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Sip & Stitch No. 29: Introduction to Sublimation Printing

Y’all know that I love all things crafting. Now I’m sure you already know embroidery is my favorite, but I still want to make ALL THE THINGS 😂. I have a Silhouette Cameo 4, and have made a ton of projects using both 651 vinyl and heat transfer vinyl. However, one limitation with those projects is layering colors. It can be done, but can also be complicated. One solution to this is using sublimation instead of vinyl. Sublimation allows you to print any design, then heat press it on an item. Special sublimation ink and paper must be used and when heat and pressure is applied, the ink turns from liquid to gas phase and infuses with the item. In order the the colors to transfer correctly and be as vibrant as possible, the item must either have a high percentage of polyester, or have a special coating on it that will allow the ink to bind to it. I go over an introduction to sublimation in the Sip & Stitch video below. The best part is how you can incorporate sublimation into your embroidery and applique work!!

Supplies needed for Sublimation:

Use the form below to get your FREE download of the Sip & Stitch Squad logo in JPEG and PNG format so that you can use it to make your own sublimation prints for shirts, cups, or whatever you want 😁. I’m also including the file in SVG format so that if you have an electronic cutting machine like my Silhouette, you can make Sip & Stitch gear with vinyl too 😁. Make sure that you take pictures of whatever you make and post them to Facebook and Instagram with #sipnstitchsquad so that I can see them!

I am looking forward to playing with my sublimation printer more and more! I love learning new ways to craft and especially sharing them with you!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can join me for my next Sip & Stitch!

This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. All opinions are my own and I only promote products that I use and love.

Comments

  1. Janet Thorson says

    karlie, love your stuff. I have been following you for a couple of years – good old Covid lockdown helped me to find the time to get back to my crafting roots, and actually start a business of my own. I am a former teacher and administrator and you know, we always all can relate so well to each other. Anyway, I want to play with sublimation, but I cannot buy my own printer right now. I know that there are some places where you can order a print that then I can apply to my own product. Have you run across anyone that you recommend for that service? OR I think that I heard about a product that I can run through my inkjet printer – maybe it was a paper with the sublimation ink embedded….I cannot remember what I read or where but at the time I thought it sounded like a way for me to tinker with it before investing in a printer. Any idea or input is appreciated.

    • Karlie Belle says

      Hi Janet! Yes there are lots of places that you can buy transfers from. Some of them are sublimation prints which has to go onto something with high polyester %. Other are called direct to film transfers which are more like screen printing and can be pressed onto any material (eg. cotton). I don’t know of any shops on Etsy on hand, but Stahls Transfer Express is supposed to have great transfers and you can upload whatever you want printed using their website and tools. https://www.transferexpress.com/

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