Sublimation ink is mainly used with inkjet printers or printers that have removable ink cartridges in them. The ink is poured into the printer and then printed on the paper called sublimation paper or heat transfer paper. After the printing, the printed image then gets transferred onto the substrate such as a shirt with the help of a heat press machine.
You might ask if sublimation ink can be used with any printer or if can I use any ink for sublimation or the questions like these. If yes, then keep on reading this guide on the sublimation ink and everything about that.
The very first question is how is the sublimation ink different from the regular ink? Well, regular ink does not have some qualities that are found in sublimation ink. Such as sublimation ink can change its state from solid to gas without being into a liquid when it’s heated. And once that is done, it then gets absorbed by the substrate on which you wanna sublimate.
While regular or standard ink can not be used like this. It does not have such a feature found in it yet. That’s the biggest reason why sublimation ink can not be replaced with regular ink.
Can Sublimation Printing Be Done Without Sublimation Ink?
The on-point answer is NO! Sublimation printing can not be done without the sublimation ink. The reason is simple, sublimation printing requires a special process in which ink should be transferred from a paper to the substrate. And this can not be done with the regular ink.
The quality of changing its state from solid to gas with heating is only found in the sublimation ink and thus it’s the only ink that can be used in the process of sublimation printing.
There are mainly two types of sublimation ink that are quite famous. One is standard sublimation ink and the other is Anti UV Sublimation ink. Both are great and both of them give awesome results. I personally have explained both of them individually with every minor detail anyone can possibly imagine, so do check them out by clicking on the Sublimation Ink and Anti UV Sublimation ink.
Can You Use Sublimation Ink In Any Printer For Sublimation Printing?
No, you can not just use the sublimation ink in any random printer. The best thing would be to use a sublimation printer for that and if not then an inkjet printer. You need to convert a standard inkjet printer into a sublimation printer simply by changing the ink tanks or cartridges of the printer with the sublimation ink cartridges. Run a few test prints and boom. You have your own converted sublimation printer ready.
Qualities Of The HIgh-Quality Sublimation Ink
There are many ways to identify if the sublimation ink is good enough to generate the best results you are looking for or not. Some of the qualities that should be present in the ink are mentioned below. Check if these are available in the sublimation ink you are going to buy and if yes then go for it. The ink is perfect for you.
- Must be from a well-known brand such as Hiipoo or INKXPRO.
- The ink should be using the latest 3-layer filtration technology. It will make sure that the ink won’t be blocked in the print head of the printer.
- At least a 90% positive rating from the customers of that particular ink.
- Should not be too expensive. Most of the sublimation inks are budget-friendly so search more for them instead of just buying too expensive.
- The expiration date of the ink must not be near. Like it has to be at least a year till it will be expiring.
- Check the compatibility of the ink with your printer and if it can be used with the substrate on which you want to use it.
- Presence of features like long0lastingness, vivid colours, bright image printing, no fading, waterproof, crack-free, and no smudging. If all the above-mentioned qualities are present in the sublimation ink then go for that ink without any doubt. That’s the perfect sublimation ink you can find anywhere.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Sublimation Ink and Its Usage
Q No.1: Can I use sublimation ink in a normal printer?
No. you can use sublimation ink in a sublimation printer or an inkjet printer only.
Q No.2: Can you use a Cricut for sublimation?
Yes, you can use Cricut designs for sublimation.
Q No.3: Is sublimation better than vinyl?
Sublimation and vinyl, both of them, have their own advantages and disadvantages. But if general sublimation has a bit higher startup cost yet it is more rewarding as well.
Q No.4: Can you feel sublimation on a shirt?
No, you won’t feel any layer of printed design or ink on the shirt if it is sublimated. Because during the sublimation the ink gets absorbed by the shirt and becomes the permanent part of it without leaving any kind of layer or something on top of the shirt.
Q No.5: Do you need a heat press for sublimation?
Yes, you need a heat press machine for sublimation printing.