We have added a new product at iCraftVinyl.com that we think you all are going to love: sublimation transfers! These transfers allow you to create bright and bold garments with ease. There is no weeding, the sheets are affordable and the transfers are ready to press when they arrive at your door!

Before you rush to order some though, let's make sure you understand the process and have the few things you will need for your sublimation project - and check out the video at the bottom of this post for a step by step tutorial! 

What are sublimation transfers?

We print a beautiful, custom design onto a sheet of sublimation paper in house that will be available for purchase at iCraftVinyl.com. Once you have received your transfer, you can then apply it to your garment with a heat press. With the proper heat and pressure, the sublimation ink transforms from a solid to a gas before cooling, solidifying again and fusing with fibers of the garment to become a permanent part of the fabric. Because of this process, you won't feel the ink when it is applied like you do with heat transfer vinyl.

What will you need for sublimation transfers?

In addition to the transfer, you will need a heat press. Your home iron does not get hot enough and an EasyPress doesn't give you enough pressure. You will also need a polyester garment or different substrate like a pillow, mouse pad, ceramic tile or mug, that have been specially treated for sublimation. if you don't have a polyester shirt, you can use this workaround to press on other types of garments.

Few Things to Note:

  1. White or light colored garments will work the best. You will not be able to see the design well (or at all) on dark fabrics. 
  2. The sublimation process will not work on 100% cotton fabrics, and sublimations on poly-cotton blend fabrics may not be as bright. 92% and 96% polyester shirts will work great!
  3. Garments made of 65% polyester will result in the transfer having a vintage, washed out look.
  4. There is no white sublimation ink. Any part of the design that appears white on the paper will be whatever color of fabric you put it on. 
  5. If you do not have a polyester garment, you can still use a sublimation transfer if you apply white or a light color glitter HTV. Learn more here. 

What are some of the Benefits of Sublimation Transfers?

  1. Because it is a part of the fabric, the sublimation transfers are durable and long-lasting.
  2. There is no weeding required. We send the design to you and it is ready to press. Simply place face down, press, and remove paper backing. 
  3. Great for multi-colored designs with intricate pieces. This is a great option for designs that you would not be able to create with heat transfer vinyl, and you don't have to worry about which materials can be layered since the sublimation transfer is one image.

How to Apply Sublimation Transfers 

1. Set your heat press to 400º for 40 seconds. 
2. If necessary, use a lint roller to remove any hair or debris on the item you are sublimating on. Any lint, fuzz or other items on the shirt could mess up the transfer. 
3. Place the transfer on your garment with the design side facing down. 
4. Press for 40 seconds at 400º degrees. Do not move the press when applying and do not open the press prematurely. 
5. Once applied, you can immediately remove the transfer paper to reveal your finished design. 

Are you ready to give these a try for yourself? You can check out our growing selection of sublimation transfers here!

Plus, we now have 100% polyester shirts. Check out our size guide below.

Shop shirts here!