Can you Sublimate on Rayon Fabric – Everything you need to know

Rayon fabric, manufactured from wood pulp, is considered to be one of the best synthetic fibers when it comes to sublimation printing. The prime reason behind its popularity with sublimation is that synthetic fiber produces phenomenal results. So, for sublimation enthusiasts, it is of great significance to know how can you sublimate on rayon fabric.

Can You Sublimate on Rayon Fabric

When the fiber is heated at extreme temperatures, the fibers of the rayon material vastly expand. Once the expansion of the fabric takes place, the dye ink is engraved in the pores of the rayon fabric. And as a result, designs with bright colorful colors along with minute details are successfully transferred to the substrate (rayon fabric in this case).

Fun Fact: Rayon fabric is an environmentally friendly fiber with an immensely soft touch as compared to other fibers such as cotton and/or wool.

Can You Sublimate on Rayon Fabric

Yes! It is absolutely possible to sublimate on rayon fabric due to its characteristic of durability along with the strength of the fiber. In order to sublimate this synthetic fiber, a polyester coating is used for top-notch results.

Sublimate on Rayon Fabric

If you’re looking forward to sublimating a garment made out of rayon fabric. Then you’re gonna have to follow these steps properly that we have mentioned below. If not followed correctly, the end result might be ruined and you won’t get the desired outcome that you wanted. So, go through the steps carefully and get sublimating.

Step #1 – Composition Of Desizer Solution:

 Composition Of Desizer Solution

For sublimating rayon fabric, what you need to do is prepare a special kind of mixture known as the desizer solution. Grab a measuring cup and add one ounce of desizer concentrate along with seven ounces of water. Thoroughly mix the desizer concentrate and water until a mixture is formed. Once you are satisfied with the newly prepared eight ounces of desizer solution, grab a spray bottle, pour the liquid, and give it one last good shake.

Step #2 – Preparation Of Polyester Solution:

Preparation Of Polyester Solution

The next step is to prepare another mixture called a polyester solution. This mixture is used for coating the rayon fabric in the later stages, so it is better to make it before we move on to the next stage. In order to make the polyester solution, repeat the following steps mentioned above in the same manner. This mixture is also called Dye press Poly T Solution.

Step #3 – Sprinkle The Desizer Solution:

Now it is time to spray the desizer solution onto the rayon fabric. Shower the cloth with the desizer from top to bottom in such a way that the fabric is completely soaked in the solution. Make sure that the entire piece of garment is immersed in the mixture by touching the fabric.

Step #4 – Dry The Fabric:

After the fabric is completely submerged in the desizer solution, take the wet rayon fabric to a heat press because now you are going to fume out the desizer mixture. But before pressing the cloth, it is recommended to wrap a dry piece of cloth (preferably cotton).

Dry The Fabric

The reason behind using a dry piece of cloth to envelop the rayon fabric is to make sure that the garment is not too wet. So, it is better to let the cotton fabric absorb the excess desizer solution before actually applying the heat press onto the rayon cloth.

Step #5 – Heat Press The Rayon Fabric:

Heat Press The Rayon Fabric

Once you are sure that the rayon fabric is not too wet, now comes the time to apply the heat press. The optimal setting of temperature for applying the heat press is 385 Fahrenheit. In addition to that, we highly suggest you to heat press the fabric for 35 seconds as it is more than enough to take out the remaining desizer solution from the fabric.

Step #6 – Apply The Polyester Coating:

The next step is a little bit tricky. After heat pressing the fabric and steaming out the desizer mixture, spray the rayon cloth with the polyester solution we made at the beginning. Make sure to carefully apply the polyester coating right exactly where you first put the desizer solution.

Apply The Polyester Coating

One technique to properly apply the polyester coating on the fabric is to place pieces of cardboard. These cardboard pieces can be used as directions and will come in handy to perfectly shower the rayon fabric with the polyester solution.

Step #7 – Heat Press The Fabric AGAIN:

After applying the polyester coating, we highly recommend you to fold the fabric and then press the rayon garment with your hands. The intention behind folding and pressing the piece of cloth is that, by doing so, the rayon fabric completely absorbs the polyester solution.

Once the solution gets soaked up by the fabric, unfold the fabric and let it dry. When the fabric is absolutely dried, it is time, once again, to heat press the rayon fabric. But before applying the heat press, we advise you to place butcher paper on the fabric for optimum results.

 Heat Press The Fabric AGAIN

Set the heat press at the same temperature just like before which is 385 Fahrenheit and press the rayon fabric for not more than 10 seconds. After the time period is over, the first polyester coating is said to be done. Repeat the entire process for a second polyester coating if using the dye press poly T solution.

Step #10 – Get Sublimating:

When the second polyester coating is done, place the butcher paper on the fabric and press heat the garment for 10 more seconds in order to cure. After that, the rayon cloth is finally ready for sublimation.

Get Sublimating

Set down the transfer paper on the fabric where you want the design to print along with butcher paper. Then, apply the heat press for 70 seconds at the same temperature of 385 Fahrenheit and you’re pretty much done.

What To Lookout For?

  • It is literally impossible to sublimate rayon fabric without applying the polyester coating. If the solution is not sprinkled on the fabric then there is a high percentage that the rayon cloth will go up in smoke.
  • There is a downside to sublimating the rayon fabric. The drawback is that the designs you print on the rayon cloth will not last for a long time. Rather, the transferred image will fade away only after a couple of washes.
  • The polyester coating does not entirely get absorbed by the rayon fabric and only stays on the top of the surface. Hence the reason it is suggested to fold and press the cloth after applying the coating.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Since rayon is manufactured from wood pulp, it classifies as a synthetic fiber. This is the reason why Rayon cannot be considered a polyester.

The answer is simply no as it can burn the cloth. Only heat transfer is preferable for sublimating Rayon.

It is best to handwash the Rayon fabric and avoid putting it in a dryer as it can damage the cloth.

Final Thoughts:

Printing cool-looking designs on Rayon is not as tricky as it seems. There may be plenty of steps to follow but once you sublimate rayon fabric and print your very own designs for the very first time, you will probably get the hang of it. Once you gain the confidence to print the images, not only can you sublimate on rayon fabric but also on any other material as well without facing any issues. And that’s a promise!


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