Tips to Fix Sublimation Color Problems: Complete Guide

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You may have encountered one or more challenges as sublimation printing suppliers, including dull, blurry, or otherwise un vibrant transfers. There is a continuous learning process associated with sublimation printing, and sublimation color problems which require experimentation and knowledge updating. The process involves many other manufacturing processes in addition to the usual printing process.

You are more likely to face challenges and eventually overcome them if you train in this area and experience it more often. By using the right approach and understanding, you will be able to eliminate and avoid common sublimation printing problems. The purpose of this guide is to provide a list of some of the most common sublimation printing problems, along with solutions for resolving them.

Additionally, we have included the most common sublimation color problems and mistakes related explicitly to mugs and their solutions. Let us begin with some of the most common problems associated with sublimation printing.

sublimated sublimation blanks

What Is The Reason For The Faded Appearance Of My Sublimation Print?

There is no need to be concerned about your images appearing light after they are printed on a sublimation printer. The image will become vibrant and clear once it has been pressed onto a surface that is sublimation-ready.

What Is the Reason For My Dull Sublimation Print?

The ink used for sublimation appears duller before it is pressed. Until you press your sublimated design onto a surface that is capable of accepting and holding ink, such as 100% polyester fabric, you will not be able to see the true colors of your design.

The Sublimation Ink I Am Using Has Lines Running Through It. What Should I Do?

Known as “banding,” this can be avoided by setting the print quality to “best” or “high.” Do not use draft or high-speed print settings. Ensure that you turn off the “high speed” setting in your print options if you see it anywhere. You may need to run your printer’s print quality tests until your ink is printing correctly if this does not solve the problem.

In My Sublimation Print, There Are Little Dark Spots After I Press It. What Does That Mean?

If you notice this, especially along the lines of your print, it is likely a result of a little excess ink being on your rollers. It is recommended that you gently wipe your printer rollers with a lint-free cloth that has been lightly coated in rubbing alcohol.

After Pressing My Sublimation Design, Why Is It All Blurry? (Ghosting)

In this situation, the sublimation print is likely to have moved during the transfer process, which is known as “ghosting.”. If you want to avoid ghosting, you should use special heat-resistant tape on all four sides of the transfer paper immediately after your print.

Additionally, it is imperative that you remove as much moisture as possible in order to avoid blurry, uneven, or faded results. It is recommended that you pre-heat your surface for five to ten seconds before pressing in order to remove excess moisture first.

When pressing your sublimation print, be sure to use butcher paper as it protects the heat strips your press and absorbs moisture – avoid using Teflon sheets which trap moisture.

faded sublimation prints and ghosting in sublimation printing sublimation color problems

There Is A Colored/Black Line Along One Or More Sides Of My Completed Project. What Should I Do?

Make sure your paper does not curl when you place it in your paper tray. It is recommended that you store your paper in a dry, cool area away from humidity so that when you use it it will be perfectly flat. When you print your sublimation prints, it is important to cut or tear the edges – it is not uncommon for a little ink to get stuck on the edges, even if you do not see it.

What Causes My Colors To Become Darker After I Transfer Them To A Colored Surface?

In general, sublimation works best when it is applied to whites, light grays, and pastel colors. Inks used in the sublimation process are transparent, so the color of the base material will be partially visible. It is also important to keep in mind that your machine is not capable of printing white.

A project with an image that you wish to remain white must be completed using a white blank or white shirt, or the image must be transferred to an iron-on vinyl such as glitter HTV, white flocked HTV, or EasySubli.

The Inside Of The Canvas Faded When I Pressed It. What’s The Deal?

In order for the ink to sublimate into the canvas, the canvas must first be coated with a polyester coating. As well as removing the canvas from the frame before pressing, you will notice that it presses much easier and looks better. For canvas that cannot be removed from the frame, a pressing pad or towel should be placed in the back open area.

My Sublimation Transferred Backwards. Why Did This Happen?

Before transferring your sublimation transfer design, you must mirror it. It is necessary to mirror a sublimation design before pressing a new blank transfer onto it, just as you do with iron-ons and HTV designs.

I See A Light Image Of An Old Project On My New Project. Why Is That?

