Can You Sublimate Over Sublimation On Tumblers In Layers

can you sublimate over sublimation? There is no quick answer to this question but rather I would say it depends because a polyester shirt that has already been sublimated can accept the sublimation again.

On the dark side, sublimation over sublimation will mess up with the already sublimated colors on shirts because the already sublimated image might ghost, get bending issues, or bleed the sublimation ink leading to the melting and mixing of colors and even get yellow due to excessive heat. Now let’s talk about double sublimation in detail.

can you sublimate over sublimation

Can You Sublimate Over Sublimation (Detailed Answer)

We mainly utilize two types of substrates in the sublimation. One is the hard substrate coated with a polymer, and the second one is the fabric that contains a high amount of polyester or a 100% polyester t-shirt.

For Hard Substrates (A Must Read)

First, let’s talk about the typical hard substrates like mugs, frosted glass, plates, and tumblers. Now it depends on your needs whether you want to sublimate the image on the above-sublimated image or the second side of the substrate after removing the image.

If you want to sublimate the image on the already sublimated image then I won’t suggest sublimating onto it because most likely your substrate and design will be ruined and the already sublimated ink might start melting leading to the ghosting and bending issues. Despite that, the substrate will accept the sublimation ink again.

If you want to re-sublimate the mug or tumbler on the opposite side of the substrate then you can sublimate it at a lower temperature for a couple of more pressing durations. Because a mug will be heated each time you sublimate, the low temperature and more time is a safe method without ruining the already sublimated image on the substrate. So you can sublimate on the flip side safely.

Now, what if you’ve removed the sublimation image and want to re-sublimate it? Removing the sublimation ink methods is only applied when you make a mistake. And without removing the sublimation image, you won’t be able to re-sublimate the substrate. Because the already sublimated colors will be there and even the darker image won’t hide the already sublimated colors.

Here is a safe method. Simply you’ve made a mistake and removed the sublimation ink although I know the fact that sublimation ink will not be completely removed instead the image will be faded.

The good news is you can sublimate the darker image on the lighter image that was ruined before. But ensure to sublimate the image with dark colors that are more than the already sublimated image as the darker image will cover the ruined sublimation print. Here is how I sublimated over sublimation by burning the sublimated ink that was already on the mug.

  • Set the temperature at 480F for 2 minutes in order to remove the most sublimated ink as you can.
  • Make sure to wrap it with butcher paper.
  • The sublimated image will become yellowish and the colors will fade also do not touch the mug because it will be extremely hot and be sure to use gloves.
  • Let the mug cool down.
  • Wrap the darker printed design on the mug and sublimate it again.

Here is the result I got with this method. And yeah! It worked. The mug will accept the sublimation ink until its polymer coat is safe and present on the surface.

sublimated mug twice with darker image
sublimated mug twice
For T-shirts

As I already said above if the fabric has accepted the sublimation before then it will again accept it despite the colors of the sublimated image. However, you can sublimate on the sides of the already sublimated image and also choose the ideal area around the image.

Can You Sublimate A Tumbler Twice

Can You Sublimate A Tumbler Twice

The answer is yes! You can sublimate a tumbler twice but you need to keep in mind that you need to utilize the lower temperature to sublimate again onto the tumbler in order not to ruin the already sublimated image on the other side.

Here is the guide on how to sublimate the stainless steel tumbler.

However, if you want to sublimate on top of the already sublimated image then you should check the above method of over-sublimating on a mug to fix the sublimation mistake. A quick stance is the tumbler should have the light color image that should be covered under the dark color image when we’ll be over-sublimating.

Can You Layer Sublimation

Can You Layer Sublimation

Yes, you can sublimate the design in layers. But make sure to cover the sublimated image with butcher paper or a Teflon sheet to protect the already sublimated image. Otherwise, the excessive heat will ruin the sublimated layers hence the prints will become yellowish.

However, if you’re thinking about the layering as we do in HTV then you can do it via sublimation on HTV as we do similar to the Siser Easysubli and white glitter HTV.

Can You Heat Press Over Sublimation?

Well, you need to keep an eye on the temperature and heat pressing again the sublimated image will be prone to ghosting and lifting up colors. So if you want to double heat press the sublimation then you should set the temperature lower.

Can You Reuse Sublimation Paper

If the sublimated image is partially transferred on the mug then you can heat transfer it again to completely release ink into the substrate but make sure not to shadow or ghost the sublimated image. But when it comes to printing again on the sublimation paper to reuse it, the clear stance is no! You cannot re-print the sublimation paper. Although it will work you’ll get faded results.

However, the second-time transfer also depends upon the quality of your sublimation paper. If the quality of your sublimation paper is excellent and it releases all the ink when exposed to heat then you won’t be able to use it again.


I hope you’ve got the answer to your question: can you sublimate on top of sublimation, yeah? you can but you won’t get the ideal results you intended. Although there are some considerations before re-sublimating you should follow and read them above thoroughly. Still, if you’ve been confused about sublimation printing then hit the comment box below.


  • Jessica Warner

    A printing enthusiast is here to serve you the vision of art. I’m working as a printing artist since my childhood and running a successful business online and offline. I inspire you to create beautiful printings via my select products and How-To tutorials. Warner Jessica

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