Sublimation Printing on Mugs in 7 Easy Steps! Complete Guide

Sublimation mugs are specialized mugs that are designed for printing and customizing. The ceramic surface on these specialty-coated mugs is ideal for retaining ink and prints created by sublimation printing.

If you are looking for a promotional item or gift that will be long-lasting and useful to your customers, then a sublimation mug is the best choice. 

Would you like to create customized mugs with vibrant and long-lasting designs? In such a case, sublimation printing on mugs may be your ideal solution. This article will discuss the ins and outs of sublimation printing on mugs, beginning with the basic process and ending with the equipment and materials required. Additionally, we will provide tips and tricks on how to achieve the best results, as well as common mistakes to avoid. Let’s get started!

Printing Supplies for Sublimate Ceramic Mugs

It is important that you have the following materials before starting the sublimation process on sublimating ceramic mugs:

  • Sublimation printer
  • Heat mug press machine
  • Ceramic sublimatable mugs
  • A dye sublimation ink
  • A tape that’s heat-resistant
  • Sublimation transfer paper
  • Scissors
  • Heat-resistant oven mitt
Sublimation Printing on Mugs

The 7-Step Guide to The Sublimation Printing on Mugs Process

To achieve a high-quality image on your ceramic mug using a mug heat press machine, follow the steps below once you have gathered the necessary materials.

There are several steps involved in sublimation printing, including the preparation of the design, the printing of the design, the transfer of the design onto the mug, and the heat pressing of the mug. In order to better understand each step, let’s take a closer look at them.

1. Choosing the Right Mug Sublimation Graphics

You must first choose which image or graphic you will print on the mug before you can begin the sublimation process.

In the case of the Sawgrass Virtuoso Printer series SG500 or SG1000. A user-friendly program is included with these devices, in addition to hundreds of templates, a huge image library, cloud storage, and a lot more, Creative Studio also features a huge library of templates.

You may also design your own chosen graphics using programs such as Photoshop, CorelDRAW, or Adobe Illustrator.

It is important to keep in mind that the typical size of a 10 or 11-ounce mug is 3 x 9 inches (3 inches tall by 9 inches wide).

You must use mugs that have a special coating that allows mug sublimation graphics printing to take place. In a factory, these mugs are specially coated. It is not possible to coat them yourself.

It is also important to keep in mind that although a full bleed can be printed on the top and bottom of a mug, some mugs have a tapper that can make this difficult.

As a result, if you intend to sublimate ceramic mugs that are tapered (at the top or bottom), you should print approximately ¼ inch away from the top and bottom edges of the mug.

Also, it is recommended that you copy and paste your selected design multiple times onto a single piece of paper in order to reduce your printing costs and enhance your production process.

After you have chosen your sublimation graphics, you may proceed to step 2.

sublimation mug graphics

2. Print Your Graphics

Printing is as simple as creating a group of images on full-size transfer paper (8.5″ x 11″), or by using transfer paper that is already sized for common mug sizes, such as 10, 11, and 15 ounces.

Check that your printer has the correct printer settings for mug sublimation graphics.

It is recommended that you check the box “mirror image” and use no higher than 300 DPI resolution (anything higher will result in a waste of ink and the print will take longer than necessary).

The right printer must be selected, along with sublimation inks and sublimation transfer paper.

It is also important to print on the coated side of the paper.

Print the graphics after you have finalized everything and proceed to the next step.

3. Make Your Graphics Fit Your Sublimation Printing on Mugs

To make it easier to tape down, trim the transfer paper using scissors so that the image is slightly smaller in both directions than the mug.

You should now turn the transfer paper so the image is facing outwards, facing the mug.

The paper should be tightly wrapped around the mug.

Be sure to press the paper firmly against the surface of the mug.

Each end of the printed transfer paper should be secured with heat-resistant tape.

Sublimation Printing on Mugs graphics

4. Setting Up Your Dye Sublimation Mug Press

The temperature of your mug sublimation heat press should be set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or 204 degrees Celsius.