There is a possibility that you have forgotten to use butcher paper, or that you have re-used butcher paper from another project. In order to prevent the transfer of sublimation ink to your press and mat, it is necessary to use new butcher paper. With butcher paper, you will be able to prevent the ink from bleeding through a project and onto your heat source.

You should also be aware of the fact that you should not reuse any butcher paper, as this can result in ghosting. It is recommended that butcher paper be used only once. If you are interested in using butcher paper, I recommend buying a large roll like the one I use. If you wish to use freezer paper or wax paper instead, please do not do so.

Why Are My Inkjet Epson Printers Not Printing Correctly After I Converted It To Sublimation?

Please allow 24 hours for it to sit before printing again. You may need to print several more times to allow the ink to run through the print heads lines if you have an issue.

There Is A Light And Dull Appearance To The Ink On My Paper. What Is The Problem?

Perhaps nothing at all! It is common for sublimation ink to appear lighter and duller before it is transferred. To see the true color of your print, you must press and transfer it.

I See Indentations Where My Paper Was When I Press A Design On A Shirt. Is There A Way To Get Rid Of These?

In order to avoid that sharp line, tear the edges of your paper, or cut very close to the edge of your design before pressing.

There Are Little White Spots On The Surface Of A Mug Or Tumbler When I Press A Design On It. What Can I Do To Resolve This Issue?

Usually, there is a small piece of paper attached to the surface. It should be washed with warm water. Check the settings on the mug press to be sure that there are no more sublimation issues.

When I Press A Design On A Sublimation Blank, It Looks Weird And Melty. What Should I Do?

There are some sublimation blanks, such as ceramic, acrylic, and metal, that have a protective plastic cover to prevent damage during shipping. Before pressing, be sure to look for any plastic liners and remove them.

Ceramic Looks Super Faded When I Press It. The Reason?

The first step is to ensure that you are using a ceramic that is intended for sublimation. Ceramics sublimation requires a sublimation coating that is applied by the manufacturer or by you after they have been received. It is also important to note that ceramic surfaces require a longer press time than other surfaces.

Before assuming anything, make sure you check the press times and temperatures for your ceramic substrate. It is also recommended by many manufacturers to press the ceramic from the underside in order to achieve the best results.

There are Sublimation Color Problems On My Sublimation Project, They Don’t Match My Computer Screen.

It is necessary to install special color profiles on your computer and printer settings and correct color correction program on your PC in order to get the exact combination of ink required to produce accurate colors with sublimation inks.

Color Mismatch sublimation printing

I Can’t Find A Profile For My Printer And Ink. So What Do I Do?

Several suggestions are provided below:

  1. You may print it anyway. It is possible that the default colors will look great.
  2. It is recommended that you contact the ink manufacturer for assistance.
  3. It is not necessary to stick with one printer profile until you find one you are comfortable with – just because it does not match your printer profile, does not mean it will not produce great prints for you.
  4. Custom ICC profiles can be purchased

Is It Possible To Sublimate Any T-Shirt?

Yes, technically you can, however, you will get the best results with typically bright white polyester T-shirts, such as those produced by Cricut. The design may not appear as vibrant on another polyester material or blend shirt, especially after washing.

Additionally, sublimation can be performed on dark shirts if you use a darker ink or add a light substrate first, such as white glitter vinyl. It is important to remember that different types of shirts may require different temperatures or pressing times, so always check!

Is It Possible To Sublimate On A 100% Cotton T-shirt?

Technically, yes, but you may not be satisfied with the outcome. I understand why you would prefer the feel of cotton since I prefer the feel of cotton myself! As a result of sublimating on a cotton shirt, I found that the designs were less vibrant and lost their color more quickly when washed. It is likely that most of the color will wash out over time. Therefore, I recommend that you do not waste your time and ink on 100% cotton t-shirts.

What Caused My Sublimation Print To Fade After Washing?

It is most likely that your fabric was not sublimation-friendly, thus causing the correct color of your sublimation image to fade after washing. To maintain the color of the sublimation ink, T-shirts should be made of at least 65% polyester. Sublimation colors should remain vibrant if you use a surface that is sublimation-friendly and contains a sufficient amount of polyester.

