Can You Sublimate On Rayon? Yes! You Can But Not 100%

Sublimation is suitable for polyester fabric but some crafters wanted to sublimate the rayon fabric and ask the question: can you sublimate on rayon? The answer is you cannot sublimate pure rayon because it has a smooth and silky texture that will prone to scorch or melt when exposed to heat transfer. However, there are several methods that enable you to utilize sublimation on rayon. So today, you’ll learn how to sublimate on rayon.

can you sublimate on rayon

Can You Sublimate On 100% Rayon?

The simple answer is no! Apart from sublimating 100% rayon, you can sublimate poly-blended rayon. Because rayon is made from semi-synthetic fibers that are extracted from cellulose which is created from wood. Rayon, also known as silk or viscose, is silky and produced from natural polymers and chemical compositions. Hence natural polymers are not suitable for sublimation.

But you can sublimate the rayon in two different ways which we’ve explained. One is using a poly-blended rayon fabric, and the second one is applying the polyester coat via poly-t pro or poly-t plus spray.

Can You Sublimate 60% Rayon to 40% Polyester?

Well, you can sublimate with 40% polyester, but the more rayon blend would be scorched. Moreover, the sublimation ink will likely fade after washing with only 40% polyester. The more quantity of polyester will lead to higher vibrant results.

However, you can try the 60% rayon and 40% polyester, the outcome will be great for the first time. But it will gradually start fading after some washes.

Does Sublimation Work On Rayon

Yes, sublimation will work on rayon but the primary requirement is to use poly-blended fabric that contains at least 60-70% polyester, and the rest can be rayon. Other than that, you can use tri-blended fabric too which may contain 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon. But it is suggested to use 75% polyester with the other two blends to get accurate results.

Supplies You’ll Need

Now we’re getting started with our first method using the tri-blended or poly-blended rayon fabric. I’m sublimating on two shirts, one contains 75% polyester and the other one contains 50%. I’ll show both printing results.

Step 1: Prepare and print the design

To get started with the sublimation, create the image in the online software and print it according to the size. Trim the sides with a scissor. Clean the shirt with the lint roller to remove the fabric particles.

Step 2: Tape down

Now the next step is to place the Teflon sheet or butcher paper underneath the heat press and place the butcher paper or cardboard in between the t-shirt. Now tape down the printed sublimation paper on the center of the t-shirt and secure it with heat-resistant tape.

Step 3: Heat press

Now heat press it for 40 seconds at 385F temperature and here is the final result. Although I washed the sublimation shirt and the shirt was 1% faded but still, the results are amazing.

results are amazing
75% polyester, 12% rayon, and 13% cotton results are amazing

This was the result of 75% polyester, 12% rayon, and 13% cotton. Now I’m going to show you the results on 50% polyester, 25% rayon, and 25% cotton. I’ve applied the same steps 1, 2, and 3 to prepare and heat-press the shirt.

the results on 50% polyester, 25% rayon, and 25% cotton
results of 50% polyester, 25% rayon, and 25% cotton

This was the result of 50% polyester, 25% rayon, and 25% cotton. Therefore, you can see the shirt after a single wash and the print is a bit faded. Hence it is proved, you need to use at least 60 – 75% polyester to get vibrant results for a long time.

Method 2: Using A Poly-Coat

While this method cannot be guaranteed that you’ll get accurate results and your shirt won’t be scorched or melted.

Things To Keep In Mind

This method also has some problems you need to keep in mind.

When you apply the polyester coat, the sublimation ink typically will bond with the polyester coat. The sublimation ink won’t be able to bond with the fabric.

If the poly coat has been removed after several washes, then the sublimation ink will also be wiped off along with the poly coat. Either it is in a single or 50 times wash.

Supplied You’ll Need

So this process involves the pretreatment of the fabric and curing it with a heat press.

Pretreatment requires a coat of desizer first and then the polyester coat. However, you can use the new poly-t plus spray that comes with the desizer formula thus you won’t need to use the desizer separately. But if you’re using an old formula then a coat of desizer is required. We’ll also teach how to pretreat the shirt with desizer.

