What is Sublimation Paper | How To Use a Sublimation Paper?

You must be truly intrigued as you can’t use regular papers for sublimation. Well, sublimation printing requires special paper known as “sublimation paper” or “transfer paper” and I’m sure you are definitely hearing about it for the first time sorry for your expectations, you can’t sublimate directly to the material with a printer. No worries, I have covered all bits and pieces to guide you about what is sublimation paper and how to use it. So, let’s have a good read.

What Is Sublimation Printer

Well, a sublimation paper looks exactly like a normal paper and it actually is the one except that it holds a polyester coating on the front side. Technically, that is exactly the side that is used for printing. However, there are detailed characteristics regarding sublimation paper and its use so let’s hop right into the details.

What is a sublimation paper?

As per the definition “a sublimation paper is a special type of transfer paper having a polyester coating on the surface”. Because sublimation ink only supports polyester surfaces so the polyester coating on the sublimation paper absorbs all the ink within. And that is the reason why normal paper gets failed with the sublimation paper because they can’t hold the ink.

What is sublimation paper

Now comes, why it is called transfer paper? Well, you never intended to have the design on the paper, right? So here, you will adhere the paper to the material you wish your design on, and then, with the help of a heat press, the design will be transferred from the paper to the material. If that flew overhead, just understand the paper is an “interim source” you use to hold the design until you get it shifted on the final material. You may also be wondering how the heat press made that transfer possible? Well, as you know about sublimation, where you ready the sublimation paper for the heat press and then the process actually begins in the heat press. The ink from the paper, due to the pressure of the heat press turns into gas, and get the gas solidifies onto the fabric.

How to use sublimation transfer paper?

How to use sublimation transfer paper

Take the paper, put it inside the printer, and press “print” NO! This is the last thing you’ll be doing with the sublimation paper if you want the true results.

Well, the first thing is to know the right side of the sublimation printer and that is the brighter one. Now place the sheet correctly onto the printer. Make sure it has no folds and no wrinkles. Double-check the quality as well and be sure you are using the top sublimation paper.

You further have to set the size of the design you wish to print on that paper in the printer so that the print will be exactly as aligned as you want. And finally comes the important part which is “turning on the mirror printing option” especially if the design has any kind of text. Now, let the printer do its work because we are done using sublimation paper.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Well, you apparently cannot use a home iron to transfer the sublimation print because the temperature does not meet the requirement. However, if you have a high-temperature iron, then you can definitely use the iron in the same way as the heat press.

Sublimation paper and transfer paper are the two names of the same thing depending on what manufacturer has named it. Most often they are regarded as sublimation transfer paper.

In case of printing on the wrong side, the paper will not hold the ink because (as explained earlier) sublimation inks only work with the polyester stuff so resultantly, your print will be messier and faded.

No, sublimation papers are only designed to use with sublimation printers due to their polyester layer. A regular printer would damage it hence you can not use sublimation paper in a regular printer.


Using a sublimation paper can be hard if you previously had zero information about what is sublimation paper and how to use it. Though, we are quite sure of explaining the matter in detail as to how the paper works and how to use the sublimation paper in the right way. So, with all the rights, we are hoping you are now using the paper the right way and not printing on the backside unless it’s for the darker and non-polyester apparel. See you with the next post! Good luck!


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