Can You Sublimate On Vinyl-No Waste Tips To Error-Free Work

Sublimation prints can last longer than regular prints and they have more saturation. Can you sublimate on vinyl? Yes, and that’s what I will cover in this guide. There are two types of vinyl; Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) and adhesive vinyl. I will give you a step-by-step guide for both. 

The procedures are different but equally useful as you can get the vinyl prints on shirts, mugs, or clips. Anyone can follow the guide for sublimation on adhesive vinyl. But for HTV, you will need more things and extra concentration. Let’s start with the more straightforward procedure! 

How to Sublimate On Vinyl

Sublimate On The Vinyl Guide-How To Work Without Any Mistakes

You might be wondering why you need adhesive vinyl instead of printable vinyl. The reason for this is that sublimation prints on adhesive vinyl are waterproof which holds more value. With that explained, let’s assemble what you need to sublimate on vinyl:

Items Needed for Sublimation on Vinyl

People who do simple sublimation printing don’t have to get lots of things, here’s what you need:

  • Sublimation printer (converted sublimation printer also works)
  • Sublimation papers
  • Adhesive permanent vinyl (clear, glossy, or matte)
  • Bakery paper 
  • Heat resistant tape
  • The material you want to sublimate (I used a mug)
  • Heat press 
  • Water-filled spray bottle 

The Process of Sublimation On Vinyl (Step-by-Step Guide)

In this, I will be transferring the design to a custom-designed mug. 

  1. Design the sublimation pattern by using Cricut design space. Make sure you keep the size of print you want and mirror it. 
  2. Size the pattern or design to fit the object to which you will transfer the design. 
  3. Print the design and place it facing down on the vinyl paper.
  4. Tape it in place by using heat-resistant tape.
  5. Turn on the heat press and set it to 350F. Now let’s sandwich the vinyl-taped sublimation print. 
  6. By sandwich, I mean to place the taped-printed vinyl in the parchment paper(Bakery paper) and fold it in a way that covers the top and bottom parts.
  7. I also used extra parchment paper to make sure no ink bleeds out during heat transfer. 
  8. Keep the sandwiched vinyl under a heat press for 40 seconds only.
  9. After that, let it cool and remove the sublimation paper. In case you see paper residue then use the water spray lightly to take it off.
  10. Once you see a clean design on vinyl, stick the design on a mug or whatever material you want. Do this by pressing the transfer paper for 30 seconds. 

That’s all it takes, simple, isn’t it? You can use this to transfer to cardboard, fabrics, shirts, mugs, cups, or socks. This method is for light-colored fabrics, not dark-colored ones, for that try the HTV guide. Want to try sublimating on HTV? Then read further. In the end, you get a permanent colored print on vinyl without many complications.

Also Read: Best Vinyl Sticker Printer

How to Sublimate On Heat Transfer Vinyl(HTV) Guide:

It is possible to sublimate on some HTV materials like glitter HTV or clear HTV. The benefit of this method is that this allows you to print on dark-colored fabrics and materials. 

Items Needed:

  • Sublimation printer (converted sublimation printer also works)
  • Sublimation papers and scissors 
  • Heat press
  • Cricut or cutting machine 
  • Parchment paper 
  • Heat resistant tape
  • Glitter white HTV 
  • Shirt (Any color)


  1. Set the shape of your design by using a Cricut machine and cut vinyl and sublimation paper. Make sure the size is the same and you can choose any shape you like. 
  2. Print the design by using sublimation ink and let it dry. I recommend setting the printer to the highest resolution. 
  3. Trim off the borders or excess parts of sublimation paper by using scissors. 
  4. Iron the shirt and set the heat press to 280F. Put the Heat transfer vinyl on the shirt where you want the design. Place parchment paper on top as well. 
  5. After that, let the HTV on the shirt cool for a few seconds.
  6. Next, you have to press the sublimation paper on HTV. Position the design perfectly so that it’s aligned.
  7. Tape the design in place by using heat-resistant tape. set the heat press to 190 and press for less than a minute. 
  8. The design will be transferred and that’s it! You can use this method to do sublimation prints on 100% cotton shirts as well! 

Final Words:

I believe now you know the answer to whether you can sublimate on Vinyl or not.

Vinyl printing with sublimation has gained immense popularity in both business and local fields. In comparison to other processes on the market today, such as digital presses, this procedure is simple and budget-feeding. Try this and let me know if it helped!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are sublimation prints permanent and if not how long do they last?

An average sublimation print can last for ten years. However, I do think that some sublimation prints are permanent if you use high-quality ink and sublimation paper.

What is sublimation?

Sublimation is a process used to transfer prints on different sublimation materials. The ink becomes a gas as it warms up before resolidifying as a solid in the fabric’s fibers. So, you get colorful prints on any solid material.

Is it possible to do sublimation on polyester?

Yes! You can do sublimation on a 100% polyester shirt. Make sure that the fabric has at least 65% polyester.

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