Sublimation Machines: A Guide to Sublimation Printers for T-shirts

There are several ways to print T-shirts, like heat transfer, screen printing, and sublimation printing. While heat transfer and screen printing are old-fashioned techniques for printing T-shirts, sublimation printing is the new kid in the block.

It's a reliable and guaranteed way of printing fascinating T-shirts. So, let's take a deep dive and discover more about sublimation machines.

What are sublimation machines?

Sublimation machines are printers used to transfer an image to another object. In this perspective, the object is your T-shirt. You can use T-shirt sublimation printers to design beautiful-looking T-shirts and shirts.

How's the method different from other T-shirt printing techniques? You're probably wondering. The sublimation method results in permanent designs that never come out. During sublimation, the ink is heated, and changes form to gas.

In science, this is a unique change of state in matter. Usually, solids change to liquid before turning to gas. However, in this case, the solid changes straight to gas, and it's the same principle used by sublimation printers for T-shirts.

When using a sublimation machine, there are steps to follow. So, before printing the new design on your t-shirt, you first have to print it on special paper. Then transfer the design to the T-shirt by applying heat.

High temperature sublimes the solid ink to gas, which is deposited onto the T-shirt. As the gas comes into contact with the T-shirt, it cools down and changes back to solid. As a result, sublimation machines produce sturdy and durable designs that never come out.

How to use sublimation printer to make T-shirts

Using sublimation printers to make T-shirts is a simple procedure anyone can undertake. Therefore, it's not compulsory to have special training in this area to print your first sublimation T-shirt. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

1. Avail the necessary materials

To get started, you need a reliable sublimation printer, specialty paper, printer ink, and a T-shirt or shirt. The best sublimation machine is affordable and easy to use. In addition, the best fabric material is light-colored and easy to print on.

Polyester material is recommended since it gives the desired results compared to other materials like cotton. Lastly, the best specialty paper is porous to allow ink to soak and is also heat resistant.

2. Decide the design

This is where your creativity comes to play. If you already have design ideas, well and good. If not, you can always find myriad options online. Besides that, you can come up with fantastic designs using computer-aided designs software like CorelDRAW.

3. Print the design on the special paper

When using design software like CorelDraw, link your computer to a sublimation printer to print out your preferred design on the specialty paper. Make sure you choose the appropriate size before hitting the print button.

4. Apply the design on your shirt or T-shirt

First, prepare the T-shirt by removing any wrinkles or spots on it. Second, put butcher paper below where you want to apply the design. This is to prevent the design from passing to the other side of the T-shirt.

Third, place the specialty paper on the fabric and seal it with heat-resistant tape on the sides. Then run it through a sublimation machine for 45 seconds to one minute to transfer the design to the T-shirt.


T-shirt or shirts printing is an exciting venture when using top-notch technology like sublimation. To get started, you need a sublimation printer for shirts or T-shirts, some ink, and a design Software like CorelDRAW.

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