Make sure that the pressure adjustment is set to “medium-heavy,” and set the timer for 4-6 minutes.

Please note that the exact time will depend on the manufacturer of the heat mug presses and the manufacturer of the sublimation blanks mugs.

In order to sublimate ceramic mugs with the best results, it may be necessary to experiment with temp, time, and pressure according to your mug press.

5. Place the Mug in the Heat Press

As soon as the mug heat press reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 degrees Celsius, you can begin pressing.

Make sure the transfer sublimation paper does not wrinkle or fold when you place your mug in the heat press.

This is an extremely important point. It is important to note that any slight crease in the paper will alter or ruin your final design.

Carefully place your mug into a heat press and once the press has been gently closed, the sublimation process can begin.

In order to prevent your mug from breaking, be careful not to apply too much pressure to the press.

Mug Heat Press settings

6. Take Your Mug Out of the Heat Press

The mug will be extremely hot at this point, so use your heat-resistant oven mitt to remove it from the press once the desired amount of time to cool has passed.

Using a narrow knife or tweezers, carefully remove the transfer paper that was taped to the mug.

7. You Should Allow Your Mug to Cool

You are almost finished with the sublimation process for your mug.

You should let your hot mug cool long enough to get it to room temperature.

Let it cool until it’s not hot (you can use a fan on low speed to speed up the process).

How to Get the Best Results with Sublimation on Mugs

You should follow these tips when sublimating printing on mugs to achieve the best results:

  • Be sure to use high-quality images and designs and mug templates that are appropriate in size for the mug.
  • You should use mugs with a polymer coating that is suitable for sublimation.
  • It is very important that the transfer paper is securely fastened to the mug and that the mug is appropriately supported during the transfer process.
  • Make sure you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your printer, ink, and heat press.
  • You may need to experiment with different heat and pressure settings in order to find the best setting for your equipment and materials.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

The following tips will help you avoid common mistakes when sublimating printing on mugs:

  • Sublimation printing does not work with regular ink or paper.
  • Make sure the mugs are specially coated with a polymer that is compatible with sublimation.
  • It is important not to rush the process – take the time to ensure each step is completed correctly.
  • Make sure you do not use designs that are too small or of poor quality.
  • Make sure that the temperature or pressure setting is not too high or too low.
Sublimation Printing on Mugs Guide

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use any type of mug for sublimation printing?

You should use polymer-coated mugs that are suitable for sublimation.

Can I wash sublimation-printed mugs in a dishwasher?

It is possible to clean sublimation-printed mugs in the dishwasher.

Is it possible to sublimate on colored mugs?

The best products for sublimation printing are white or light-colored mugs, as the ink is transparent and will absorb the color of the mug.

How durable is dye sublimation printing?

During the printing process, the inks used become gaseous and adhere to the fabric in order to create a permanent print. It is permanent and will not fade due to the fact that the ink is embedded in the fabric or substrate and is not overlaid as is the case in normal printing.

Can ceramic tiles be sublimated?

The process of sublimating on ceramic tiles is not difficult, but in order to obtain the best results, you must know how to do it properly. As new tools have become available, these processes and procedures have changed, and ceramic tiles can become confusing to press.

Custom Coffee Mugs: How Do You Make Them?

The following steps will assist you in creating a custom sublimation coffee mugs:

  1. You should prepare the image that you would like to print on the custom coffee mug.
  2. Take the printed image you have chosen and print it on paper. Cut the paper according to the dimensions of your selected mug.
  3. To keep the paper in place, wrap it around your mug and tape it with heat-resistant tape.
  4. Make sure the mug press machine is prepared and heated.
  5. Make sure the mug is placed inside the machine and allow it to work its magic.
  6. It is recommended that you remove the mug and let it cool before using it.

Final Thoughts

Creating personalized gifts or promotional items using sublimation printing on mugs can be fun and rewarding. This article outlines the steps and tips you should keep in mind to get professional-looking results. Don’t rush the process and ensure each step is done correctly by using high-quality materials.

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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