What Do I Need For Sublimation Printing & How To Start Business

Are you confused and cannot decide where to start your first project? If yes, then I got you covered. You are also a beginner like me who is interested in sublimation printing but has no idea. Please go through the article to know the details about what I need for sublimation printing and how it works. The printer helps you customize the designs that do not chip off or peel with time.

What Do I Need For Sublimation Printing & How To Start Business

If you are new in the business, you might be wondering what a sublimation printer is? In short, sublimation printing is transferring of sublimation dyes on a suitable material. After going through specific procedures, this transferring material on which we imprinted the dyes will be used as textiles. The heat is added, and the ink infuses into the cloth, shirt, mug, or phone case and looks seamless.

The heat transfers are permanent, and they do not peel or crack like traditional printing. The infusible ink is not thick in texture and embeds into the poly surface of the material. It is solid and then diffuses into the gas while transferring to the material.

This ink is ideal for designing mugs and other objects, but it does not have many colors. You can create many designs and print on different things, but the colors are limited, and they do not allow you to play.

Can You Sublimate Any Material?

Sublimation printers work only on the materials that are designed for this purpose. This material has a type of poly-coating or should be polyester to react with the sublimation ink. The fabric you use should be appropriate and have at least 75% polyester. The materials having high ratios of polyester make the ink look brighter. You can use other materials such as glass, and metals but they should have poly-coating.

Printers Used For Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printers use a different dye that does not work with all the printers. You will have to buy sublimation printers for this type of printing. Most of the printers available in the market use heat or thermal technology to bake the dyes directly into the paper. Some printers use the piezo pressure technology. These printers can handle the sublimation printing and work well with the dyes.

Printers Used For Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printers are available in the market. These are made to deal with sublimation dyes but can be very expensive. You can easily convert a standard printer into a sublimation printer at an affordable price. The Epson Ecotank Printers use the piezo pressure technology. You need to add some sublimation dye into the ink cartridges, and they are ready to print.

What Do I Need For Sublimation Printing

  • The best sublimation printer
  • A heat press
  • An easy press (optional)
  • Sublimation inks
  • Sublimation papers
  • Heat Resistant Gloves
  • Lint roller
  • Designing software

A Sublimation Printer

You have a sublimation printer if you are reading this article. If not, you can easily change the newly Epson Ecotank Printer into the sublimation printer or you can use a sawgrass printer. Or you can read what kind of printer I need for sublimation and how to convert an Epson Ecotank printer to sublimation.

A Heat Press

A heat source is necessary for all your projects for sublimation printing. You will need a heat press either working at home or running a full-fledged business. Two major types are present and have a range of features. First, we have the Power Press. This heat press can open up and can be clammed at different heights. The expensive heat presses have large openings because your hands should not be near the heat.

Heat Press

The power press has a lot of pressure when working and can create issues while you are printing on the cloth. A drawer is present in some models that can come out and stay away from all the heat. Some clamshell presses have an auto-open option in them. This feature can be used when you want the clam to open when the timer finishes. It helps in multi-tasking at the same time.

Next, we have the swing press arms that get out of the way, creating more space. The heated portion of the printer can be moved away. This opening up will need more space, but they are considered ideal for sublimation printing. These push downwards and have consistent pressure, which helps you print on different materials.

Easy Press (Optional)

The Cricut easy press is small in size and weighs only 8.6 pounds only. They take a lot of little space and are portable. It is ideal for crafting if you are on the go. You can print shirts, mugs, and plates using the easy press, and it just needs a towel or a mat. It stays cool from the outside when you are printing. This is safe for the users as well.

Sublimation inks

Sublimation ink is essential for printing dye sublimation projects. We cannot use pigment or any other kind of ink while sublimating. You should choose the best sublimation ink with exceptional quality results. Initially, you’ll need to buy a pack of 4 sublimation ink bottles from the from to start the sublimation printing business.

Sublimation inks

The infusible circuit ink, artesprix sublimation markers, and artesprix sublimation stamp pad are great alternatives if you cannot find sublimation inks in the market. These are great to use and have almost the same result. You can work with these without committing to a single printer and a few colors only. Sublimation inks are limited in color, and you cannot create more versatile projects with them.

Other Supplies

If you are a beginner, you definitely might need these things while starting with sublimation printing. The following supplies are essential to keep on hand:

Sublimation Paper

Sublimation paper is the most essential thing to have if you think about starting sublimation printing it is available in standard size. This is a particular type of paper that can absorb the ink and give optimal results. This can help you apply ink indirectly and make customized shirts for yourself. It has a particular type of polyester coating that makes the ink stay in place.

Heat Resistant Gloves

The heat-resistant gloves are essential to keep when you are printing. These are flexible, made with cotton polyester, and very comfortable to wear. They protect against high temperatures when you print. These are made with breathable material, so your hands do not get sweaty during work. They come in a universal size and can fit all.

Lint Roller

A lint roller is a must-have in your sublimation printing kit. The adhesive side on the cardboard barrel makes sure that everything sticks to it. This removes all the dust particles and cleans the area. A microfiber cloth can also be used for cleaning purposes. This cloth helps catch the dust particles that a roller misses out on.

Computer Software

There are several computer software that you will need to design and color different objects before printing. These can help you play around and create customized designs for your shirts. The Cricut Design Space is one of the famous software that can help you choose the size of the designs, but they have restrictions. You have to select from the existing dimensions and cannot customize your own.

Computer Software

Canva is another known free application for designing. You can use this and create designs and graphics within a few seconds. This will help you choose the size and color of your own choice. PhotoShop also plays a significant role in assisting beginners with size, design, and color. This is a paid application with some templates that can be used to create designs. Or you can check the best software for sublimation printing.

How much does it cost to get started with sublimation?

Sublimation printers are costly, so you will need a lot of budget to start with this. If you have a limited amount of money, you can easily change the Epson Ecotank printer into a sublimation printer. These perform nicely and give good results. The initial cost depends upon the above pieces of equipment which I have mentioned above. Either it can be $1000 or $10,000. But getting started with $2000 is ideal for beginners.


How do I get started with sublimation printing?

If you are interested in starting sublimation printing, you will need a few essential supplies in hand. First of all, you should get your hands on sublimation inks. You will also need sublimation papers, a lint roller, a rubber mat, and heat-resistant gloves. All these things make sure you get the optimal results and are safe.

How do I start a sublimation business?

Before starting a sublimation or any other business, it is essential to follow the five steps. Do your market research and work on the business plan. Think about the market entry strategy and how you will grow with time. If you plan these five steps, you can have a good start.


After reading the article above, you may have a good idea of sublimation printing. You might have known some things before, but this article gives you the details on what to do and how to do it. I hope you are ready to start your own sublimation business and play around with colors and design.

Don’t be scared and start working from today. Play smart and make educated choices that can help you grow over time. You can start on a smaller scale and then master this craft with time.


  • Hello, Beautiful People. I'm Olivia and I'll be guiding you on how-to tutorials and guides. I am a mommy of two little angles. My kids are also interested in DIY, Arts & Crafts. So I'm here to serve you some of my previous experience.