Sublimation on dark fabrics. Is it possible?

It is normal to question why we cannot sublimate on dark fabrics. This is especially true when we begin to work with this transfer technique, however, we do not always know the answer.

Our first requirement for sublimating on fabrics is that they be made of polyester, although we can also work with fabrics that contain at least 70% polyester. We can work with fabrics whose composition is at least 70% polyester.

The second characteristic, and this applies to other materials, is that we must use white surfaces.

Now let’s answer the question we asked ourselves at the beginning, can I sublimate on dark colored fabrics? The answer is yes, the transfer will be done if your garment is made of polyester, however, the whites of your design will be the color of the fabric. The other colors will be affected by the background color. As a result, they will not appear bright and vivid.

Why does this happen? There is no white sublimation ink, and it cannot even be handled by the inks used for the sublimation printers. This means the white details of our design aren’t being printed at all. The printer considers these gaps to be colorless.

Understanding this, we must consider that when sublimating, all the white details will actually be the color of our fabric or surface. On the other hand, if we sublimate on a black fabric or surface, we will lose the white details as well as those that are black. This will mean that our design will have been completely modified even though it has been printed correctly on our sheet.

In the following example in the image to the right we see that the details of the faces that are composed of black and white have been lost. The buildings have practically disappeared and the saturation of the colors is very low. As a consequence, it becomes clear that the colors will not stand out in the same way that they would on white, since the ink transfer is insufficient to cover the fabric or material of our surface. For this reason, we must perform the sublimation process on white surfaces.


What alternatives do I have?


Sublifabric is a material that can be sublimated and adhered to dark-colored garments, in addition to plotters that can make precise cuts.

Transfer paper

You can print on dark fabrics with transfer paper using traditional printer ink (not sublimation) and then iron the garment to transfer the image.


Sublicotton is an option to make sublimation transfers on white but cotton fabrics, this sheet is printed with sublimation ink and transferred in a heat press at 175º for 20 seconds. Now that you know the ideal conditions under which sublimation can be worked, you can work on your next designs with this in mind.

How can I refresh my sublimation business?

There are many reasons that may be causing your sublimation business to stagnate, including high competition, new techniques, substitute products, among others. You cannot control external variables, but there are internal variables you can control, and that’s where you should start to find solutions that will get your business out of stagnation.

Understand competition as an opportunity and not as a threat.

Competition will always exist, it is an idea with which you must learn to live and plan your business, sublimation is a very simple printing process to learn and with a relatively low initial investment, which makes many entrepreneurs want to bet on this letter, but do not see this statement as a threat or a reason to be discouraged.

On the contrary, think that you have to build a business model that is different from all the others, it is a job that takes time, effort and requires a lot of dedication and curiosity. It is definitely not something that can be achieved overnight, but once you have your competitive advantages well defined, no new competitor can be a real threat to you.

Sell more to your own customers.

It is a strategy that you can implement without making large investments and it works if you consider that your business only needs a little push, the strategies that you can incorporate are: increase the average sales ticket or the frequency with which they buy, for this you can put together packages with Based on the behavior of your consumer, invite them to follow you on social networks and create persuasive messages that invite them to buy more often.

Incorporate new products.

If you have noticed that your customers are interested in acquiring other sublimatable products with you, it is probably because they are very satisfied with your work and that is something that you definitely have to take advantage of by incorporating more products into your offer. You can start with those that have been most requested or those that do not require a considerable investment. Once you have them available, make sure you give them adequate publicity through the means by which you maintain communication with your customers.

Look for new clients

You can opt for this strategy when you already have a varied offer of products, but not enough customers or if you think that you could sell your products in another market. In place of looking for unit sales, you can offer sublimated products as part of a brand culture strategy for companies, for example. In this way, although getting a client may be more complex, you will also have a more profitable relationship, which will make you have larger orders and thus optimize your resources.

Diversify your market

Searching for new products and clients is a much more complex and expensive strategy, and it should only be employed when you need more and better clients and more attractive products. Executing it is possible, if you do it step by step, that is; when you are very clear about what you are going to do and why you are going to do it; in addition to the fact that the changes must be implemented gradually and it is always advisable to measure the results to be able to correct as many times as necessary.

As you can see, there are many options for refreshing your sublimation business. The strategy you choose must be based on an analysis of the situation your business is in and its needs. Have you seen our product catalog yet?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *