How To Do Sublimation On Dark T-Shirts?

On black or dark-colored t-shirts, sublimation printing usually does not look nice. To see printable while sublimation printing on black T-shirts, it’s typical to print a white base layer.

With great washability and printing flexibility, bright and durable sublimation on black/dark colored t-shirts may be readily created.

“100% polyester” and a “light-colored shirt” are the two most crucial prerequisites for sublimation printing.

Some individuals believe that sublimating a black 100% cotton shirt will result in an inaccurate print. This is, however, an old-fashioned manner of doing things.

To put it another way, instead of sublimating onto black or dark garments directly sublimate them onto thermal transfer film, which then can be pressed onto the garment.

Let’s have a look at the heat transfer printing technique before we go into the sublimation on dark t-shirts in particular.

Important Steps

  • The pattern is first printed on a transparent sheet or transfer paper. Inkjet printers, dye-sublimation printers, and white toner transfer printers can all be used for this.
  • It can print a variety of designs, not just white, and it can be transferred to dark garments.
  • The pattern is then transferred on an adhesive sheet using a heat press. After heat pressing, the transfer film’s adhesive backing is removed.
  • A heat press is then used to transfer the design to the garment or substrate. This layer of transfer paper is removed after heat pressing, displaying the print on the garment or substrate.
  • Hard materials, such as metal or wood, can also be sublimated using this method.

Now that we’ve covered the two-stage heat transfer process with heat transfer paper, let’s move on to the next phase.

Sublimation process on a black shirt

Firstly, prepare a list of materials you will need to sublimate on a black shirt.

The following materials are needed for sublimation printing on black t-shirts.

  • Vinyl for heat transfer
  • A sublimation printer
  • Vinyl cutter / Cricut machine or scissors
  • Lint roller
  • Heat press
  • Parchment paper
  • Shirt

Here are the detailed instructions for sublimation on a black t-shirt.

Step 1:Create the picture you want to put on your t-shirt using a product design program like Illustrator or Coreldraw. Make sure your printer’s print quality is set to high. Borderless printing is an option if you have a large image.

The most important thing is to print directly onto the sublimation film. It’s not a good idea to reflect the picture.

Almost usually, sublimation is followed by introspection. If you print directly on the sublimation foil, the image will not be reflected.

Step 2:Before you can print any image, you must first understand how to properly load the film into your sublimation printer.

There are two surfaces to sublimation paper one glossy and one slightly rough. As a result, rather than being printed on a polished surface, the designs are printed on a coarse matte surface. This is due to the fact that they are unable to hold the ink.

Step 3:Once the design is printed, remove excess material with a vinyl cutter, Cricut, or scissors.

Step 4:Using a lint roller, smooth the surface of the liner. Set the temperature of the heat press to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, to eliminate any leftover moisture, iron the shirt for 5 seconds.

Step 5:Remember how we talked about the vinyl’s gleaming side earlier? As with a stamp, this procedure entails peeling off the backing. Place the transfer on the t-shirt after peeling off the backing. Some people pull it before heat sealing to avoid ghosting, but we pull it before heat sealing.

Step 6:Place the parchment paper on top and press for 15 seconds at 360°F and 30-40 psi (2-3 bar) average pressure.

Step 7:The black sublimated T-shirt is ready to wear after the transfer is finished and cooled.

Now that you know the process of sublimation on dark shirts. Let’s dive into the types of thermal transfer paper best suited for dark shirts.

pp inkjet transfer paper for dark t-shirts:

  • From Photo Paper Direct, it’s a low-cost bundle. Create your own dark-colored artwork with these 20 sheets of thermal transfer paper.
  • Compatible with inkjet printers from all major brands, including Epson, HP, Brother, Canon, and many others.

Forever Laser Dark No-Cut Transfer Paper:

  • This transfer paper is suitable with laser printers and is specifically suited for dark colors. It may be used with a number of fabrics, including leather and denim.

Neenah iron-on transfer paper:

  • This heat transfer paper may be used on both bright and dark-colored textiles. This heat transfer paper from Neenah will bring a simple dark t-shirt to life.

Frequently asked question

Q. What type of cloth should be used?

A. Cotton fabric is the best choice when it comes to sublimation printing.

Q. What should be the proper temperature?

A. 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the suitable temperature for the sublimation process to occur.

Q. What color shirts work best for sublimation?

A. light shade fabric or white color fabric works best.


That’s it; now, you can easily print black t-shirts using sublimation printing. The printing is very light, wash-resistant, vibrant colors, and you don’t need to apply heat-resistant tape to fix the transfer.

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