We often neglect an important thing while having a thought that it is too easy and I can do it without any practice or guidance in the first place. Sometimes it is true, but other times we might break this castle of dreams. So, why not learn everything properly in the first place so we can have the exact results we actually want. Yes, you guessed it right. Sublimation on cotton is an easy task but you can totally ace it with a little guidance.
Even if you are new to this and do not have any information or knowledge regarding sublimation, we are here to help you in every situation. Sublimation is the process to print your desired graphics on anything such as a mug, t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, wood, tumbler, cotton, and whatnot. You can create a whole brand out of sublimation. In this article, we are going to have a look at how to sublimate on cotton so you can easily follow the procedure for better understanding.
How to sublimate on cotton?
Sublimation on cotton is almost the same as sublimating t-shirts and other garments but sublimation on cotton might require some extra effort or considerable factors because the composition of the cotton is different from other things. it might seem a bit difficult by looking at the length of the procedure but don’t worry we tried to explain every little detail so there is no room left for any confusion.
Here is the procedure of how to sublimate cotton listed step by step so you can have an easy time while following and sublimating.
Procedure: Sublimation on cotton
Before we start our procedure of sublimation on cotton, we thought to look at the list of things you will need during the procedure so you can check and see if you need to buy something from the store. The material you will require for sublimation on cotton is as follow: (links attached for easy buying.)
- Transfer paper
- Extra sheet
- Glossy paper
- White cotton shirt
- Heat press machine
- Sublimation printer
Let’s move to the first step of the procedure.
Step #1: Custom designs
The first step of sublimating procedure on cotton is to create your own custom design for an attractive and stylish shirt to wear. You can create designs using different design software such as adobe photoshop, canva, and a lot of options are available on the internet. You can create themed designs for a party or a squad photoshoot with your friends. There are endless designs that you can create with designing software for sublimation.
You can also download a design from the internet such as flowers, shapes, or anything that you like. If you are making sublimating cotton shirts for children then cartoons will prove to be a great option for you. You can also use fun and stylish typography to sublimate on cotton and gift it to your loved ones.
Step # 2: Printing the design
The second step in this list of sublimation procedures is to print the design you made or choose in step number 1. It is a very simple and easy step. You just have to transfer the image or design to the printer via a USB, SD card, or wireless connection. You can also use a data cable to transfer the image or design to the printer for easy processing.
After transferring the image, adjust the settings according to your need and press the print button. Make sure the size of the image is adjusted carefully while printing because enlarging the image can make its resolution bad so you will have to adjust the size of an image while designing on your laptop or computer.
Step #3: Setting up
We are done with the first part of the procedure which is printing the image on paper and we are left with the second and the other half part of transferring the image on cotton. The third step we are going to follow is to set all the things accordingly so you can get the results as desired. It is important to consider the setting so you do not mess up anything, also it is better to take precautions beforehand than regretting it later.
Make sure you place the heat press at a safe and secure place as it will get very hot and can hurt you if not handled properly. Also, consider the shirt is fully dried and wrinkle-free for the best sublimation printing results.
Step #4: Heat pressing
The next and most crucial step of the procedure is heat pressing the cotton to sublimate the design onto the shirt. Before transferring the image to the cotton shirt, we will recommend you to pre-press the shirt in a heat pressing machine for neat and crisp sublimation. You must keep the shirt in a heat press machine for about 15 seconds to 30 seconds to pre-press it.
Now, to transfer the image, set your cotton shirt properly, place the transfer paper on the shirt and cover it up with the design you printed in step number 2. Make sure everything is placed accurately to get precise results. Keep the temperature of the heat press machine to 365 degrees Fahrenheit and press it for 30 seconds with appropriate pressure. Remove the transfer paper immediately from the shirt. You are almost done.
Step #5: Re-pressing
The last step of this procedure is to re-press the cotton shirt with glossy paper. Place the glossy paper on a shirt just as step number 4. Press it with pressure for about 30 seconds. It is a crucial step as it enhances the quality so your design does not easily get washed away and can keep up with a design for a long time.
Since we have gone through this roller coaster journey of learning how to sublimate on cotton, we hope you must also have enjoyed following the procedure with us and it must have proved to be beneficial for you in solving your concerns and growing your sublimation business. Sublimating seems complicated in the beginning but when you try to learn this demanding technique, you will realize that it is a lot of fun and you can enjoy it too while working.
Let’s take a look back at all the steps of the sublimation procedure on cotton so you can revise to remember for longer as well as you can go back and check again in case you missed something unintentionally. First, you have to create a unique and attractive design for yourself and print it up. Use the transfer paper and heat press to sublimate the design on the cotton shirt. You are all done with a brand-new amazing cotton shirt to style.
Frequently Asked Question
Can you sublimate on 100% cotton shirt?
Yes, you can! I have tried it on a 100% cotton t-shirt and got a vibrant and vivid print. The process is almost the same as other product sublimation. Follow the above steps accurately and you can do it too.
Can I sublimate on 60% polyester and 40% cotton?
The sublimation process can work on the blend, not only polyester but other man-made fabrics. If the fabrics can withstand a heat process. Poly-coated material makes a strong bond with sublimation ink and can withstand a heat process. Cotton can do it too. With Sawgrass SG 1000 and glossy paper, you can make it. I printed a design on exact ratio blended fabric and it didn’t wash away.
Can I sublimate on a dark shirt?
The straight answer is YES! You can sublimate on dark garments. The process is similar to cotton sublimation. With the right sublimation printer and heat transfer vinyl. You can print on dark t-shirts. To get a better understanding click here
How long does the sublimation print last on shirts?
Well, that’s a burning question. There is no straight answer to this question. It depends on your printer and ink quality. A print of a high-quality dye-sublimation printer and ink should last up to 10 years.
Can I sublimate on grey t-shirts?
It is recommended to use light colour garments such as white or tan. The sublimation transfer delivers bright and vibrant colour on a white shirt. However, on a dark grey shirt, the fabric colour takes over the ink. But you can print on grey fabric and enhance its colour quality through different techniques. To learn more about sublimation on dark garments, check the link given.