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Decoding Sublimation: A Glossary of Key Terms & Definitions

Decoding Sublimation: A Glossary of Key Terms & Definitions

Entering the world of sublimation printing can feel like stepping into a realm of technical jargon and unfamiliar terminology. From dye sublimation to heat press, understanding the language of sublimation is essential for beginners to navigate this exciting field confidently.

Today we'll decode the essential terms and definitions that every beginner should know, making the journey into sublimation printing smoother and more enjoyable!


Sublimation Printing:

Sublimation printing is a process where heat and pressure are used to transfer dye onto materials such as fabric, ceramics, or metals. Unlike traditional printing methods, sublimation printing allows the dye to penetrate the surface, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting prints.


Sublimation Ink:

Sublimation ink is a specialized type of ink that, when heated, transforms from a solid into a gas without passing through the liquid phase. This unique property allows the ink to bond with the surface of the material, creating vivid and durable prints.


Heat Press:

A heat press is a machine used to apply heat and pressure to transfer sublimation ink onto a substrate. It typically consists of a heated plate and a pressure mechanism, ensuring proper adhesion of the ink to the material.


Transfer Paper:

Transfer paper, also known as sublimation paper, is a carrier for sublimation ink. It absorbs the ink during printing and releases it onto the substrate when heat and pressure are applied. High-quality transfer paper is crucial for achieving crisp and accurate prints.



In sublimation printing, the substrate refers to the material onto which the image is transferred. Common substrates include polyester fabric, ceramic tiles, aluminum panels, and polymer-coated surfaces. The choice of substrate impacts the final outcome of the print, so it's essential to select the appropriate material for each project.


Sublimation Blanks:

Sublimation blanks are pre-coated or specially treated items designed for sublimation printing. These blanks come in various forms, such as mugs, t-shirts, pillow covers, and tumblers and more; offering a wide range of options for customization.

When selecting sublimation blanks for your next project, look no further than our range of top-quality products. We understand the importance of reliable materials in achieving professional results, which is why we offer a wide selection of sublimation blanks that meet the highest standards of quality and durability. Whether you're looking for mugs, gifts, towels, keychains, or any other substrate, our products are designed to deliver exceptional performance and vibrant prints every time.

Plus, with no minimum order quantities (MOQs) required, you have the flexibility to order exactly what you need for your projects, big or small. Choose our sublimation blanks for your next endeavor and experience the difference quality makes in your creations!



Bleed refers to the excess ink that extends beyond the edges of the printed image. Proper bleed ensures that the entire design is transferred onto the substrate, eliminating any white gaps or borders.



Ghosting occurs when the transferred image appears faded or blurry due to improper heat and pressure distribution during the printing process. To prevent ghosting, it's essential to maintain consistent heat and pressure across the entire surface of the substrate.


Sublimation Temperature:

Sublimation temperature refers to the specific temperature at which a solid substance transitions directly into a gas without passing through the liquid phase. For sublimation printing, it's crucial to reach the optimal temperature to ensure proper ink transfer and vibrant colors.

For recommended sublimation temperatures, check out our Heat Press times


Dye Migration:

Dye migration occurs when sublimation ink bleeds or spreads beyond the intended boundaries during the heating process. This phenomenon is more common on certain substrates, such as polyester fabrics, and can be minimized by using appropriate techniques and settings on the heat press.


Heat Transfer Tape:

Heat transfer tape is a heat-resistant adhesive tape used to secure transfer paper onto substrates during the heat press process. It helps prevent shifting or misalignment of the design, ensuring precise and accurate transfers.


Dye Sublimation Printer:

A dye sublimation printer is a specialized printer designed to use sublimation ink for printing. Unlike traditional printers, dye sublimation printers utilize heat to transfer dye onto substrates, making them ideal for producing high-quality, full-color prints on various materials.


Navigating the world of sublimation printing can be overwhelming for beginners, but understanding the key terms and definitions is the first step towards mastering this exciting craft. By familiarizing yourself with concepts such as sublimation ink, heat press, and substrate, you'll be well-equipped to start your sublimation journey with confidence and creativity.

So, dive in, experiment, and unleash your imagination with the endless possibilities of sublimation printing!