What Materials Can Be Sublimated | What Fabric Can You Sublimate On

So you’re a beginner and want to start a sublimation printing business but want to know what materials can be sublimated? Without knowing the right sublimation-friendly material, your home business can create a huge mishap since we cannot sublimate any kind of material. So an individual must know the best material for sublimation.

Let us know you in short. Every material can be sublimated that is coated with polymer. Want to know why? Because the polymers allow sublimation heat transfer to imprint an image on the substrate. Polymers allow ink to adhere to the pores of the substrate thus the ink becomes a permanent part of the substrate.

What Materials Can Be Sublimated | What Fabric Can You Sublimate On

What Materials Can Be Sublimated

In short, the best fabric material for sublimation is polyester. The reason is sublimation involves the adherence of the sublimation ink in the pores of the fabric. When heat is applied, the pores of the polyester fabric open up, therefore, sublimation ink converts into the gaseous state, and the gaseous ink adheres to the fabric pores thus it becomes a permanent part of the fabric. In simple words the ink infused into the shirt.

What Fabric Can You Sublimate On

Unlike cotton, polyester is a synthetic fabric material that can be easily sublimated. We cannot sublimate 100% cotton. It must need to be 50% polyester and 50% cotton but still, the results won’t be bright enough and the sublimation ink will likely be faded. Apart from cotton and polyester, another good option is canvas, rayon, spandex, and human-made fabrics that can retain the sublimation ink. Here are some best sublimation blanks.

Apparently, sublimation ink is suitable for synthetic polymers. Here is a list of fabrics that can be sublimated: Further, you should check sublimation printers for t-shirts and dark colors.

BedsheetsT-shirts & Aprons
50% cotton 50% polyesterPants

Now let’s dig down into the deepness of the sublimation printing materials.

A list Of Polymers Can Be Sublimated

Unlike natural polymers, synthetic polymers are the best ones to be blended with dye sublimation. However, you can also use natural polymers but you’ll get the ideal results with synthetic ones. Here is the list of synthetic polymers to be sublimated:

Plastic SheetsAcrylic
Nylon (With Consideration)Bookmarks


Ceramics are also one of the most suitable materials for sublimation. You can customize coffee mugs, plates, ceramic tiles, and many more. Ceramics are heat resistant and ideal for sublimation heat transfer. Every ceramic material that is poly-coated can be sublimated and the image won’t peel off or fade even if you wash them in the dishwasher or make coffee in the microwave. Although sublimation on glass is also a great option. Here is the list of ceramics that you can sublimate:

TilesCoffee mugs/Tumblers

One of the most profitable businesses after t-shirts is customized mugs. I also started my journey of sublimation with customized coffee mugs using mug sublimation printers and a Cricut mug press. But keep an eagle’s eye on the mugs that are poly-coated.


Metal is a durable material that won’t break apart. But if you’re a beginner at sublimation you must need to know the colors for sublimating metal. It must need to be coated with polyester then you’ll be able to make them customizable metal. In addition, steel is also a reliable material to sublimate. Additionally, lamination can be also used to do sublimation on metal.


Wood can also be customized to make badges, photo panels, and so on.  But you can’t directly sublimate on wood. You need to apply a coat of polymer or the wood blank can be prepared by laminating it. You can get the poly-coated wood blanks from the market or you can also prepare the wood blanks at home with lamination sheets and a polycrylic coat. Also, check how to do sublimation on wood.

Other Material List

Apart from all the above-mentioned things and materials, you can sublimate

PursesPhone Cases
Metallic MaterialPuzzles
FiberglassDog collars
BibsBusiness cards

Sublimation Using Different Printers

Sublimation can be sufficiently transferred using different companies’ printers. Epson sublimation printers are the most reliable and cost-effective printers that deliver crisp quality prints. However, Epson printers are not made specifically for sublimation, you can convert them if they are brand new and utilize “piezo printheads”. You can also read how to convert an Epson eco tank printer into sublimation.”

On the other hand, sublimation with particular sawgrass printers is a way different from Epson printers. They are expensive to buy and run but you don’t need to convert them into sublimation.

Sublimating Cotton Material/ Black Color

While sublimation on cotton is not possible primarily because cotton is a natural fiber and cannot be bound with sublimation ink. But still, you can sublimate cotton using white glitter HTV (heat transfer vinyl) or apply the poly-coated spray. The poly-coated spray helps natural fiber to make a bond with sublimation dye for longevity.

Sublimating Cotton Material/ Black Color

Another fact is you cannot sublimate dark or black colors. Because after sublimating, the ink will be transparent and will not form a layer on top of the fabric. The sublimation transfer will not be able to show a crisp and clear design. The well-founded way is using Easy Subli Siser sheets or bleaching the specific part of the shirt that you’re going to sublimate. Check more sublimation printers for heat transfer.


Still, you’re confused about what materials can be sublimated so here is our conclusion: you can sublimate those materials that are polymer-coated and when it comes to fabric, polyester is an excellent option for it. We hope it is clear to you now and you can start your marvelous journey of sublimation printing with ease.


  • 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.

    https://printartisty.com/ office.leadsync@gmail.com Warner Jessica

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