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5. How does Sublimation Transfer Printing Work? Sublimation doesn’t use any liquid in the process. Inks heated from their solid-state on the sublimation paper, convert straight to a gas. It is a printing method that bonds to poly fibres, and because the poly fibres have been heated, the pores expand. These open pores then allow the gas into them, which then fuses to the fabric itself, before resuming its solid-state. This makes the ink part of the fibres themselves, rather than just a layer printed on the top. 6. What Are the Steps of Using Thermal Transfer Paper to make a T-shirt? Sublimation is a two-step process. Firstly, you need to print your design onto the sublimation paper, using specialist sublimation dyes. The image would need to be mirrored, but don’t worry about that, Contrado does that for you when you place your order, so all you need to do is create your design as you want it to look when it’s finished. Then you need to press the design from your paper onto your t-shirt (or fabric or surface). This is done using a heat press which applies either heat and pressure, or heat and a vacuum. Once pressed, simply remove the transfer paper, and voila, your t-shirt is printed. Sublimation is best suited to white or light-coloured fabric bases. You can use it on darker shades, however, it will affect your colours. White ink is not used in sublimation printing. White parts of the design remain unprinted which shows the base colour of the textile. The benefit of sublimation over heat transfer printing is that there is a much broader range of colours. This means that you could print your background colour onto the fabric rather than use a different coloured fabric, and because of the advanced printing methods, the material would feel exactly the same.