Sublimation VS Vinyl: Which Is Better?

Depending on your preferences and goals, it all depends on you! Compared with heat transfer vinyl, dye sublimation is fast, flexible, and permanent, but it does require some additional equipment.

How Long Does It Take For Sublimation Shirts To Fade?

Despite the best efforts, even the finest sublimated T-shirts will eventually fade, just as clothing purchased in a store will. Previously transferred image will, however, last much longer than HTV decorations since the dye is absorbed into the fibers.

Is It Possible To Use A Sublimation Printer For Regular Printing As Well?

No, sublimation printers (whether purpose-built or converted) and digital inkjet printing systems are only capable of printing with sublimation ink. It is extremely difficult to convert a converted printer back to being an inkjet printer without a tremendous amount of time and effort.

epson sublimation printer converted

What Kind Of Sublimation Paper Should I Use For Sublimation?

Despite the fact that some people may use regular laser paper, I strongly recommend using special sublimation paper for the most vibrant and best results. The paper I used during my tests was A-SUB.

What Kind Of Ink Should I Use?

It is necessary to use special sublimation papers and ink in order to do a sublimation shirt. With my Epson EcoTank printer, I use Hiipoo Ink.

Is There Anything Else I Can Put My Sublimation Prints On?

As well as polyester garments, anything with a high polyester count or a special sublimation coating can be used. Listed below are some of the items I have sublimated and some tips I have learned along the way:

  • T-shirts in white polyester and colored polyester/cotton.  Choose blank shirts that contain at least 65% polyester
  • Ribbons made of satin. Dimensions of the print: 0.8 inches wide 
  • Rubber and white polyester sublimation coasters. Dimensions of the print: 4 inches in diameter
  • Mason jar tumblers, 17 ounces. Stainless steel in white. Dimensions of the print: 3.4 inches tall by 17.8 inches wide 
  • Tumblers with glitter sublimation, 20 ounces. Stainless steel skinny with insulation. Dimensions of the print: 8′′ high by 8.89′′ wide 
  • Printed mouse pads. Dimensions of the print: 7.9 inches high by 9.6 inches wide
  • Keychains, squares, circles, rectangles, and hearts
  • The kitchen towels. Dimensions of the print: 15 inches tall by 26 inches wide
  • Flour sack towels. Dimensions of the print: 28 inches tall by 28 inches wide
  • Blank license plates. Dimensions of the print are 6 inches tall by 12 inches wide
  • A pillow cover made of sequins. Dimensions of the print are 18 inches tall by 18 inches wide – sunflower
  • Door mats made of polyester. Dimensions of the print: 29.5 inches tall by 17.5 inches wide
  • Throw Blankets. Dimensions of the print are 7.9 inches in height by 9.8 inches in width (for each empty area on a 40-inch by 60-inch blanket)
  • A jigsaw puzzle. Print dimensions are 7.5 inches wide by 9.8 inches tall
  • Vinyl with glitter iron-on. (To be transferred to cotton or dark substrates such as black shirts)

What’s The Best Way To Get Sublimation Printing Ink Off A Heat Press?

The easy way to clean your heat press is to turn it off, let it cool, and wipe it with alcohol or a Clorox wipe. 

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that sublimation printing has its own unique set of issues and sublimation color problems. You should be able to troubleshoot any sublimation printing problem that comes up as a result of your knowledge of this process, so that, with the best of tactics, you are able to produce beautiful prints with sublimation printing.

It is important to note that sublimation printing is a wonderful method of producing high-quality prints on a variety of substrates. It is important to understand how to troubleshoot and resolve the common sublimation color problems that may arise during the printing process. If you follow the tips and tricks outlined in this article, your sublimation prints will always turn out perfectly. You should use high-quality materials, ensure that your temperature and pressure settings are accurate, and maintain your equipment properly. Practice and patience will enable you to become a pro at sublimation printing in no time.

Enis Sh
Enis Sh

As an innovative IT Tech entrepreneur I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Stay ahead of the curve with up-to-the-minute tech news and reviews, while diving into the realm of computer hardware geekery.

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