Sublimation Mistakes to Avoid: A Guide for Crafters

Sublimation printing has quickly become one of the go-to techniques among crafters and DIY enthusiasts due to its ability to produce vibrant, long-term designs on various surfaces. If you're just getting started in sublimation, however, there are a few critical mistakes you should avoid creating beautiful results with sublimation printing. In this guide, we'll outline these errors so that your success in sublimation printing remains stunning - or help guide newcomers along their journeys towards lasting design.

Main Mistakes:

Mistake #1: Neglecting Proper Image Resolution

Sublimation printing's foundational element is image quality. Failing to use high-resolution images can lead to blurry and pixelated prints; always ensure that images have at least 300 DPI (dots per inch) for crisp and clear results. American HTV Illinois offers an excellent selection of sublimation-ready designs suited for sublimation printing - plus, they carry all necessary sublimation equipment.

Mistake #2: Skipping Heat Press Calibration

Calibrating your heat press is vital for producing consistent and accurate results. Please do so to avoid uneven heat distribution, resulting in faded or incomplete prints, so always consult the guidelines of the heat press manufacturer when calibrating. American HTV Illinois offers high-quality heat presses to get you started.

Mistake #3: Not Using the Right Substrate

Selecting an appropriate substrate or blank material for successful sublimation printing is of utmost importance for its success. Some materials, like ceramics, polyester fabric and metal, are ideal for sublimation printing, while others may need to produce the desired results. Always verify compatibility before purchasing from trusted providers like American HTV Illinois in order to achieve the optimal outcome.

Mistake #4: Improper Image Placement

Uneven image placement can lead to prints that are off-center or skewed, so before pressing print, carefully measure and mark the center of your substrate. Use heat-resistant tape to secure the image to the substrate to avoid shifting during the sublimation process.

Mistake #5: Overheating or Underheating

Temperature control is of utmost importance when it comes to sublimation printing. Too much heat can cause colors to run and substrates to warp, while too little may result in faded or incomplete transfers. When setting temperatures for your ink and substrate combination, refer to recommended settings and invest in an accurate thermometer to track heat accurately.

Mistake #6: Rushing the Cooling Process

After pressing your design onto a substrate, please resist the urge to immediately take it out of the heat press and allow it to cool gradually before handling to ensure its sublimation ink sets correctly. Rushing may result in smudging or uneven coloration, which could compromise the sublimation ink setting properly and should, therefore, be avoided at all costs.

Mistake #7: Neglecting the Importance of Pressure

Proper pressure settings are an integral component of sublimation printing. Too little or too much can result in incomplete transfers, while too much may damage substrates or heat presses. Consult your equipment manual for information regarding which settings would best suit your sublimation project.


Sublimation printing provides endless creative potential, but avoiding these common mistakes is crucial to creating professional-grade results. Remember to use high-resolution images, calibrate your heat press, choose an appropriate substrate, and pay close attention to temperature, image placement, cooling and pressure when sublimating materials from trusted providers like American HTV Illinois. By following these guidelines and finding trusted sublimation suppliers such as them you can elevate your crafting game and craft designs that will last a lifetime.

For a wide selection of sublimation materials, equipment, and expert advice, visit American HTV Illinois at their website: American HTV Illinois. You can also contact them at 10850 Lincoln Trail Suite 5a, Fairview Heights, IL 62208, United States, or reach out to them at +1 618-489-5027 or


FAQs: Sublimation Printing

Q1: What is Sublimation Printing, and How Does it Work?

Sublimation printing is a heat-based method used to transfer ink onto various surfaces such as fabrics, ceramics, and metals. It works by turning solid ink (sublimation ink) into a gas by applying heat; then, this gas bonds with the molecules of surfaces, creating permanent images with high-quality prints.

Q2: Which materials can I use for sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing works best on polyester fabrics, ceramics, metals, and certain plastics with polymer coatings capable of accepting sublimation ink.

Q3: Can regular inkjet printers be used for sublimation printing?

To successfully use sublimation ink, specialty sublimation printers with sublimation ink cartridges will be necessary. They have been specifically designed to handle its unique properties.

Q4: What is the difference between sublimation and heat transfer vinyl (HTV)?

Sublimation is a process in which ink is permanently embedded into the material, producing vibrant prints with lasting durability and long-term beauty. HTV requires cutting and adhering vinyl sheets onto surfaces which can peel or crack over time, whereas sublimation provides more vibrant images for professional presentations.

Q5: How can I ensure the highest color accuracy when printing with sublimation?

To achieve optimal color accuracy in sublimation prints, ensure you use high-resolution images (at least 300 DPI) and maintain proper temperature and pressure during heat press processing. Calibrating your heat press can also assist. Ink manufacturer recommendations on specific substrate combinations may provide further assistance.

Q6: Can I sublimate on dark-coloured fabrics or non-polyester materials?

Sublimation works best on light-coloured, 100% polyester fabrics or materials coated with polymer. Sublimation relies on creating vibrant colors from white backgrounds; darker fabrics or non-polyester materials may not produce the expected results.

Q7: How can I solve issues such as ghosting or color bleeding with sublimation prints?

Ghosting (image shadowing) and color bleeding may result from uneven pressure or overheating. To ensure optimal results, ensure your heat press is calibrated correctly with recommended temperature settings and use recommended substrate pressure settings; additionally, experimenting with various settings may help address these problems.

Q8: Where can I find quality sublimation materials and equipment?

You can locate an extensive range of high-quality sublimation materials, printers, inks, and equipment from trusted providers like American HTV Illinois. Visit their website here for their selection of sublimation-related products.

Q9: Can Sublimation Printing Be Used for Small-Scale Craft Projects?

Sublimation printing is highly adaptable and suitable for both large- and small-scale craft projects alike, from customizing items like mugs and apparel to phone cases and beyond.

Q10: Can sublimation printing help me print photographs?

Absolutely! Sublimation is an incredible way to reproduce photographs with vivid colors and great detail - make sure you use high-resolution images for optimal results.