How to Use Sublimation Ink?

Sublimation printing is the process of transferring certain dyes to a transfer sheet, which are then imprinted or “sublimated” into fabrics or other appropriate materials using heat. The ink penetrates the shirt, cloth, cup, bag, or phone case and forms a continuous design from seam to seam.

The short answer, according to Charles, an experienced sublimation worker, is No. Sublimation ink cannot be used on ANY type of transfer paper for dark fabrics. Sublimation, at its most basic level, colors the polyester fiber. In comparison to ink on transfer paper, the image is not permanent. You cannot dye a black fabric any other color. As for the Canon, I have my doubts; you will obtain an image, but it will wash away. For standard inkjet transfer, you’ll need pigment ink, which I’m not sure Canon carries. It is preferable to devise another method—many advocates for the use of polyester spray and other techniques.

How to Pick the Right Sublimation Ink

Selecting a sublimation ink might be a challenging undertaking if you are unfamiliar with the process. Continue reading to learn about a few considerations to consider when selecting ink.

Colors’ Quality

Colors produced by inks are not always of comparable quality. Certain ink bottles have vibrant colors, while others make light hues. As a result, you should determine whether the ink’s colors appeal to you. After all, colors are a cornerstone of the printing industry. Additionally, it would be ideal to purchase an ink that included a complimentary ICC profile.


The majority of printer users are familiar with clogged ink. However, you can minimize this issue by purchasing sublimation ink. Generally, manufacturers indicate whether or not their ink clogs. They’ll typically explain that the ink’s diameter is relatively small, making it less sensitive to drying. If the manufacturer you are purchasing makes no mention of this, you should reconsider your purchase.


If you already own a printer, verifying compatibility with the ink you’re purchasing is critical. Certain ink brands are incompatible with various printers, so you’ll find yourself in a pickle if you are buying one without first checking. Simply look for the numbers on the ink bottle before purchasing. If the manufacturer’s numbers are unavailable, contact them.

Cracking and Peeling

We’ve all encountered the dreaded cracked print on an old t-shirt. This issue, however, can be readily avoided by purchasing high-quality ink. You may spend somewhat more than anticipated, but this will ensure complete customer pleasure.


It’s no secret that fading is the most frequently encountered problem in the sublimation industry. Additionally, it’s often aggravating when your colors fade after only a few applications. As such, it would be prudent to set a target of waterproof inks. Additionally, ensure that the manufacturer specifies that their ink does not dry.

Additionally, you should seek inks that are robust and have good color stability. For instance, you can purchase anti-UV ink to ensure that it does not fade as soon as standard ink does.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Print With Sublimation Ink?

Can you use sublimation ink in place of conventional ink? After all, it’s applied to t-shirts, mugs, and glass surfaces, indicating that it’s pretty adaptable.
To be sure, we cannot quarrel with logic. However, there are several critical factors to consider before replacing your cartridges. If you are unaware of your printer’s capabilities and ink compatibility, you risk ruining it.

So, can sublimation ink be used for conventional printing?

No, is the short answer.
It is not advisable to use sublimation ink for conventional printing. In the first place, the majority of printers do not support sublimation. However, certain printers can sublimation printing or may be converted to do so.

What Is the Difference Between Sublimation Ink and Regular Ink?

The most popular application of sublimation ink is to print images or logos on t-shirts. However, it undergoes a markedly different process from that of standard ink.
Heat is used to pressurize the ink into a gas, which bonds to the paper or cloth and permanently adheres. This is not a complex technique, but it does require sublimation paper and a compatible ink system. This is not how conventional ink works. Therefore, if your printer does not support sublimation, the safest course of action is to avoid printing anything.

What Happens If I Use Sublimation Ink in My Conventional Printer?

If you are confident your printer is not compatible, we strongly advise you to flush the cartridges. Additionally, if you attempt to print using sublimation ink inside your printer, you should carefully clean it. Numerous expert services can assist you with this. If you’re unsure how to clean your printer safely, bring it to a repair shop.

Is Sublimation Compatible with My Regular Printer?

When determining if you can use sublimation ink for conventional printing, it’s critical to recognize that the primary distinction between compatible and incompatible printers is the printing technology used.

Sublimation is not supported by printers that employ standard thermal technology. As a result, the ink is rarely vaporized and may leak into your printer. Canon printers are among the printers that utilize this technology. As a result, Canon printer owners are out of luck.

HP printers, like Epson, print using thermal ink and are therefore unable to do sublimation. They’ve only recently begun offering sublimation-compatible models. Regrettably, they are large, prohibitively expensive, and more suited to industrial use.

On the other hand, Epson printers make use of a technology called Piezo. Their printers are commonly used for conventional printing as well as sublimation printing. If you own an Epson printer, you should check the cartridge head’s compatibility with sublimation ink on their website. You’re probably wondering whether you can convert your standard printer to one that supports sublimation printing. That is if your printer can work with a CISS Ink System.

It is preferable to conduct preliminary research on your printer model. If your printer is compatible with the CISS Ink System, it will state so in the manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

While some printers are simply modified, some may require professional service. If you’re lucky, you might locate YouTube videos that walk you through the process of converting your printer to a sublimation printer.

Additionally, you’ll need to replace your cartridges with sublimation ink and switch from standard to sublimation paper. Finally, you must ensure that your printer is updated with the most recent software to print without interruption.


While sublimation ink is a fascinating way to experiment with printing, there is a reasonable risk that it will not work with your printer. Thus, the likelihood is that you cannot utilize sublimation ink for conventional printing, but it is possible.

What’s critical is to use buy study and become familiar with your printer’s inking mechanism. If it is sublimation compatible, you will want a large stack of sublimation paper!