Can We Dye-Sublimate on Cotton Fabric?

The cotton fabric is more breathable and soft feeling rather than synthetic fabrics. The natural fabric has enough capacity to absorb the dye ink but not polyester. Most customized fabric printers get printed multi-color designs on synthetic fabrics (man-made) using sublimation printings.

“Usually, a sublimation printing process uses heat & pressure to transfer dye ink onto the polyester substrate, due to enough heat the polyester fabric pores open and accept dye ink (in the gas form molecule) sooner the temperature cools down, pores closed again this makes happens at the high pressure.”

Typically, the cotton fabric thread has a hole, dye ink passes through, and does not make a bond with the fabric, this is why the cotton fabric is sublimated.

Tips to sublimate on cotton fabric

There are numerous other ways to print on cotton fabric some of the most popular tips I am sharing are here.

1. Polyester Spray Coating

Dye sublimation ink makes bonds only with polyester or polyester-coated stuff. So once you apply a polyester acrylic spray on the top layers of the fabric before sublimating the cotton. to make a permanent bond.

2. Using Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat transfer vinyl is a thin layer of polyester materials, HTV vinyl roll has two faces 1. Heat-proof pet film that works as a carrier of vinyl and other faces having a heat-sensitive adhesive.

This process involves the vinyl cutting machine & heat press machine. The intended design to be printed on fabric created a vector & cut into the shape. Once the heat is applied with the help of the heat press machine, the vinyl is stuck to the cotton fabric and the pet film easily peels off.

3. Embroidery

Embroidery is the best branding method for 100% cotton-made fabrics. Limited content embroidery is a good practice. It is a permanent solution to branding. 5-6 color threads can be used easily.

4. Screen Printing

The most popular term for customized t-shirt printing is screen printing. It is recommended for bulk printing. Higher color count t-shirt design print messy. It takes a little more time but the price per unit cost very low.


I (Suresh Kumar) have over 24 years of experience designing, printing, advertising, and printing technology space. During this period I have worked with lots of trusted printing machine brands. Experienced a variety of ink, print media, and post-press equipment .brand. I am fond of grabbing high technology and fast printing equipment even traditional and digital printing machines. Our continuous practice in offline print shops, online printing stores, the latest printing technologies, and learning curiosity made my in-depth knowledge of the printing industry.

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