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Sublimation printing paper VS heat transfer paper-which is right for you?

sublimation paper for t-shirt printing

Sublimation printing paper VS heat transfer paper,which is right for you?

Thermal transfer is a general term, it generally refers to the process or technology of printing patterns on the substrate through high-temperature heat pressing technology.As we usually refer,heat transfer, pigment heat transfer, eco-solvent heat transfer and sublimation transfer printing all belong to the category of thermal transfer. Although thermal transfer and sublimation have great similarities in process, there is a fundamental difference between them in the principle of printing and coloring. VISION can help you distinguish heat transfer paper and sublimation printing paper from the following different angles.

1.The difference in process

Dye sublimation printing is a special process.Firstly,dye sublimation transfer is to use inkjet printer and dye sublimation ink(mirror printing) to print the image on the paper with dye sublimation coating;and then heat it (about 200 ℃)by the heat transfer machine to make dye sublimation ink of the sublimation paper penetrate into the transfer carrier.Finally, the color image on the paper can be realistically transferred to textiles, porcelain cups, porcelain plates, porcelain plates, metals and other materials.
Heat transfer paper is a special type of printing paper. After we print it out with a printer, we can fix the printed paper or coating on the surface of the fabric by using a heat transfer machine under a certain temperature.Heat transfer paper is divided into inkjet heat transfer paper and laser heat transfer paper from different printers.

2.The difference between application carriers

Dye sublimation paper can transfer pictures to light-colored polyester and other low-cotton fabrics.Sublimation paper can be mainly used on white fabrics. In addition, it is widely used in other promotional gifts, such as cups, mouse pads, metal plates, Puzzles, ceramic pieces, wood, etc. Sublimation transfer paper apply to all products with sublimation coating.
Heat transfer paper is mainly for clothing T shirt customization. It is mainly used on cotton fabrics with a cotton content of more than 65%. According to the different colors of different T shirts, it can be divided into dark t-shirt transfer paper and light t-shirt transfer paper.


Dye sublimation transfer paper does not need any weeding or cutting when transferring to clothes or other promotional items because of its ink penetration and sublimation principle.
Depending on the type of transfer paper, Heat transfer paper need to remove or trim off the parts of the paper other than the design. But heat transfer papers that do not need to be cut and automatically weeded have been appeared on the market. If you are interested in this kind of heat transfer paper, you can visit VISION self weeding dark transfer paper.

4.Durability or “feel” of the image after transfer (mainly for clothing customization)

Due to the sublimation of the ink during the sublimation transfer process, the ink directly penetrates into the clothes. After the sublimation transfer of the T shirt, you will not have any different feeling on the surface of the image.The texture of the clothes before transfer is completely retained.Also, it is very light. Therefore, it will be more durable, the color of the image can be maintained forever and will not fade.Otherwise, the surface of the image will not appear cracks due to long-term use.
Thermal transfer is to left heat transfer paper or coating on the top image during the transfer process.So you can feel the design of T shirt when you touch it. However, different thermal transfer papers have different tactility, which depends on the quality of the product itself and other factors. Vision heat transfer transfer feels very soft, and it is light and thin, which is a very good choice for you.

VISION thermal transfer paper

VISION thermal transfer paper

5.Start-up cost of sublimation printing paper and heat transfer paper

From the various customized clothing products on the market, both sublimation and thermal transfer are relatively low-cost solutions. From the printer: an inkjet printer is needed (there is no big difference in cost); From the ink: sublimation transfer paper requires sublimation ink, and it is recommended to use pigment ink for heat transfer paper,because pigment ink can keep the color of clothing for a long time.Of course ,you can also use relatively cheap dye inks. The cost of pigment inks is almost the same as that of dye sublimation inks; From a paper perspective: The cost of heat transfer paper is much higher than that of dye sublimation transfer paper.
The cost is only part of your choice. If both of them are used for clothing, it mainly depends on the material of the clothing, because it is difficult for the two to be compatible with the two fabrics.
All in all, both heat transfer paper and sublimation paper are very good transfer methods for garment . The final method you choose depends on the business you want to achieve. Of course, you can also choose both at the same time. The application is more complementary.
Vision, as a domestic leading factory with its own dye sublimation and thermal transfer coating lines.We can provide various grades (weight, type, size) of dye sublimation paper, and also provide different types of thermal transfer paper (inkjet transfer paper, laser transfer paper, self weeding transfer paper), etc. If you have any questions about sublimation transfer paper or thermal transfer paper, please feel free to contact us.
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