Best Sublimation Paper | For Dark Shirts Tumblers With Epson
The poly coat quality and paper weight on sublimation paper plays a vital role in providing vibrant results. Since a low-quality sublimation paper won’t release the sublimation ink perfectly. So it is essential for you to get the best sublimation paper that doesn’t smear and dries out instantly. But how’d you know which one is best for dark shirts, cotton, or personalized items or to start a lucrative business?
To let you know the best sublimation paper, we’ve tested and listed the 8 top sublimation brands and came to know that A-SUB and Hiipoo sublimation papers for Epson Ecotank are the best ones to buy. But why? Because their thickness is ideal that prevents damping and they release the sublimation ink completely which is why they provide vibrant results.
Best Sublimation Paper | For Dark Shirts, Mugs, Tumblers, & T-shirts To Use With Epson Ecotank & Sawgrass
Apart from these above-mentioned top products, if you want to bang for the buck then get the HTVRONT which provides more value than Hiipoo and A-SUB without compromising on quality.
1- A-Sub Sublimation Paper
2- Hiipoo Sublimation Paper
3- A- Sub Sublimation Paper For Mugs
4- Koala Sublimation Paper
5- Siser Easysubli Sublimation HTV
6- Printers Jack Sublimation Paper
7- SubliMax Sublimation Paper
8- HTVRONT Sublimation Paper
1. A-SUB Sublimation Paper 8.5×11 Inch 110 Sheets – For Epson Ecotank
- Fast Dry out Time
- Perfect transfer rate
- Suitable for polyester
- Outstanding for hard substrates
A popular yet affordable bundle of sublimation papers, the A-SUB sublimation paper is a superior quality paper coated with the finest polyester. The drying time after printing was quick and the transfer rate was superb even though there was no ink left on the paper after heat pressing. The paperweight is decent enough that the print was never damped.
My stance is A-SUB sublimation paper works incomparable with hard texture substrates like mugs, tumblers, glass, wood license plates, and much more compared to soft apparel. This doesn’t mean it messes up with the soft apparel although it works passably with garments too.
I got the ideal results with white color 100% polyester however, you can use poly-blended shirts too but the results won’t be much appealing as with the polyester. I made my custom ICC profiles with A-Sub sublimation paper, Hiipoo sublimation ink, and ET-15000, and the output colors they provided me were unmatchable and also prevented paper jamming. You can find those profiles in the best sublimation ink article.
I won’t suggest using it with cotton or any natural fiber because it won’t transfer the whole printed sublimation ink on the substrate. But you can use it to customize DIY gifts or start a lucrative business is also an exceptional decision.
The bundle comes in various sizes that allow you to print on versatile substrates according to the size of the substrates. Additionally, each paper will indicate which side is coated that needs to be printed.
- Indication on each paper
- Works great with 100% polyester
- Best for DIY gifts
- Comes in various sizes
- Not suitable for cotton
2. Hiipoo Sublimation Paper 8.5×11 Inch – All-in-one
- Best for all types of substrates
- Maintains stiffness
- Perfect for t-shirts and hoodies
- Good transfer rate
Another spectacular sublimation paper on our list to provide you with vibrant colors on your desired substrate. No doubt the drying rate of Hiipoo sublimation paper with Hiipoo sublimation ink is unbeatable and they combine to provide the best sublimation experience.
You can use this sublimation paper with all of the compatible Epson sublimation printers and Sawgrass printers too but the fine results I got utilizing the Epson ET-3760 eliminated paper jamming. Start making your own personalized mugs, tumblers, t-shirts, hoodies, and much more with vibrant results.
The paper’s transfer rate is also decent and no ink will be left on the paper if you apply the appropriate pressure with a heat press but do not utilize any household iron, it won’t provide perfect results.
The paper maintains its stiffness when it is printed because it comes in 120g weight which is ideal for moderate humidity areas. The stiffness might get damped if you have a high humidity level of more than 60%. But the Hiipoo works superior with 40 to 60% humidity.
The results I got were relatively similar to the A-SUB paper but I found Hiipoo even works best with all types of substrates rather than only getting more precise results on hard substrates. The reason is the Hiipoo sublimation ink combination because the paper and ink brand is the same. Yep! You should buy both of them immediately with ET-3760. Get the ICC profiles for the combination here.
- Quick dry printing
- Smooth transfer
- Convenient to transfer
- Bright color printing
- Might be damped due to high humidity
3. A-SUB Sublimation Paper For Mugs
- Convenient go through
- Won’t damp
- Perfect for mugs
If your business is specific to the small-sized substrates or on the beginner level then why invest in the large-sized media? Here comes in place the best sublimation paper for mugs and small-size substrates including, acrylic keychains, earnings, and much more.
