What Kind Of Cardstock Is Used For Sublimation? How To Use?

You can definitely sublimate on cardstock, as long as the type of cardstock you use has a polymer coating. The primarily used polymer on cardstock is PVC, which also gives it a shiny and glossy finish. Trying to sublimate on standard cardstock will provide you with bland and dull colors.

Cardstock for sublimation is easily available in the market. Still, suppose you are not able to grab your hands on one, in that case, we will be providing tips and tricks for sublimating on regular cardstock to get the exact vibrant results. Furthermore, the procedure of sublimating on cardstock is the same as you would generally sublimate any other material. 

What Kind Of Cardstock Is Used For Sublimation Printing?

Can you sublimate on cardstock

To rightly know what type of cardstock is required to carry out the sublimation process, you need to first understand what exactly cardstock is made up of. 

It is usually made from recycled paper pulp and is available in a variety of shades, colors, and textures. The surface of the cardstock is good for painting and printing but not for sublimating.

Cardstock that is used for sublimation printing is specifically made for it. It has a polymer coating on it and is mostly coated with PVC or any plastic. The reason we need a polymer or a substrate on the cardstock is that sublimation printing is only possible if you use a material that can absorb sublimation ink in its gaseous state.

How To Sublimate On Cardstock

The sublimation process is the same as it’s on any other material.

Quick Glance At The Materials Required For Sublimation

  1. Cardstock Paper Pack
  2. Thermal Laminating Pouches
  3. Sublimation Paper
  4. A Standard Heat Press or an Easy Press
  5. Butcher paper or Teflon sheets
  6. Heat tape
  7. Parchment paper

Procedure Of Sublimation On Cardstock (Without Lamination)

The process of sublimating on cardstock is the same as we sublimate on polyester or the way we carry out sublimation on acrylic. The polyester or the acrylic needs to be replaced with cardstock, and you will be using the same materials and method.

1. Measure Size

Measure the size of the cardstock where your image will be printed. This is to make sure that the size of your image corresponds to the size of the cardstock it will be transferred to.

2. Print Image

Use images with high resolution for best results. I use 300 dpi. Mirror your images before printing.

Print the image on sublimation paper and attach it to the cardstock with the image facing down onto the cardstock surface.

3. Secure Cardstock Properly

Use heat tape to secure the cardstock and paper together to keep them well aligned.

4. Heatpress

Place the cardstock between the Butcher sheets or Teflon sheets on the heat press. The temperature and time on the heat press for sublimating on cardstock will be: 400° F for 15 seconds or 385° F for 20 seconds.

5. Remove And Cool

    6.   Remove the cardstock from the Heat Press and let it cool down for a few minutes. That’s it!

 A Few Important Things To Remember When Sublimating On Cardstock

  • Always make your image a few millimeters bigger so that your final image does not have any indentations.
  • Print your image in the flipped version to get the correct image on the cardstock. The image is placed face-down on the surface of the cardstock. Hence it has to be flipped to get the correct side of the image on your project. 

What To Do If You Do Not Have The Right Cardstock – Can You Laminate Cardstock?

Suppose you cannot find cardstock that is coated with a polymer. You can coat the cardstock with a lamination sheet to make it appropriate for sublimation.

Take a lamination sheet and place it on the cardstock. Cover the front of the cardstock paper with the laminated sheet. The shining side should be upside and the matte side should be touching the paper.

First, put a Teflon sheet, then cardstock, then laminate sheet with the shining side up, then tape down them. Then use parchment paper for protection.

Now heat press at 400 °F for 10 seconds. Do some test runs to find the perfect settings for you.

The lamination sheet will adhere to the cardstock permanently, giving you a surface that is perfect for sublimation.

Note: Stick the lamination sheet very carefully, otherwise there would be bubbles between the laminate and the paper.

Now place sublimation paper on laminated cardstock and use heat-resistant tape to stick them. Then use parchment paper for protection.

Heatpress at 400 °F for 30-35 sec. Do some test runs to find the perfect settings for you.

Remove it from the heat press and let it cool down for a few minutes and that’s it. It’s ready!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can You Sublimate On White Cardstock?

You can sublimate on white cardstock or any color as long as it has a polymer coating on it. Without a PVC or plastic coating, the sublimation ink will not transfer to the cardstock completely, and the result will not be good enough.

2. Can you sublimate on glitter cardstock?

Yes, you can! The procedure of sublimating glitter cardstock is the same as normal cardstock, the only thing that matters is the PVC coating on it. But be assured, glitter cardstock is mostly available with a polymer coating as it keeps the glitter in place on the cardstock. Without the coating, the glitter will easily wear off.

To Wrap It Up

Sublimating on cardstock helps in creating wonderful pieces of paper craft, and the most common one is designing notebook covers, especially using glitter cardstock. This artwork works great as a gift for friends and family. We hope that the compiled information has resolved your query and guided you undoubtedly. Happy Sublimating!

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