Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Printable HTV

Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Printable HTV is quite a confusing question because when you dive into the technical part, you find many different aspects. We will go into each of the possible technical aspects in this article, but quickly, in one line, the answer to that question is,

“Yes, you can use Sublimation ink on printable HTV. But it’s not recommended to do so. Always try to use sublimation ink on the sublimation paper, and if you are doing heat transfer printing, then you can use standard ink with printable HTV without any issue”.

can you use sublimation ink on printable HTV?

NOTE: Never use a laser printer with printable HTV. A laser printer will ruin the HTV and design on it as well. Always use an inkjet printer.

What Is Printable HTV?

HTV or Heat Transfer Vinyl is a man-made material, and when someone uses the term Printable HTV, they refer to the sheets made up of vinyl material that can be used for printing and other stuff. There are two types of printable HTV. The first one is for light color materials, and the second one is for dark color materials.

Now before going into details, I always recommend using Printable HTV for dark color materials for any color you want. The reason behind this is that it has a white background which makes the design more visible on the dark color substrates. Apart from that, it will be visible if there is any white spot in the design due to the white HTV sheet.

And on the light-color materials, it’s going to look nice. That’s why using Printable HTV For Dark Materials is the best choice, no matter what color materials you are transferring your design on. 

Check Out Some Printable HTV For Dark Materials Here,

How To Use Printable Heat Transfer Vinyl – Printable HTV Guide

Using printable HTV is quite a simple process, and there are a few steps after which you can have a great printed substrate i.e. t-shirt or sweatshirt using printable HTV. Before that, let’s see what you need in order to do heat transfer printing through printable HTV.

Accessories Needed:

  1. Printable HTV
  2. Inkjet Printer and Ink
  3. Cricut Machine and Cricut Weeding Tool
  4. Heat Press/Transfer Machine
  5. Substrate(i.e. hoodie or t-shirt)
  6. Heat Transfer Mask(only if masking is necessary)

Process Of Printing With Printable HTV

The whole process consists of a few simple steps. Follow each step, step by step, and you will have a great printed substrate via printable HTV.

  1. The first thing is to prepare the design on your computer. Adjust its size according to the Printable HTV Sheets. 
  2. Now, print the design on the HTV sheets using your inkjet printer and ink. Put those sheets into the Cricut machine and start it.
  3. Once the Cricut machine is working, use your Cricut weeding tool to remove the excessive area from the sheet.
  4. Then place the design on the substrate, i.e. hoodie or t-shirt. If your design or image is diving into multiple small areas, you have to do masking to heat transfer it on the substrate at the correct sequence.
  5. Masking is super simple; simply apply the heat transfer mask sheet on your design/image once you are done with your weeding tool and remove the excessive sheet. Remove the heat transfer mask, and the image/design will stick to it due to its stickiness.
  6. Now place your substrate on the heat transfer, put the image on the substrate(i.e. hoodie or shirts), and start the heat pressing process. Use medium pressure and make sure to preheat the heat press machine for 30 seconds at 350 degrees.
  7. Once the heat pressing is done, your image is now transferred to the substrate, and your printable HTV process is done.

NOTE: You must follow the masking step if your image has multiple small designs and needs heat transferred in a sequence. Suppose your image is simple and in one piece, then no need for masking. Skip the masking step and follow the rest.

Heat Transfer Printing VS Sublimation Printing? Benefits Of Each Method

Heat transfer and sublimation printing are the two most used methods of transferring the design. Image onto the substrates like shirts, ceramics, stickers, and other substrates. These two methods have almost a similar process, but the mechanism works entirely differently, and each method’s result/end product has unique features.

Such as, if you do sublimation printing, you won’t feel any layer on the top of your substrate because the ink gets unfused within the substrate during the sublimation process. In heat transfer printing, you will clearly feel the design layer on top of the substrate. Similarly, there are some other differences between them, so let’s look at some major key differences between Heat Transfer Printing and Sublimation Printing.

1. Durability & Feel

When it comes to durability and feel, sublimation printing has more votes. The reason is that there is no layer on top of the substrate, so that you won’t feel anything. Apart from that, it is more long-lasting and permanent than heat transfer printing. 

During sublimation, the ink gets infused within the substrate and becomes the permanent part of that substrate, and in most cases, that design/image lasts as long as the substrate does.

2. Variety Of Substrates

In terms of variety, you can easily prioritize the heat transfer printing method because you can print on anything you want using this method. Whereas within sublimation printing, you are limited to substrates having more than 60% polyester.

Although there are ways to print on cotton, stickers, tumblers, and other materials with sublimation, heat transfer printing still have more substrates than can be printed through that process.

3. Colors & Vibrancy

Colors and vibrancy are two key components when it comes to sublimation printing and heat transfer printing. Because if the image or design won’t get transferred or look in the original color on the substrate like it did before printing, then it will ruin your design as well we the substrate.

That’s why finding which method has better colors and vibrancy is important. So, based on our experience and research, it seems that both sublimation printing and heat transfer printing have the same quality of colors and vibrancy if your image is colorful and has no white in it. 

But if your image has some white designs, then surely sublimation printing is losing here because sublimation can’t print white because no white sublimation ink exists. Thus you also have to use light color substrates for sublimation. And for heat transfer printing, you can use any color substrates and images/designs with any color.


Yes, you can use sublimation ink on printable HTV, but it’s not recommended, so try to avoid this because you might get into some issues that can ruin your printer, substrate, and design. Use an inkjet printer and ink for the printable HTV and sublimation ink and printer for sublimation printing. Both methods and processes are different and made for different purposes, so better to keep them distinct.