Can You Sublimate On Black Shirts? How To Do It Right Way?

Can you do sublimation on black shirts? Yes, you can, but either you need to print your design on a transfer sheet (HTV) and then press it onto the garment. Or you can use the bleach method to change the color of the t-shirt from dark to white.

Can You Sublimate On Black Shirts

Below we’ll share both methods. The first is using Easy Subli Paper; it’s more affordable because you don’t need much equipment and items. And the second is using bleach.

How To Sublimate On Black T-Shirt? Easy Subli Paper Method 

Things You Need 

  1. Cricut Maker Machine
  2. Sublimation Printer
  3. Siser Easy Subli Paper
  4. Siser Easy Subli Mask Transfer Tape
  5. Heat Press
  6. Butcher Paper

Step One – Create The Design

First, create the design you want to print using your favorite software/tool. I personally use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You can even download copy-right-free images if you don’t want to design your own right now.

Step Two – Print The Design

Once you have the design, use the Cricut maker software. Import the image, and set the size according to the t-shirt. Don’t use the mirror image setting at this time. Print the image on Siser Easy Subli Paper and wait until the ink dries.

Note: All HTV sheets have two sides; one will be shiny the second will be rough. You’ve to print on the rough side.

Step Three – Use Cricut Maker Machine

After the ink dries, use a Cricut maker machine and weed out the extra paper apart from the design. Before weeding out, check the setting of the Cricut maker and set the right pressure and speed. The machine will automatically cut your design well in a few moments.

Then remove the extra paper with your hands. Once you weed out, you’ll only see the design on a transparent shiny sheet.

Step Four – Sublimate Your Image

In the last, use the Easy Subli Mask Transfer tape and attach the adhesive side to the front side of the Siser Easy Subli Paper. Press the tape with a lint roller so the tape and the design can attach to each other. Later on, after a few seconds, remove the tape carefully; in this process, the design will come on the tape adhesive side.

Set the temperature to 310 °F in your heat press. Place the t-shirt, put the tape on it and then add butcher paper on the top.

The adhesive side of the tape that has the design should touch the t-shirt surface. Press the heat platen on the shirt for about 15-30 seconds, and your sublimation design on the black t-shirt is ready.

Note: After sublimating, remove the tape; the design has already merged with the t-shirt.

How To Sublimate On a Black T-Shirt? Bleach Method

Things You Need

  • Sublimation Paper 
  • Vinyl 
  • Bleach
  • Cricut Maker Machine
  • Sublimation Printer 
  • Peroxide
  • Gloves
  • Heat-Resistant Tape  
  • Butcher Paper
  • Heat Press
  • Heat Gun

Step One – Print the Image & Use Cricut Maker

Again the first step is similar; you have to create an image and then print it on the sublimation paper. Use the same image file from your computer, and weed out the vinyl or also the sublimation paper as per the image with a Cricut maker. 

Afterward, peel the shiny side of the vinyl and place it safely because, in the next step, we’ll use this side. Now we’ve two things; one is the colorful design of the sublimation paper. The second is a vinyl sheet.

Note: In this process, it’s important to use the mirror setting while printing the design on sublimation paper. 

Step Two – Bleach Your T-Shirt 

Find a big pizza box or any other medium-sized carton. Put your T-shirt on the carton box. Attach the shiny vinyl side to the t-shirt where you want to sublimate the design. Use butcher paper all over the shirt with the help of tape, except for the vinyl sheet part. This is to save the T-shirt from bleach. 

Transfer the bleach into a spray bottle and spray the t-shirt part where you’ll sublimate. Hold the heat gun and apply its heat where you’ve sprayed the bleach; it will activate the bleach faster. Once the bleach dries and you see a little bit of white-colored, spray the bleach again and then use the heat gun. Repeat this process until the part where you have to sublimate becomes white. Later on, use peroxide, and spray it to stop the bleaching process. 

Step Three – Sublimate The Images Or Design 

When the peroxide spray dries, it’s time to see the magic of the heat press machine. Therefore, hold the sublimation paper design and attach it upside down to the bleached part of the t-shirt with heat-resistant tape. Set the heat press machine at 385 °F for about 60 seconds and sublimate the designs on black t-shirts. 

How Much Does It Cost To Sublimate On Dark T-Shirts? 

The cost of sublimation on dark shirts depends on which method you are using. If you’re sublimating with the Easy Subli paper method, then all you need are butcher papers, Subli Paper sheets, and masks. These things easily come under $50 – $80 (machines not included).

While for the bleach method, you need around $100 – $120 (machines not included) because you also have to purchase a heat gun. In addition, in both methods, Cricut makers are also needed, that’s costly (around $300 – $400). 

Final Words 

So yes, you can sublimate on a black shirt. It’s not a difficult process, but you have to do everything carefully, particularly while bleaching and removing the excess vinyl part. Our suggestion is for you to sublimate on an extra dark color t-shirt for practice; if it works well, then proceed further.

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