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

18 thoughts on “What is Sublimation?”

  1. Hi Christine! I am so happy I stumbled onto your blog. This sublimation technique is exactly what I have been looking for. Would you mind telling me what the name brand of your printer is or shed light on quality brands? I am new to this and am already overwhelmed with all of the information out there! Thank you!

  2. Hi there! I was looking to see what a cricut machine has to do with sublimation? I have an older cricut machine and never used it and I’m getting into sublimation and I’m just hoping to learn! My cricut machine is about 7 years old. Thank you!

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ?

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