Sublimation on Black Shirt: What is the Method to Get a Bright Design

Printing on various materials, such as T-shirts or ceramic mugs, may be done using the sublimation printing method. There are special equipment and inks that need to be employed for Sublimation on Black Shirt.

Sublimation printing’s popularity has risen over several years due to its high-quality final product. However, before attempting this or any other kind of printing, make sure you’re familiar with the design process (by watching tutorials or reading instructions like this one). If you’ve ever been curious about how sublimation printing works, the information provided here will assist you in such a manner that you can perform it at home.

Incorrect use of the method might result in ghosting patterns or white creases. Time and money might be lost because of this. Always try out a few ideas before committing to a large-scale production run to familiarize yourself with the machinery and the fabric. Instead of going for an all-over pattern, start with a basic one. When you become an expert in basic designs, then you can go to the next level ( more complex designs)

Advantages Sublimation for Printing 

In sublimation, the desired image or design is permanently printed on the subject (fabric, plastic, or anything). Moreover, you can use any color for this process. So there is no limit on the selection of colors.

You can also perform this procedure on hard surfaces efficiently. A heat press and a sublimation printer are all that are needed to replicate this procedure that you can efficiently perform while staying at home at a reasonable price. Make your designs stand out from the crowd by using this method. It’s both efficient and imaginative.

What colors can you Sublimate on Black Polyester?

People often ask whether it is possible to sublimate designs on black polyester. The answer is a simple yes. You can undoubtedly do so, but the outcomes will be quite different. As a dye technique, sublimation cannot produce completely white prints. For example, if you want to wear a black shirt, you may theoretically dye it using this method, but you won’t see it at all on the back shirt.

In short, you can get such sublimation on black polyester, but sublimation doesn’t work on dark fabrics. When dye sublimation is used on clothes, only white or light-colored polyester may be used.

There is also an option of using a wide format printer and a heat printer to perform sublimation on black polyester (to dye-sub the whole fabric, ideally a white shirt). Cutting and sewing by a professional is also an option. Either way, you’ll need a white (or light-colored) polyester to get started.

You can sublimate dark hues with the help of two things:

  • Sublimation Printer
  • White glitter HTV

 Learn how to sublimate dark cotton clothes with this step-by-by-step guide. On dark t-shirts, the sublimation technique is identical to that on cotton shirts of any hue, even white. 

On a Black/Dark Shirt, How Do You Sublimate?

What’s the best way to sublimate colored shirts? Shirts that are black or dark in color are notoriously difficult to print on using sublimation technology. It is recommended to use any light color first to check the viability of dye sublimation on black t-shirts. It is usual to print a white layer before any other coloring.

In this matter, we use a new technique.  A sublimation picture is printed straight onto the black T-shirt without any white underlay. If you perform the instructions outlined below, you can achieve your goal. Sublimation printing on black/dark clothing may be done quickly and easily, and the prints are washable and stretchable.

As far as sublimation printing is concerned, we already know that a white shirt and 100% polyester is required. Some doubt the accuracy of the sublimation process when applied to a black 100 percent cotton garment. We’re not doing things the old-fashioned way, however.

Our printing method on the black/dark garment is not direct sublimation. Firstly, sublimating is done onto heat transfer vinyl, and then pressing it onto the t-shirt is what we’re going for here, not screen printing.

How to sublimate on dark colors: easy steps to follow

Gather the necessary supplies for sublimating black t-shirts.

What You’ll Need:

To perform sublimation on dark-colored shirts, you need simple things that are easily available in the market:

  • Sublimation printer for t-shirts
  • Cutting using scissors or a vinyl cutter
  • A lint remover
  • Thermo-Pressure
  • Porcelain sheeting
  • Shirt
  • Vinyl that transfers heat

What is the best way to sublimate on black?

Let’s go through the specifics of sublimating a black t-shirt step by step:

The first thing to do is:

Create the picture you wish to print on the shirt with a product design program such as Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Photoshop. Ensure that high-quality printing is selected in the print options. Prints with no borders may be made using bigger pictures.

When using sublimation, it is customary to flip pictures. However, if you are printing directly on the sublimation vinyl, it does not reflect your design.

