What Material Can You Sublimate On?

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What materials can I sublimate on? It is a pretty common question as people don’t have any idea about the process!

People often think that they can sublimate every material, but at the other moment, they think that they can sublimate on particular category materials only. Well, the reality is in between these two conditions. Not every item available is not a suitable option for the sublimation!

You can apply the sublimation ink both on the rigid surfaces and fabric. But, their chemical structure must be able to retain the sublimed ink tightly. Polyester is an ideal material to sublime on, and any other fabric or polymer which contains up to 65% polyester can be sublimed.

So, are you wondering to look at whether your selected material would retain the dye or not? Luckily, you have been landed in the right place. Here, you would get to know about some materials which are a perfect option for the sublimation!

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Understanding what Sublimation is?

Sublimation is a process to transfer the dyes onto the different types of materials and fabrics. A design or image is created digitally, and then this image is printed on chemically coated paper with sublimation ink. Then the image from this paper is transferred into the material or any other fabric at high pressure and high temperature.

It may sound a little wired and complicated to you, but it is a pretty simple process to follow. Sublimation is just a simple process used to transfer the solid ink to a specific type of material. Heat and pressure facilitate the transfer of ink.

The transfer of dye occurs at the molecular level; therefore, these colors can last long. So, the transferred image would never come out even if you wash or scrub the image multiple times.

Advantages of Sublimation

Well, you would have heard about multiple other ways of transferring the image to fabrics or other materials; but why you need to choose the sublimation over them is the question here.

Sublimation is a unique blend of quality and cost. It is a time-saving technique that attracts most designers. The following are the advantages of the sublimation which can appeal to anyone:

  1. The technique transfers the dye so efficiently that you cannot feel it as it becomes part of the fabric.
  2. Many other methods are also available that can transfer the selected design to the fabric, but they are a bit expensive compared to the sublimation.
  3. A straightforward process, design the image, print it, and then transfer it to the fabric.
  4. The entire process is pretty easy to customize
  5. It can print full colored images on all types of surfaces
  6. The technique allows you to choose a wide range of colors
  7. The sublimation is rapid to produce. Here, you can get the finalized product to wither within the same hour or same day

What Material Can You Sublimate On?

The design is transferred to the fabric in the sublimation printing as the ink forms bond with the fiber. And it has been found that the polymers form a stronger bond with the transferred ink.

SO, any material with high content of polymer would be an excellent choice for the sublimation. You can also use this technique for hard surfaces and as well as for multiple other materials. So, here you are going to learn about the materials you can sublimate on:


You can efficiently transfer the sublime ink to a fiber. But, make sure that the fiber is 100% polyester, as, on such materials, the sublime ink lasts for a long time. If 100 polyester is not available, ensure that the selected material contains up to 65% polyester. Material or fabric containing about 35% cotton and polyester makes the ideal material for sublimation.


You can also sublimate the ink on polymers or any other material which has been coated with polymers. Well, plastic is also an example of a polymer.

In addition, other manufactured materials like nylon, plastic, or other materials which can expand on heating are suitable for sublimation. The materials expand and create the space for dye, thus forming a solid bond with the fiber.

Rigid Surface

Well, in addition to fibers, you can also sublimate on rigid surfaces. For example, you apply these dyes on the brass, aluminum, fiberglass or glass, plastic, acrylic, and hardboard sheet materials. But, make sure that the surface of these materials has been coated with a polymer material.

Besides it, rigid but blank surfaces can also retain these dye molecules like key chains, mousepads, light switch plates, pet bowls, and smartphones cases. The ability of these materials to retain the sublime dyes gives a wide range of options to create multiple types of customized products.

Ceramic Tiles

The sublimation printing lets the interior designers and other decorators create the customized tiles. Therefore, they can create tiles for the kitchen, washroom, museums, foyers, offices, or restaurants just as they want.


Sublimation is an ideal technique for the transfer of the print, but the selection of the material which can be sublimed on is a bit tricky task. Multiple options are available, but whether they can form the bond with dye molecules is a tricky question that many people used to ask.

The materials which are composed of polymers can easily retain the dye molecules, for instance, polyester. Besides it, many other materials coated with polymers or contain a specific percentage of polyesters can be sublimated.

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