Why Is My Sublimation Not Transferring?

Written By PrintingPro

Sublimation is widely used for transferring designs and images to fabrics, ceramics, and metals. Yet sometimes, the process doesn’t go as smoothly as anticipated, or you may find that the image does not transfer correctly. This can occur due to multiple reasons, such as incorrect temperature settings with your heat press device, having an improper type of substrate paper or medium in use, or even because of low-quality images attempting to be transferred. Uncovering why is your sublimation not transferring? The way you desire. We understand, and we got your back. This post will discuss four of the most common causes for this issue and solutions to help you overcome it. Don’t worry – we’ve included extra items and resources throughout to make sure that all your needs regarding sublimation printing issues are met.

Why Is My Sublimation Not Transferring?

There might be a few reasons why your sublimation transfer isn’t successful. One of the most frequent reason is not utilizing the correct temperature or time settings on your heat press; you must ensure that your parameters are suitable for your material. Another potential problem could be inadequate pressure applied to the heat press – remember, it’s essential to apply enough force to get impeccable results. With the right parameter configuration and appropriate pressure, you’ll achieve impressive sublimation transfers in no time. The heat press pressure must be set to an optimal level for a successful transfer process to guarantee that the substrate and transfer paper are firmly fused.

Read: What is The Best Fabric for Sublimation Printing:

What Causes is Sublimation Print Not Transferring?

Despite our best intentions, transferring images is not always as seamless as anticipated and can malfunction for many reasons.

Possible Causes:

Incorrect temperature or time settings on the heat press:

With sublimation transfers, the temperature and timing must be specifically adjusted for each type of material used. For instance, polyester fibers require a distinct heating degree from ceramic materials. If these settings are not accurate enough, your transfer could fail to achieve its desired results. You must find a good balance between heat levels that will properly evaporate the ink from the transfer paper without damaging it or your substrate in any way.

Low pressure on the heat press:

The heat press should be set at maximum pressure to ensure a successful transfer and pressed firmly down. If not enough pressure is applied, the ink won’t completely bond with the substrate resulting in a failed transfer. Therefore it’s essential to apply consistent and sufficient force for an optimal result every time.

Using the wrong type of transfer paper:

Careful selection of the right transfer paper is essential to ensure successful sublimation transfers on various materials. When choosing a transfer paper, ensure it is compatible with your sublimation ink, heat press settings, and substrate type for optimum results.

Not using a protective sheet on top of the item:

A protective sheet is essential to ensure a successful transfer as it prevents smudging or smearing. Also referred to as Teflon sheets or silicon sheets, these must be placed over the transfer paper and substrate before pressing with sublimation ink – this will stop the color from sticking to the heat press.

Not using a high enough quality image or design:

For optimal results, the image must be of superior quality and vector-based; Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw is ideal for creating this type of picture. The resolution should be clear and crisp to ensure no pixelation occurs – if it does not meet these requirements, the transfer may fail.

Not using the right type of material for sublimation:

For successful sublimation, it’s essential to choose substrates that are specifically tailored to the process. Polyester textiles, ceramics, metals, and certain polymers make excellent choices as they provide ideal conditions for a successful transfer. However, if you opt for an unsuitable substrate instead, your transfer may not be up to par.

Solutions To Make Your Sublimation Print Transfer:

If you’re having trouble with your sublimation transfers, various methods can guarantee a successful transfer.


Check and adjust the temperature and time settings on the heat press:

Make sure to tailor the heat press’s temperature and time settings for the material used. Make any necessary changes to guarantee a successful transfer.

Increase pressure on the heat press:

The heat press should be set to a high-pressure setting to guarantee an optimal transfer process. If needed, increase it further to bond the transfer paper and substrate together successfully.

Use the correct type of transfer paper:

To achieve optimal results, ensure you use the right type of transfer paper for the specific material. Failing to do so could lead to a less-than-desirable outcome.

Always use a protective sheet on top of the item:

To ensure that smudges or smears won’t ruin the transfer, place a protective sheet over your item. This will secure that all transfers turn out perfectly.

Use a high-quality image or design:

For a successful transfer, only use an image of the highest caliber and preferably vector-based. Utilizing anything less than excellent quality may result in hiccups during the transition.

Make sure to use a substrate that is suitable for sublimation:

To guarantee a successful sublimation transfer, be certain to use substrates specifically designed for the process. Substrates should be crafted with sublimation compatibility in mind for optimal results.

Read: How to make sublimation brighter:


What are the best temperature and time settings for sublimation transfers?

If you’re determined to achieve the highest-quality sublimation transfer, then you must take a few moments to research your fabric to determine the ideal temperature and time settings. Referral should be made directly to the manufacturer’s instructions or perform a test run for best results.

What type of transfer paper should I use for sublimation?

Substrates require a precise transfer paper to ensure the success of your project. To guarantee that you get amazing results, following the manufacturer’s guidelines and using the recommended type of transfer paper for each material is essential. Doing so ensures flawless execution every single time.

What is the ideal pressure for a heat press when doing sublimation transfers?

The heat press should be set to an adequate pressure level to ensure a successful transfer process. You must confirm the pressure gauge and increase it if necessary. The key here is firmness; pressing consistently yet firmly will help secure a strong bond between your transfer paper and substrate materials.

Why is my sublimation transfer not coming out clear?

If your sublimation transfer isn’t turning out perfectly, there are a few potential reasons why. You may have used the wrong type of transfer paper, opted for an image or design that didn’t meet quality standards, or neglected to use the correct substrate.

What materials are suitable for sublimation transfers?

Make time for a test run or review the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that any substrate is compatible with sublimation transfers. Polyester fabrics, ceramics, metals, and multiple polymers are all great choices for sublimation applications.

Sublimation is a commonplace technique for imprinting designs and pictures onto different materials; however, the process can be taxing if you don’t achieve the desired results. Malfunctions are usually due to incorrect temperature or time settings, among other causes. To ensure that your transfer succeeds, it’s essential to recognize and fix whatever caused the difficulty in the first place. Sublimation can be tricky, as different materials require their own methods and settings for the most favorable outcome. To maximize your success rate with sublimation transfers, it’s essential to follow best practices and recognize potential pitfalls.

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Written By PrintingPro

PrintingPro Konti is a seasoned wordsmith with a fervor for crafting enlightening and captivating content. With a wealth of experience in crafting blog posts and product guides within the printing industry, Konti has firmly positioned himself as the go-to authority for readers in search of valuable insights within this multifaceted and dynamically evolving sector. As a recognized expert in the printing domain, Konti possesses an exhaustive grasp of cutting-edge technologies, emerging trends, and industry best practices. He adeptly harnesses this knowledge to generate content that not only informs but also engrosses, ensuring that readers stay abreast of the latest developments in digital printing, offset printing, and 3D printing.