Minimize your business running cost with the best combination of Hiipoo sublimation ink, A-SUB small-size paper, and ET-4700 to get vibrant and cost-effective results.
The transfer rate on the mugs was superb and the images turned out with vibrant colors. But keep in mind, only use the poly-coated mugs or small-size blanks to sublimate with the sublimation paper.
The dry-out time was quick you don’t have to wait until it is dried so you can immediately transfer the image. Whether it is starting a business or crafting mugs for your friends and family with their memorable images, the DIY gift will be stunning with the A-SUB sublimation paper.
The paper is convenient and stiff so it will go through with your sublimation printer effortlessly but it can affect your sublimation if you don’t configure the setting of your mug press machine. So get this one but keep an eagle’s eye on the heat press pressure and time.
- Best for small size business
- Vibrant and clear transfer
- High-quality coat
- Instant dry
- Might not work with uneven pressure
4. Koala Sublimation Paper 13×19 inches Easy to DIY T-shirts,Tumblers,Mugs
- No paper jamming
- Affordable to buy
- Decent transfer rate
- Ink releases completely
Koala brand sublimation paper is one step down from the A-Sub and Hiipoo sublimation papers. But it provides similar results to both of them. I do recommend it if you’re unable to get those two brands in case. Apart from all that, The transfer rate is something that cannot be denied, meaning worth the price.
It comes in various paper weights but the suitable I got was 123g which is enough to retain the sublimation ink although I suggest 125g if your surroundings have more humidity. The paper won’t be warped and it dries out quickly too.
The transfer color is passable and cannot have the same expectations as with the above-listed papers but the results satisfied me. But you can have it a try if you’re tired of getting a popular brand A-SUB paper.
Also, it is way cheaper than A-SUB almost half of the price so Koala is the preferred economical sublimation paper to get started with a minimal budget.
It won’t work notably if you tend to use it on cotton or black polyester. So it is suggested to utilize it only on polyester or hard substrates to obtain notable outputs. If you intend to do a DIY job on tumblers then I do recommend a tumbler heat press because the ink wasn’t released completely when I baked it into a convection oven. Overall, the quality of the paper is fine for novices to get started with decent results.
- Best for beginners
- Works with poly-blended
- Withstand washes
- Not suitable for tumblers in the convection oven
5. Siser EasySubli Sublimation HTV
- A quick way to sublimate black and cotton
- No need to use sublimation paper
- Eliminates the need for bleach & poly-t spray
- Comes in various sizes
Get rid of bleaching black color garments for sublimation, whether you want to sublimate black color polyester or cotton, the Siser HTV eliminates all kinds of restrictions from the fabric stuff. You can sublimate every type of fabric material and color using Siser Easysubli.
I won’t say it is the sublimation paper but the pack contains vinyl sheets that can be printed and sublimated eliminating the need of sublimation paper. However, you need to print and cut the sheets and then weed. I would suggest using a sublimation printer compatible with Cricut.
What is the best sublimation paper for dark shirts? Get the Siser Easysubli to sublimate dark and cotton shirts. Although it eliminates the need of bleaching but using EasySubli HTV is expensive you need to keep in mind your budget.
I tested it with ET-2760 in my previous article on how to sublimate dark color shirts. I got extremely vibrant results even though I didn’t mirror the design because Siser HTV doesn’t require to mirror the image whether you’re sublimating texts or personalized images.
Even I used ET-2760 but I do recommend a Sawgrass SG500 can be calibrated with Cricut because it is a specialized printer that allows you to choose the material from Sawgrass print manager either white glitter HTV or Siser Easysubli material to sublimate on dark and cotton fabrics. This will ensure the color correction according to the substrate.
Each HTV pack will contain 2 sheets, one is a mask and another one is a transfer print sheet. So it is the print sheet that you need to print. And the second sheet mask which is a vinyl sheet. You can check how to sublimate on black or cotton fabric using Siser HTV. Apart from black and cotton, its transfer temperature is significantly low which allows you to sublimate on heat-sensitive garments like Rayon and others.
- Affordable running cost
- Won’t need to mirror the image
- Decorate DIY t-shirts
- Allows you to sublimate on rayon
- High initial price
6. Printers Jack Sublimation Paper – 8.5 x 11 Inch
- No ICC profiles required
- Affordable to buy
- Smooth Coat
- Consumes less ink
Another affordable choice after koala sublimation paper on our list. However, it was the same size I got and was some dollars more expensive than the koala. But their transfer results were similar. I won’t compare it with A-Sub and Hiipoo due to price differences and results but still, if you’re on a moderate budget and want to start with decent results then Printers Jack should be your choice.
