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. 

Cardstock is a kind of thick paper that is often used for making greeting cards, invitations, and other types of paper crafts. It is usually made from recycled paper pulp and is available in a variety of shades, colors, and textures. Cardstock is also sometimes used as a backing for photographs or as a lining for scrapbook pages. It is thicker than ordinary paper but thinner than cardboard. 

The surface of the cardstock is good for painting and printing but not for sublimating. In fact, trying to sublimate on normal cardstock will only result in unsatisfactory results, and the colors of the image will not be bright and appealing. 

Cardstock for sublimation printing is specifically made for it. This is the kind that has a polymer coating on it. Cardstock for sublimation 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.

Cardstock in its normal form will not give you the desired sublimation results, the absence of the polymer will not accept the sublimation ink completely, and the final image on the cardstock will not be pleasant.  

How To Sublimate On Cardstock

If you are already familiar with the sublimation procedure, then switching to cardstock shouldn’t be a problem.

Quick Glance At The Materials Required For Sublimation

  1. Sublimation Paper and Sublimation Ink
  2. Software for creating your designs.
  3. Printer for printing your desired image on sublimation paper.
  4. A Standard Heat Press or an Easy Press.
  5. Butcher paper or Teflon sheets
  6. Heat tape

Procedure Of Sublimation On Cardstock

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

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. If the cardstock that you will be using is not coated, then you can do so yourself. 

Take a lamination sheet and place it on the card stock. Keep both the sheets aligned well, on the heat press, between the Butcher sheets (or Teflon sheets), and press for 15 seconds with a temperature of 400F.

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

It is an added procedure when you can sublimate on cardstock directly if you have the correct type. But this tip will come in handy in case you run out of the sublimating cardstock or dont have one. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can You Sublimate On White Cardstock?

You can sublimate on white cardstock or any color, for that matter, 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 dynamic and good.

2. Can you sublimate on glitter cardstock?

The procedure of sublimation on 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; hence you will find only coated glitter cardstock for sublimation. 

To Wrap It Up

So can you sublimate on cardstock? Yes, you can sublimate on cardstock as long as it is coated with PVC or any kind of plastic. You can get the type from the suppliers or prepare one yourself. 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 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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