.

What is a Sublimation Printer?

The aim of sublimation printers is a bit distinctive from regular printers. Sublimation paper is not suitable for printing documents or books and magazines. It is a type of paper used to create designs on garments and textiles.

Sublimation printers use heat to evaporate ink and transmit the image on to the garments. When sublimation ink is applied to the fabric, it binds with the fibers and becomes woven. So, if you wanted to use a sublimation printer for office work, it wouldn’t be a great idea.

How to Use a Sublimation Printer?

You can use sublimation printers to print any image on your T-shirts. Printing an image on a t-shirt is a simple method that requires no special skills. Sublimation paper is needed for this printing and is easy to find in any local stationery store. Below are 4 necessary steps. Follow the steps below and learn How to Use a Sublimation Printer for t-shirts:

Step 1: Choose a picture

You can either take a picture with your phone’s camera or download any image from Google that you wish to put on your T-shirt. Just remember that the image must be flipped before printing.

Step 2: Print the Image on the Sublimation Paper

Using the sublimation printer, print your picture on sublimation paper. You can use either heat conduction paper or sublimation paper since they both are the same thing.

Step 3: Arrange your Shirt Properly for Printing

First, use an electric iron to press your T-shirt. So, the wrinkles and dampness in the t-shirt are removed, and the photo is printed straight. Then, place a cardboard paper between the t-shirt and the box to keep the t-shirt in place.

Step 4: Copy the Image onto Your T-shirt

To properly align the image onto your T-shirt, follow the steps below:

  • Preheat the iron to 375° – 400° F
  • Put the printed image on the fabric
  • Tape the paper to the t-shirt, so it doesn’t move while pressing
  • Then iron the sublimation paper on the material for 2–3 minutes

When the hot iron is placed on the sublimation paper, the pigment and the fabric contact one other; when the ink is exposed to high temperatures temperature, it turns into air, allowing it to enter the pores of the shirt.  As we withdraw the iron, the pores of the t-shirt close, keeping the ink inside the material. That is how we get our final image printed on a t-shirt.

Helpful Tips for Using Sublimation Printer for T-shirts

  • Do not print on 100 percent cotton. You must utilize polyester-containing fabrics.
  • If you want to print a black image, it may not transfer as pure black because of the amount of dye that a t-shirt may soak.
  • When dealing with colored fabrics, keep in mind that the sublimation ink will be soaked and not produce the exact color.

Final Thoughts

Designing t-shirts is a great way to showcase your artistic skills, but how you print the images is equally important in terms of quality. Sublimation printing is seen to be the best method of printing among all others. This article has discussed some essential steps and tips to help you use the printer to your convenience.