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What is Sublimation?

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Welcome to sublimation week at Cutting for Business! So, why is sublimation on a blog focused on using your Silhouette Cameo or Cricut in your business? Sublimation is a natural progression from using vinyl and is a great way to handle larger orders.

What Exactly is Sublimation?

Sublimation, or dye sublimation printing, is a process where you use a special printer, special inks, and special paper to create a design to put on a variety of blank products. You then use a heat press to transfer the design onto a specially coated product blank. For my science nerd blog readers (that includes me!): This process works because sublimation ink can go from a solid to a gas without a liquid form – much like dry ice.

FAQ About Sublimation

Q: Will any printer work?
A: No, you must have a sublimation printer with sublimation ink, and use sublimation paper.

Q: Will any blank product work?
A: No, you must use specially coated blank products. You cannot easily coat blank products yourself.

Q: Why would I use sublimation instead of vinyl?
A: In cases of adhesive vinyl, the vinyl can ultimately be peeled off. When you sublimate a design, it becomes part of the product and is permanent. In cases of heat transfer vinyl, sublimation gives you more possibilities including using photos and completing intricate designs without weeding or intensive layering.

What Products Can You Make with Sublimation?

There is a wide range of products that you use with sublimation, including:

  • Apparel: Tee shirts, tank tops, hoodies, sweat pants, shorts
  • Baby items: Bibs, clothing, hats, blankets
  • Winter gear: Hats, ear warmers, scarves
  • Accessories: Socks, hats, bandanas, tote bags, shoulder bags
  • Home decor: Blankets, throw pillows, towels, clocks
  • Kitchen goods: Cutting boards, mugs, steins, water bottles, tiles, coasters, aprons
  • Electronics accessories: Phone cases, tablet cases, mouse pads, laptop cases
  • Other: Pet bowls, picture frames, jewelry, magnets, license plates, keychains, puzzles
  • …and much more!

Move on to the next post, where I show you how to do sublimation.

Save this post to Pinterest – just hover over it and click the red button:

What is Sublimation? A great intro for Silhouette Cameo and Cricut small business owners - by cuttingforbusiness.com

kristy gervais

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Hi there. Totally trying to figure out the getting the image to the paper part. I have a Cricut maker and an epson ecotank 2803 printer. For heat I have the Cricut easy press2. My question is how you get your image to the printer from the Cricut? the last time I tried using print and cut it divided all my colors into separate mats. Also, I have the special transfer sublimation paper do I need special shirts too? I have watched numerous videos but none get that basic.....Lol.

Tamara

Sunday 22nd of March 2020

Could you potentially use a Cricut Maker and Cricut's new Infusible Ink to make your design, and then use a mug wrap to bake it?

Christine, Cutting for Business

Thursday 26th of March 2020

I'd assume you can, but I haven't first hand done this.

Imani Myers

Monday 11th of November 2019

Hello I’m so happy I stumbled across this blog on Pinterest , I’ve been wanting clarification on what sublimation is. I’m a cricut user and my ultimate question is how here do we create our sublimation design ? Can we create in cricut design space use the print then cut feature and use it that way ?

Christine, Cutting for Business

Monday 11th of November 2019

Correct. You'd Print then Cut then press it with your heat press.

Annie

Friday 3rd of August 2018

Have you ever used the ink jet with the iron on inkjet paper? I only ask because polyester is an environment killer so I'm trying to look for alternatives.

Christine

Wednesday 15th of August 2018

Yes, I have a blog post on it: https://cuttingforbusiness.com/2017/08/08/tutorial-inkjet-transfer-paper-print-and-cut/

Mel B

Monday 16th of April 2018

Hi There,

Can I create vinyl stickers with a sublimation printer?

Kind regards, Mel

Christine

Wednesday 18th of April 2018

You definitely can!