Before getting started another thing you should keep in mind is if the fabric color is dark then you only need to apply only poly-t spray except for desizer whether it contains desizer or not. However, light-color garments require both if you’re using poly-t without the desizer formula.

If you’ve got the new poly-t plus then simply ignore steps 2 and 3 below. Simply prepare the poly-t spray which is mentioned in step 1.

How To Apply Poly-coat On The T-shirt

Step 1: Prepare the concentrates

Take a spray bottle to prepare the desizer. Add 1 ounce of desizer and 7 ounces of water to it. Fill the spray bottle and shake very well. We’ll prepare the poly-t spray with the same measurement.

Fill the spray bottle and shake very well
Fill the spray bottle and shake it very well

Step 2: Spray the shirt

After preparing the mixtures, place the butcher paper in between the t-shirt and apply spray on the t-shirt in the area that will be heat-pressed. Wet the shirt thoroughly and check it by touching it with your hand.

Step 3: Steaming

Now place the shirt on the heat press mat and take a clean cotton cloth and place it over the shirt. Press it for 30 seconds at 385F. The cotton piece will absorb the excessive desizer and the steam will be coming out of the shirt while heat pressing. Steam is shown in the image. After heat pressing, you’re done with the pretreatment, and now it’s to cure with poly-t.

Steam is shown in the image
Steam is shown in the image

Step 4: Poly-coating

Place the cardboard on the printing area larger than the design on the pretreated t-shirt. Because the poly coat should b larger than the printing area. After placing the cardboard, spray the cardboard’s all corners in order to get a bigger size for printing. Now spray the shirt thoroughly until it gets damped.

Place the cardboard on the printing area larger than the design and on the corners
Place the cardboard on the printing area larger than the design and on the corners
Now spray the shirt thoroughly until it gets damped.
Now spray the shirt thoroughly until it gets damped

Step 5: Fold it

Let the spray soak into the shirt, fold it, and press the shirt thoroughly with your hand to stick the coat with the fabric fibers. You can use a hair dryer or heat gun to dry the coat. But I’d like to heat press it for a couple of seconds.

fold it, and press the shirt
fold it, and press the shirt

Step 6: Steam

I’d only let the heat press hover and not fully press the heat press to touch the coat. After that, cover the rayon fabric with 2 butcher papers and press it for 10 seconds at 385F. We’re done with the single coat.

Now spray the second time on the same area of the shirt laying on the heat press. Hover again to let it dry. Now apply the same process of butcher papers and heat press to get the shirt fully dried. The shirt is ready to sublimate now.

spray the second time on the same area of the shirt
spray the second time on the same area of the shirt
hovering in order to dry the coat
hovering in order to dry the coat

Step 7: Sublimation transfer

Now prepare the design and place it on the pretreated area. Place the butcher paper or silicon pad in between the shirt and secure the sublimation paper with heat-resistant tape. Now. Place the 2 butcher papers on the secured t-shirt and heat press it for 70 seconds at 385 F, the pressure should be firm.

If the shirt feels stiff after heat transfer due to the coat, then simply wash it and you’ll feel the t-shirt or fabric will become softer. However, it is not guaranteed in this method that the fabric won’t scorch or melt so you can try it at your own risk.

Check how to wash sublimation shirts.

final result
final result

Can You Sublimate On 95 Rayon 5 Spandex

Typically no, you cannot sublimate on 100% or 95% with spandex. Direct sublimation on rayon is not possible because it will start melting or scorching due to heat-sensitive material. Rayon is not a polyester that withstands the heat process. But with the poly-t coat, you can sublimate on rayon. Read more Sublimation On Faux Leather Sheets And Keychains.


If you’ve enough experience in sublimation, then you can try the second method. Otherwise, I would suggest getting the poly-blended fabrics to sublimate. The second method is a lengthy process and requires too many steps to follow along with technical too. But the stance is rayon is not suitable for sublimation. Other than a nylon t-shirt, if you sublimate on tiny substrates like socks and gloves then it will be more suitable.

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