Sublimation printing and heat transfer printing are two different transfer principles applied to textiles.Sublimation printing is a process in which the water-based sublimation ink on the sublimation paper is printed by means of heating to the fabric or object, going from a solid state to a gaseous state. In other words, at the microscopic level it is like painting the shirt or item to be sublimated with a spray.
Sublimation is basically going from a solid state to a gas without going through the liquid state. In this way you can print on an infinite number of materials.
One of the big differences between sublimation and transfer printing is that sublimation must be printed with synthetic polymer inks on a surface that has been enameled or has a polymer surface. (example a mugs or sublimation tumbler) these have a layer that we cannot see, a layer of paint or transparent synthetic polymer ink in which the well has been previously bathed. That is why we cannot sublimate an item that is not sublimation. So if you are going to sublimate, remember that the item that you are going to sublimate as a bowl, puzzle, t-shirt, etc, must be special for sublimation.
The transfer printing works in a different way, this is not a polymer ink, in this case it is a thin vinyl to which an image is printed, then we take this vinyl paper and stick it to the shirt or article. The heat transfer paper of transfer process is much easier than sublimation printing paper. The biggest difference is that the transfer is exclusive for fabrics. To make it clearer, it is not possible to transfer on mugs, glass, metal surfaces among others.So you should choose heat transfer paper to apply on fabric.
As you can see, the heat transfer paper is focused on textile printing(mainly on tshirt) and does not offer other advantages that sublimation can offer you.
On the other hand, if what you want is to print on textiles in a fast and personalized way, the transfer is undoubtedly the best option.
For fabric:Sublimation paper is only applied to white polyester, material with cotton content ≤30%;Heat transfer paper can use on light and dark fabrics,according to your fabric color, you can choose the corresponding transfer paper,more details,you can visit our product page.
Whether to choose sublimation printing or heat transfer printing depends on the material you want to transfer and the effect you want.If you would like to wholesale sublimation paper or heat transfer paper,please don’t hesitate to contact us,we are always at your service.