what is sublimation in crafting


What is the difference between sublimation and heat transfer crafting?

What is Sublimation in Crafting?

If you are a crafting enthusiast, you may have come across the term sublimation. Sublimation is a printing technique that is rapidly gaining popularity in the crafting world. But what exactly is sublimation and how does it work? In this article, we will delve into the world of sublimation in crafting.

Definition of Sublimation

Sublimation is a technique of printing where sublimation ink is transferred onto a substrate (material) using a heat press machine. The ink turns into a gas without passing through the liquid state, hence the term “sublimation.”

The ink is transferred onto the substrate, usually polyester or a material that has a poly coating. The heat press machine applies pressure and high temperatures that turn the sublimation ink into a gas which becomes part of the polyester fibers.

Sublimation Process

The sublimation process begins with the design. The design is printed onto the sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. The design must be mirrored to ensure that it comes out the right way. The sublimation paper is then placed onto the substrate material.

The heat press machine is set to a specific temperature and time. The substrate and sublimation paper are then placed into the heat press machine. The heat and pressure from the machine allow the sublimation ink to turn into a gas and fuse with the polyester fibers. The result is a permanent and high-quality print.

Materials Suitable for Sublimation

Sublimation is a technique that works best with specific materials. These materials are usually made of polyester or have a poly coating. The most suitable materials for sublimation include:

  • Polyester fabric
  • Polymer-coated hard surfaces
  • Ceramic tiles and mugs
  • Aluminum
  • Acrylic
  • Glass

Advantages of Sublimation

Sublimation has many advantages that make it a popular printing technique in the crafting world. Some of these include:

  • Permanent print – sublimation ink fuses with polyester fibers and becomes permanent
  • High-quality print – sublimation produces high-quality prints that are vibrant and vivid
  • Versatility – sublimation can be used on various materials including fabric, ceramics, and metal
  • No peeling or fading – sublimation ink does not peel or fade even after multiple washes


Sublimation is a printing technique that has revolutionized the crafting world. It is a versatile, permanent, and high-quality printing method that produces vibrant and vivid prints. With sublimation, the possibilities are endless, and you can create unique and personalized crafts.

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