Compatible with Epson, Sawgrass, and other brand sublimation papers, the transfer results were smooth with no possible cracks and fading to provide decent results on DIY gifts and personalized items.
Minimizing the running cost, the Printer Jack consumes less ink without compromising on quality with adequate transfer results. Compatible with polyester and poly-blended fabric, the sublimation printer won’t provide positive results on cotton and uncoated items.
However, you might get down after printing on sublimation paper because the colors will look dull but after heat press, you’ll get the actual results. And often the paper was jammed in my printer also I observed that A-SUB is more thick paper than a Printers jack to retain the sublimation ink preventing dampness.
On the other hand, you’ll get the ideal results with the Printer jack’s sublimation ink because both combine to provide you ICC-free results by configuring the proper settings from the custom color correction on the printing dialogue. Although you can use cosmos ink.
Simply select the RGB setting because your monitor will show the colors in RGB effects but do not forget to design the image in Adobe.
- Compatible with all sublimation printers
- Wide applications for DIY
- Convenient to use
- Compatible with polyester
- Paper jamming troubleshoot
7. SUBLIMAX Sublimation Paper
- Instant dry print out
- No smudge and ghost
- Crystal clear results
- Suitable for all kinds of printing substrates
SUBLIMAX sublimation paper approved by Sawgrass is the premium choice to get started with a lucrative business. Although it has 117gsm weight still the printing is high defined. Along with that, the paper won’t dump providing exceptional image quality after transfer. The SUBLIMAX paper is equipped with advanced ink dry technology which provides quick drying out ink to save time and boost productivity.
I observed the paper completely came out dry from the printer and while transferring the image onto the substrate, there was no ghosting or white lines found on the substrate, therefore, the image was crystal clear with vibrant results.
The paper is suitable for all types of sublimation needs including printing on metal, wood, polyester, mugs, tumblers, phone cases, posters, and much more. However, I do recommend using it with a sawgrass printer to grab superb results.
The drawback is you might get confused about which side to print on paper as I didn’t get any indication on the paper to print on the coated side but the brighter side is actually that needs to be printed because it is coated with the instant dry poly coat.
The paper comes in a legal size which is convenient and no paper jamming was troubleshot in the sawgrass printer. Also, ensure the humidity around you which should be less than 60% otherwise the paper may get moisture.
- Suitable for sawgrass
- Compatible with all types of sawgrass printers
- Mediocre transfer rate
- No indication on paper
8. HTVRONT Sublimation Paper 13×19 inches
- A bundle of 150 sheets at an affordable price
- 120gsm weight
- For wide substrate printing
- No smudge and smear
HTVRONT is a well-known brand to provide you the value for the price. At a cheap price, the HTVRONT offers you 150 sheets of super-tabloid size (13×19) sublimation papers. The quality of the sublimated coat is impressive that provides me the excellent detailed results flawlessly.
The transfer rate is decent which is comparable is Hiipoo sublimation papers. Also, I got to know that it has a slight edge over Hiipoo in terms of quality printing and providing more value by getting more sheets. Unlike Koala and Printer Jack, it indicates which side of the paper should be printed.
Since the paper releases all the ink so there will be zero chances of cracking or fading on your substrates. However, if your surrounding has more than 60% humidity then they may get moistened. But overall, the quality, transfer rate, thickness, and sharpness of the images were impressive to me.
Once you use this product then, to be honest, you’ll stick to it and won’t give it a try to other brands. The dry-out time was fast and I observed the printing was coming dried out of the printer.
Whether you make DIY gifts for the family or have other big projects related to the business, the quality printing on mugs, shirts, and even 50/50 blended won’t disappoint you. The durability and washability are exceptional but I would suggest washing the sublimated shirts separately for the first time.
- Suitable for polyester
- Precision transfer rate
- No paper jamming
- Better results with a smooth coating
- Might be damp due to low weight
What To Look For When Getting The Right Sublimation Paper
If it’s your first time buying a sublimation paper then there are some crucial key points to keep in mind while buying the right type of sublimation paper.
Sublimated Coat Quality
Sublimation paper is coated with a polymer coat that prevents damping and wrapping the sublimation paper after getting printed from the sublimation printer. The quality of the sublimation coat usually a polymer coat is directly proportional to the quality of the final result after heat transfer.
It is the polymer coat that releases the sublimation ink while heat transferring. If you’re getting faded prints then most likely there is a flaw in your sublimation paper’s quality which is causing a fade to your prints. So always get a sublimation paper that has a smooth coat texture to grab wonderful results.
