Sublimation transfers are such a cool and easy way to create gorgeous custom tees, whether you’re a professional crafter or just doing this for fun. The only downside to sublimation is the process will not work without a polyester (or high poly blend) garment - specifically a light or white colored polyester garment . But I have good news! There is a work around that lets you apply sublimation transfers to any color and material garment - you just need some glitter HTV!
What are Sublimation Transfers?
Our sublimation transfers are created with a special paper that releases the ink with high heat and pressure. As it heats up, the ink transforms from a solid to a gas before solidifying again in the fibers of the garment. This results in a soft-feeling, long-lasting and vibrant design that won’t crack, peel or lift over time.
Sublimating on Polyester
To use the sublimation transfers, you will need a polyester garment or substrate. While 100% is recommended for the most vibrant results, poly-blends will also work too! Shirts that are 90% polyester and higher will still produce beautiful, bright designs and shirts that are closer to 65% polyester will create more of a vintage, faded look. We recommend not going any lower than 65% polyester when choosing a garment to sublimate on. Also it is important to note that the sublimation transfers do not have white ink. Anywhere there is white in the design will take on the color of the shirt.
Sublimating on Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl
If you don't have a light or white colored polyester garment, there is another option: sublimating onto a glitter HTV silhouette of the design. When you sublimate on glitter, you are able to use any color garment and any material that you can use with HTV! This works because our glitter is made with polyester so the sublimation transfer easily adheres to it. While white glitter HTV is the most popular choice for sublimating on, you can use other light colors. Keep in mind that the color will show through in the design.
Here we sublimated on silver glitter HTV:
(Here is the transfer we used for this project^)
We have made the process of sublimating on glitter so easy with any of the designs available at iCraftVinyl.com! We have the silhouettes for each transfer on the bottom of the product listing on the site and you can follow these step by step instructions below.
Step by Step Instructions for Sublimating on Glitter:
- Browse our huge selection of designs and purchase the sublimation transfer(s) of your choosing . Make sure you get some glitter HTV also if you’re planning on doing this workaround.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the product page of the sublimation transfer you purchased and right click on the silhouette of the image and save the png to your computer.
- Once the transfer arrives in the mail, admire them and fire up your cutter software.
- Upload silhouette into you cutter software and follow the on screen steps to convert to SVG.
- Make sure it is sized correctly to fit your transfer (transfer sizes are listed under description of each product). You can (and should) also use a tape measurer/ruler to ensure you’re cutting out the right size.
- Mirror your design and cut it out on our glitter HTV. Weed excess material from the silhouette.
- Turn your heat press on and set to 305º.
- Press glitter silhouette for just a few seconds to adhere it to your garment.
- Warm or cold peel.
- Turn heat up to 400º.
- Trim sublimation transfer to help you line up transfer over glitter silhouette.
- Press for 40 seconds at medium pressure.
- Warm or cold peel.
That’s it! Now you can use any of our sublimation designs on any garment with fabulous results! The glitter shines through the design but it still looks bright, bold and beautiful!
We have put together a video tutorial below so you can watch the process for yourself!