Do you have questions about sublimation for beginners? What supplies do you need to get started? Stick around and read all the answers to your sublimation questions – you will love all the projects you can make with sublimation.
What is Sublimation?
Like many crafters, I first began working with sublimation when Cricut came out with Infusible Ink. Infusible ink is the Cricut brand of sublimation transfer – and those products are a great way to dabble in sublimation and see if you like it.
Sublimation is a chemical process that actually fuses the colors and patterns into the fabric or coating of your item. This is a huge advantage compared to heat transfer vinyl. Iron-on Vinyl uses multiple layers of vinyl to create patterned designs.
Your design is printed with sublimation ink onto a transfer paper. Place the sublimation design to your shirt just as you would a typical vinyl design. Add heat but check the requirements for the products you are using. The heat is usually much higher and applied for a longer amount of time for sublimation.
Want the really specific details? Here is how it works:
The heat and pressure cause the inks to turn into a gas and penetrate the fibers of your blank item. They become a solid as it cools, which creates a permanent bond that is very durable.
What Are The Advantages of Sublimation?
Sublimations biggest advantage is the durability and design abilities. Sublimation uses colorful and detailed pattern designs that are transferred in one super durable layer.
Shirts with sublimation designs can be stretched without cracking. Overall the finished product is better quality in looks and durability.
What Materials Can I Sublimate On?
Typically sublimation ink needs a polyester fabric to attach to. Surprise! You can apply a poly-coating onto hard surfaces and transfer onto them. This means you can customize mugs, pens, cups, and so many other items with sublimation.
Luckily, sublimation blanks are available that already have the polyester coating applied. Angie from The Country Chic Cottage has tested a ton of sublimation blanks and has a whole page of sublimation blank recommendations.
GET YOUR DESIGN
There are a few options on how to get a sublimation ready design to work with:
- You can use a sheet of special transfer paper that has a design already printed on it – there are a lot of affordable sublimation transfers on Etsy (like these).
- Cut a design with your Cricut. Use a vinyl cutting machine and a sheet of infusible ink or other patterned transfer paper and cut as usual.
- Lastly, you could use pre-made sublimation designs and print them on sublimation transfer paper. This requires a printer that uses sublimation ink. Learn how to convert a printer to sublimation here!
Design Space Tutorials
- Best Cricut Fonts
- How to upload your own images
- How To Upload A SVG
- Slice Tool Tutorial
- My Favorite Tools
- Ultimate Vinyl Guide – basics on vinyl types and when to use what
- Where to get the best price craft vinyl in Canada
Iron On Vinyl Tutorials
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