I have a question that may seem a bit silly, but it’s been on my mind: can I sublimate an item twice? I’m sure many of you are curious to know the answer as well. so let’s explore this topic together. Before we dive into the details of whether or not Can You Reuse Sublimation Transfers, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what sublimation transfers are.
Sublimation transfers are totally my jam when it comes to making custom designs on T-shirts, phone cases, and coffee mugs. What’s cool about this printing technique is that it uses heat and pressure to transfer a design from special transfer paper onto the material.
But what I really love about sublimation transfers is that they produce prints that are top-notch in quality and super durable. They won’t fade, peel, or crack with time, so you can bet your bottom dollar that your design will look amazing for a good long while.
Can You Reuse Sublimation Transfers?
Let me break it down for you. If you’re thinking about using the same transfer paper again, then absolutely! As long as the transfer paper is still in good shape, you can print a new design on it and use it again.
But in case if you’re asking about reusing a sublimation transfer that’s already been used on a material, well, that’s a bit of a different story. Once the ink has transferred onto the material or substrate, there’s no ink left on the transfer paper to reuse.
Now get straight to the point, Sublimation transfer paper, regardless of the type, cannot be reused. Even if there is some ink left on the paper after printing with sublimation paper, it will not be enough to produce a good-quality print.
As a result of the heat from the iron melting the paper’s plastic lining (coating), the ink and coating are transferred from the paper to the cloth. It’d be impossible to reuse this.
If you are new to sublimation and want to learn more about sublimation printing. Read on : What is Sublimation Printing? and How Does it Work? Complete Process
Are there any other risks in reusing transfers?
Hold on! Still, If you plan on using sublimation transfer again, you should read about the end results: The ink embedded in your printing paper will not be reclaimed when you apply a new layer; if you do, you may pick up some colors from the previous print, or you may mix old and new colors very unclearly and unattractively.
What’s the best way to perform Sublimation transfers?
Application & Support for Sublimation Transfers is described as follow:
- The temperature should be 400 degrees Fahrenheit and the time should be 45-60 seconds.
- Use white copy paper or parchment paper for the filling of material to prevent bleeding.
- Placing the transfer face down on a Teflon sheet (with heat tape if needed).
- Place the material into a heat press.
- Immediately remove the transfer.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Sublimation Transfers
- The color is permanently imprinted on the fabric.
- There is no liquid in the printing process, so it dries quickly.
- Exceptionally long-lasting and durable
- Even when used all over, the pattern is completely textureless.
- Can be used on poly-coated stiff goods.
- Prints in full color, which is ideal for pictures and variety.
- As a standard, inks are UV resistant.
- Weeding by itself (only transfers the ink to the fabric)
- There is a need for a high poly content.
- Setup is more expensive than transfer.
- Dark color materials do not produce quality results.
It is recommended you not reuse transfers unless you absolutely need to. High-quality inkjet transfer paper is considered best for starting a new setup or for better results. However, sublimation transfer is a wonderful way to give a personalized message to someone or decorate your apparel and materials according to your needs.