How To Sublimate A T-shirt Using A Heat Press

How to sublimate a shirt using a heat press. Simple, right? Wrong. Sublimating a shirt using heat-press involves many steps and factors to make it look the way you want. Read on to learn how to do it step-by-step!

A heat press is a modern printing technique and an easy way to put your graphics on t-shirts and other items. The heat press applies heat and pressure to print designs on a material for a fixed period of time. Because of the heat press machine, lighter fabrics or white ones may yield better results.

Whether you are new to sublimation or just researching it, here is a brief outline of the heat press process for sublimating t-shirts.

How to sublimate a shirt using a heat press: Step by Step

  • Capture  a picture / Select the design
  • Printing Image on sublimation paper  
  • Transferring image to the t-shirt  using a heat press
  • Washing instruction


You may click the picture or choose the image or design you would like to print on the shirt. Before printing must invert the image using software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Coral Draw, Serif affinity, and Gimp design. To make minor changes in photos and graphics MS Word, Publisher, and others can also be used for creating the images, but they offer limited design flexibility.


After designing the image we will proceed toward printing. Printing is at the heart of the entire process. We will recommend you use a specially designed sublimation printer to print high-quality pictures. Your regular printer will work, but you may not get the best results since it uses standard ink. In order to obtain high-quality pictures, you will need a printer that is compatible with Sublimation ink and paper. You may read our article the best sublimation printer for shirt printing to find the best sublimation printer for your needs

Preparing T-shirts :  

Press the t-shirt with the help of an electric press machine in order to remove its wrinkles and moisture. Now, place a cardboard sheet between the t-shirt to make the t-shirt secure in position. Attach the printed paper with the t-shirt by tape so it does not move during the process.

Set Heat Press :

For sublimating a shirt, set the temperature of the heat press at  374-400 degrees Fahrenheit. Starting with a low temperature and pushing it for 2-3 minutes. Or adjust the temperature according to your apparatus.

Working of Heat Press Machine : 

Its electronically heated surface is known as a platen. Heat converts the ink directly into gas, which combines with a cloth to print permanently.   The heat opens up the pores of the fabric, enabling the ink to flow well and return to its solid state.

Final Step:

After cooling and settling down, the design is ready for finalization. Gently remove the paper from over the design and it’s done.

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Material that can be sublimated by using heat press;

  • Cotton 
  • Lycra
  • Nylon 
  • Polyester and spandex 
  • Polyvinylchloride
  • Coated sheet of aluminum and ceramics tiles
  • Mugs, Plates
  • Jigsaw and caps   

We can not use any fabric for printing because of heat and high temperatures; they could melt them. Keep away from synthetic substances and thin materials.

Washing Instructions;

  • Using cold water
  • Dry at a cold temperature.
  • The detergent powder is used.
  • The brush is not used.
  • The shirt should be completely dry and free of spots.
  • It is recommended that the t-shirt should be repressed after closing the heat press 5-10 seconds.

Final Words

We truly hope that with these easy mentioned steps of how to sublimate a shirt using heatpress, you can now sublimate your t-shirts with logo images and graphics. Keep an eye on us for more information about sublimation. We will see you in our next post. Thanks for reading!

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