How to Sublimate Tote Bags

The tote bag is a great alternative to plastic bags since it is eco-friendly, easily recyclable, and easy to use. Why not sublimate it with your own customized design and make it a wonderful gift for your loved ones?

We sincerely hope that this guide will be a source of great inspiration for you since we have included all of the information we know about how to do sublimation on tote bags with unique designs and all the tips and tricks to make the process easier for you.

Material and Equipment :

  • Tote bags blanks ( 100% polyester )
  • Sublimation Printer
  • Sublimation Ink
  • Transfer Paper ( Sublimation Paper Recommended)
  • Protective paper/ Teflon Sheet / Butcher paper
  • Lint Roller
  • Heat Resistant Tape
  • Heat Resistant Gloves

HOW TO SUBLIMATE TOTE BAGS (Step by step Process)

Step 1: Prepare the transfer

It is really up to you to choose the design that you wish to transfer to the bag. You can either design it yourself using any design software (such as Canva) or download a pre-made design as you wish

As soon as you have designed the design, you can print it using a sublimation printer. Don’t forget to mirror your design!

Step 2: Prepare the Heat Press

Set your heat press to moderate-light pressure, and preheat to 385F. In order to close it, you will need to exert some force, but you shouldn’t need to put in a lot of effort to make it work. 

Step 3: Prepare the tote bag

Cut two larger pieces of butcher paper from the roll. To prevent any stray ink from getting into the bag, place a sheet of butcher paper inside the tote bag. Next, place the tote bag onto the heat press with the handles on the outside so they do not get crushed during the process. 

The next step is to use a lint roller to make sure that there are no stray lint pieces left inside the tote bag. Before adding the design, it is recommended that you prepress it for about 10 seconds to remove the wrinkles and fold lines.

Step 4: Press the design

Using heat-resistant tape, secure the sublimation paper (printed design) in its correct position (face-down). Press the product for the recommended time, temperature, and pressure after covering it with Teflon or protective paper.

Step 5: Final Results

Once the timer is up, gently open the heat press and remove the Teflon sheet without removing the transfer paper.

Take a little time to hold on, then lift the transfer paper upwards. You’re done! 

Also, See :

Tip And Tricks

We recommend :

  • Buy a new sublimation tote bag blanks instead of reusing a tote bag since it is much easier to sublimate a new bag instead of one that has been previously used. There is no need to spend a lot on them because they are cheaper to buy and do not cost much.
  • It is advised that you should not use regular paper and ink, since when the regular paper and ink are heated, they will spread or spoil the sublimation.
  • Always choose the recommended temperature, don’t go for high temperatures
  • Make sure the blank is pre-pressed in order to avoid cracks
  • Once you have pressed the transfer paper, Don’t instantly remove the paper,  wait a while and let it collide. 
  • Use heat-resistant tape to secure the transfer paper so it stays in place while being pressed in a heat press


It is recommended that you set your heat press to moderate-light pressure, preheat your press to 385F, and then press for 40 seconds for a high-quality image. Please take note that the time and temperature may vary depending on the manufacturer. Always consult the manufacturer concerning the proper time and temperature.

When using the hot heat press, please use moderate pressure and press the print for between 40 and 60 seconds until it fully adheres to the surface.

Sublimation works best when done on polyester; however, it can also be done on any material, even those that don’t contain polyester. It does not matter what type of cotton bag you are using, you need to prime it with sublimation spray first. Then you can proceed with sublimating the fabric the way you want it.

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