Second step:

Before printing your picture, make sure you’ve correctly inserted the vinyl into the printer. There are two sides to it; one side is polished, while the other is rough. So, you’ll want to print the image on the matte side rather than the glossy side. That’s because the ink won’t stick.

Third step:

Use a vinyl cutter/Cricut or scissors to remove the extra medium after printing the design.

Fourth step:

Smooth the shirt’s surface using a lint roller. Keep the temperature of your heat press to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, for 5 seconds, pre-press your t-shirt to eliminate any moisture from the material.

Fifth step:

Keep in mind the gleaming side of vinyl that we covered before. Peel off the backing like a sticker in this stage. After removing the backing, apply for the transfer on the shirt. While some people peel off after the heat press, we perform it before the heat press to minimize ghosting.

Sixth step:

Place parchment paper on top and heat press for 15 seconds at 360 degrees Fahrenheit, 30-40 psi, or 2-3 bar.

Seventh step:

When the transfer process is completed, you have done your sublimation. Now hang the shirt to make it cool down.

Your sublimated black shirt is complete once the transfer has been completed and the shirt has cooled.

Heat Transfer Paper Vs. Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat transfer paper is widely in use for sublimation printing. However, sublimation on dark/black shirts made entirely of cotton, polyester blends, or leather uses heat transfer vinyl.

Paper for Heat Transfer:

Let us discuss heat transfer paper, which is also referred to as a two-step printing method that involves heat transfer

In the beginning, the sublimation printing technique employs a heat transfer paper to imprint a pattern onto a translucent sheet or transfer paper. This may be accomplished with the use of an inkjet printer, a sublimation printer, or a white toner transfer printer, among other tools. The ability to print numerous patterns and white for transfer into dark clothes will be available.

With a heat press, you’ll be transferring your design on an adhesive sheet for the second stage. After heat pressing the transfer sheet, you will need to peel away the adhesive sheet from the sheet. The pattern is then transferred to the garment or substrate with the use of a heat press. After heat pressing the image onto the garment or substrate, peel away the transfer paper to expose the image that was printed on the garment or substrate. If you want to sublimate on a hard surface like metal or wood, you may utilize this approach.

After discussing the two-step heat transfer method with heat transfer paper, let’s look at the heat transfer printing process (vinyl).

Vinyl Heat Transfer:

Heat transfer vinyl may be used in a variety of ways. Additionally, the most common method is to cut it with a vinyl cutter or by hand. We are removing non-printed/blank areas of the vinyl and sublimating only the printed area. Unlike heat transfer paper, we do not cut out any unnecessary areas.

You remove the design on the adhesive side and then remove the plastic sheet, which keeps your design in place. It is then applied to the substrate. Thus, heat transfer paper and vinyl operate in this manner.


Is it possible to sublimate any color?

You most certainly can, but the results will vary significantly. Sublimation does not print in black and white. Therefore, if you want to wear a darker or black shirt, it WILL dye it, but not very well, if at all.

Is sublimation on black leather works?

Yes, it is possible to sublimate on leather. You most certainly can, but the outcomes may vary significantly. Sublimation is a dyeing process that does not produce white prints.

Is it possible to use sublimation ink with dark transfer paper?

No. Sublimation ink cannot be used with dark transfer paper. Sublimation, at its most basic level, dyes the polyester fiber. In comparison to ink on transfer paper, the image is not permanent.

Is sublimation possible on faux leather?

Although most faux leather will melt when sublimated, there is one exception. Sublimation works quite well with heat transfer glitter vinyl. Additionally, it is readily cut using a vinyl cutter.

Is it possible to sublimate suede?

Heavy faux suede is dye-sublimated printed for exceptional color reproduction. The added weight of heavy faux suede is ideal for upholstery projects.

How to perform sublimate on inkjet paper?

All you need is an inkjet printer loaded with sublimation ink to create your designs. Moreover, you need heat sublimation paper to print your transfers on, polymer-coated blanks or polyester garments to transfer your designs, and a heat press to facilitate the ink’s transfer to the substrate. Sublimation truly can be that simple!


As a result, we could simply print sublimation on a black t-shirt. That is, dark hues may be sublimated. Additionally, the print feels very lightweight, is machine washable, has brilliant colors, and does not need the use of heat-resistant tape to secure the transfer.

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