Sublimation is a great way to personalize your clothing and add unique designs. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to show their personality through their clothes. And the best part is that you’re not limited to just text or simple designs – you can create whatever you want!
If you want to try sublimation on colored shirts, follow our simple guide to learn how to do so like a pro with minimal effort!
Why Is Sublimation Challenging on Colored Clothes?
Before we get into the actual steps for how to do sublimation on colored clothes, let’s take a quick look at some of the challenges that can come with it.
In general, with sublimation, the substrate must be white or light in color, and its fabric should also be polyester/polymer-coated. This is because the dyes used in the sublimation process need a bright surface to reflect the color properly. When applied to darker surfaces, the colors will often appear faded or muted.
So the darker the color of the fabric, the more difficult it’ll be to achieve a bright, vibrant print.
This limitation can be a bit of a challenge when sublimating to colored clothes. In order to get good results, you may need to experiment with different types of fabrics and dyes and adjust the printing settings on your printer.
How to Do Sublimation on Colored Shirts: The Step-by-Step Guide
Despite the challenges, sublimation on colored clothes is definitely doable. Here’s a tried-and-true guide to help you get started:
1. Choose a Design That’s Darker Than Your Shirt
When selecting a design for your shirt, it’s essential to choose something darker than the fabric color. This will help create a stronger contrast and make the print look more vibrant.
Flat or tonal solid colors, like black, navy, or royal blue, are usually a good option for sublimation on colored clothes, while you want to steer clear of white or other light colors since they won’t be transferred very well (or at all).
During this step, you could use Sublijet HD ink to ensure that the colors come out bright and vibrant on the final print. This ink is specifically designed for printing on dark substrates, so the output is always consistent and professional-looking, regardless of the substrate color.
2. Prepare Your Heat Press
Once you have your design printed, it’s time to start heating up your heat press. The specific instructions will vary depending on the make and model of your press, but in general, you’ll want to set the temperature to around 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit and the pressure to medium.
3. Place Your Shirt on the Heat Press and Pre-Press
Now it’s time to place your shirt on the heat press. Make sure to center it properly and have the printable surface facing up. It’d also be best if you smooth out any wrinkles or creases using a lint roller. Finally, pre-press the shirt for about 10 seconds but don’t forget to place a Teflon sheet or parchment paper between the shirt and the press to prevent the fabric from sticking to it.
Read also: Top T-Shirt Printing Machine
4. Lay Your Design
Now it’s time to prep your design. Use a piece of heat-resistance tape or an adhesive stencil to hold your design in place on top of the shirt (printable surface facing down), then put the Teflon sheet or parchment paper on top of that.
5. Start Pressing the Design
Once everything is in place, it’s time to start pressing the design for 50 seconds under light to medium pressure, with the temperature set to around 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit. When the time is up, release the pressure, remove the Teflon sheet, and peel off the sublimation paper carefully but quickly.
Pro Tip: Take care not to put the paper and the shirt in direct contact with each other, as this can cause the ink to smudge and lead to a ghosting effect. Remember that the print will be relatively wet at this point, so you’ll want to be careful not to mishandle it.
6. Let the Shirt Cool
Finally, take the shirt off the press and let it cool completely before wearing it. And there you have it! A beautiful sublimated shirt with vibrant colors.
See also: How to Sublimate on Black Shirts
Ready to Give It a Try?
Go ahead and experiment with different designs and color combinations to find the perfect look for you. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to create amazing sublimated shirts that will stand out from the crowd. Just remember to take your time and be patient, as it may take a few tries to get the results you’re looking for.
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