What is a Sublimation Paper? Working, Benefits, Cost and FAQs

Following is a detailed article discussing all about What is a Sublimation Paper? Working, Benefits, Cost and FAQs and everything relating to this topic.

Do you run a sublimation business? Or you love to create sublimation designs for entertainment. No matter you create designs on tees, mugs or anything. Then you must have come across the term sublimation paper.

In this article we’ll discuss in detail about following topics:

  • What is Sublimation Paper
  • Working Principle of Sublimation Paper
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of using a sublimation paper
  • How much does a good quality sublimation paper cost?
  • Some important questions regarding sublimation paper

What is a Sublimation Paper?

What is a Sublimation Paper
What is a Sublimation Paper

Sublimation paper for tumbler is a kind of special paper used for printing. This paper absorbs ink and then retains ink for future use. This kind of paper is placed on some kind of fabric or shirt and between a heat press machine. Then it transfers the ink onto that material (shirt or mouse pad etc). 

The process is very fast. A sub Sublimation paper is one the most reliable methods to print custom T-shirts or any other fabrics. All sublimation printer businesses and hobbyists use this paper to print their creativity.

Working Principle of Sublimation Paper

It’s important to understand the working principle of the sublimation paper. By understanding its principle, you will know better What is sublimation Paper? Actually.


Sublimation paper has a polyester coating on a paper. Its ink retaining property is only possible due to this coating.


Printing on sublimation paper requires an inkjet or sublimation printer and sublimation ink. You can’t use any ordinary ink for this purpose. You can also read how to buy the best sublimation ink. This ink converts from solid into a gas state when printed. It then becomes part of the paper rather than a coating of ink on it.


It consists of two basic steps.

  1. Printing design on paper
  2. Transferring design on fabric

-> Printing Design on Paper

This process is very simple. It is identical to simple printing on paper. Just print the design you want to print on your shirt using the printer. This is all in this step.

-> Transferring design on fabric

Iron the shirt first to remove any wrinkles. Now place the printed sublimation paper between the heat press machine and the shirt. On starting the heat press machine, the magic starts. The sublimation ink again converts from solid to a gas state. The sublimation paper releases the ink from its polyester coating into the shirt.

How to remove sublimation ink from your clothes - 3 different methods to help you
Transferring design on fabric

The ink now goes from the paper to the shirt and becomes part of it. Rather than forming an ink coating on the shirt. The ink again converts into a solid state on cooling. The shirt is ready to use.

Now, we hope you’ll have understood what a sublimation paper is. If you want a detailed guide on how to sublimate shirts. Then you must read how to sublimate shirts.

You might be wondering what are the benefits of using a sublimation paper.

Benefits of using a Sublimation Paper

The sublimation process transfers ink into the fabric. As a result, the ink becomes part of the shirt. Moreover, the print is permanent and long-lasting. This can bear long-washing under normal circumstances. The color is vibrant and doesn’t fade after a short time.

But on the other hand, this process is very expensive. Also, the design can’t be printed on shirts which are more than 60% cotton. Because the ink doesn’t adhere well to cotton. It attaches firmly to the polyester.

How much does a good-quality sublimation paper cost?

The sublimation paper costs about $20-40$ for a good quality sheet pack. This pack normally consists of 100-150 sheets. This number of sheets varies from brand to brand. Some popular brands offering sublimation inks are A-Sub, Hiippo, Wokok and PrintersJack.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Are ordinary printers able to use sublimation ink?

No, unfortunately, sublimation papers cannot be used with everyday office printers for home-use printers. If you really want to start using sublimation papers however, you can go for sublimation transfer printers. Although these printers can’t meet the needs of professional printing businesses, they are very good for hobbyists and small business owners who may be eager to start out using this kind of paper for their needs in advertising and so on.

What is better, sublimation paper or heat transfer paper?

Although both sublimation paper and heat transfer paper produce very similar results and can be used for many of the same purposes, they are different in many ways. For example, one way that you might distinguish between them is by looking at the quality of finished product that is produced.

Whereas sublimation papers only affects ink on a surface with laser dyes during the design process, heat transfer papers contain special layers of polymer which can be added to the final product – this makes garments produced with heat transfers usually appear slightly stiffer or stickier than those made using sublimation paper as there is no layer removed. With this in mind therefore it’s an easy decision to make when deciding what kind of finished product you have in mind when thinking about your end goal.

Which should you use, Sublimation or Heat transfer paper? 

There are many different ways to decorate clothing, and often people use sublimation vs heat transfer paper. There are multiple ways to decorate garments, but sublimation or heat transfer paper? It really depends on your business needs and what you intend to do with the design or garment itself.


Sublimation paper is a special paper used in sublimation. It is used to print cool designs on mugs, t-shirts, vinyl sheets, and many more items. It works by transferring ink onto the fabric by heating it. A bundle of about 110 sheets can cost you about $20.

Now after reading this article completely we hope you will have known what a sublimation paper is. If you still have a query let us know in the comments. We’ll surely help you out there.

There is no success that no one has achieved before. My blog is full of things to help you create a life you love: easy crafts, even you are beginner, with fun pintables, wood art SVG files for cutting on your Cricut or Glowforge, sublimation crafts, ideas, and so much more. I’m so glad you’re here!

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