Transfer rate is the ink release that is transferred onto the substrate while heat pressing. The ideal transfer rate is 98% which produces beautiful prints by saving the sublimation ink and minimizing the running costs of your business.
More paper weight means fast dry-out and stiffness time. Also, the paperweight plays a crucial role in providing smooth printing. Because lightweight paper will dampen quickly if your surroundings have more humidity. Also, the lightweight sublimation paper will be wrinkled when you print it or heat transfer.
The ideal paper weight is above 118gsm however, 125gsm is more recommended as it will provide pleasing results on hard substrates like mugs, tumblers, plates, wood, metal, acrylic chains, and so on.
The paper should be dried immediately when it comes of out the printer. I got the best drying results with SUBLIMAX sublimation paper because it is equipped with an instant dry coat. When you select the best paper weight along with the quality coated material then they both will combine and provide you with a quick dry time.
Compatible With Your Printer
Sublimation papers are specialized to work better with their compatible printers. For example, a printer that is designed to use sawgrass printers only won’t provide you the up-to-the-mark results with Epson sublimation printers and vice versa. So to get the best possible results, utilize the compatible sublimation paper according to the model of your printer.
What Size Sublimation Paper Should I Use?
Different brands offer different sizes of sublimation papers for specialized tasks. You can read the below sizes and select according to your choices. The size of the papers is measured as the width x height. These sizes are based on North American paper sizes.
- Mug-Sized Sublimation Paper: Mug-sized sublimation papers are specialized for small-size substrates like keychains, leather, mugs, Tumbler images, & phone cases. They usually come from 3.5” x 9” to 4″ x 9.5″ also referred as photo-sized papers.
- Letter Size (8.5”x11”): Also referred to as a standard size. Most of the cheap sublimation printers offer the maximum size of letter printing suitable for t-shirts, bags, mouse pads, postcards, and so on additionally for daily life tasks
- Legal (8.5”x14”): It is the most flexible size suitable for school DIY projects and posters. The mediocre sublimation printers offer extendable trays to fit and print legal-size printing papers.
- Tabloid (11”x17”): The tabloid size is wide format application paper used to print large images on glass frames to hang on walls, pillows, and leather sheets.
- Super-Tabloid (13”x19”): Super is the full-size print that a common sublimation printer can print but it will also require a wide format printer to print super tabloid prints. If you want to get larger prints than 13×19 inches then you have to select the wide desktop printers. Even the Sawgrass printer won’t provide super tabloid-size printing. You need to select the Epson Sub printers like ET-8550, WF-7840, WF-7720, and ET-15000.
You can select suitable sublimation paper sizes according to your needs.
check Best 13×19 Sublimation Printer For Wide Format Substrates
What Is The Best Weight For Sublimation Paper?
Like the different sizes of sublimation papers, they also come in various paper weights. More paperweight will provide a better printing experience by eliminating moisture.
The sublimation paper comes from 90 to 125 to 130gsm. I do recommend getting 125gsm because it is most suitable and ideal for versatile printing. This size sublimation paper won’t get wrinkled after printing and heat transfer.
Difference Between 120g And 125g Sublimation Paper
125gsm sublimation paper provides more color saturation. 125g paper is also suitable to feed in most sublimation printers, preventing paper jams. 120g or less than that will be a thin paper that I won’t suggest for highly humid areas. Thick sublimation paper won’t even warp and holds the sublimation printed ink very well.
Does Sublimation Paper Work On Cotton?
The answer is no! Sublimation paper printed with sublimation ink won’t work directly on cotton. Either you need to spray the poly-t on the cotton or until and unless you bleach the shirt to get the sublimation ink transferred. But poly-t will most likely wipe out with a couple of washes.
Another typical & convenient way is to use HTV vinyl as I’ve listed above the Siser Easysubli to sublimate on cotton.
How Do You Get Moisture Out Of Sublimation Paper?
More than 60% humidity also affects the 125g of sublimation paper. If your paper has got moistened then you should use a heat press or iron to eliminate the moisture.
Simply lay down the sublimation paper on the heat press mat and place the heat press plate for a couple of seconds without fully pressing the heat press at 311F.
Ensure do not press the sublimation paper. The heat coming from the heat press plate will evaporate the moisture from the sublimation paper. Let the paper cool down for 2 minutes and then start printing.
So we’ve reached the conclusion of the best sublimation paper and I hope you’ve now got the sublimation paper for your business printing needs or DIY hobbies. A-SUB and Hiipoo are the top brands but you can get the ideal results with HTVRONT even adding more value to your business.
However, the suitable paper sublimating for black color and cotton is Siser Easysubli. Still, confused? Hit the comment section below.