Part 1: What Makes the Best Sublimation Paper?
Selecting the right type of sublimation paper can improve your printing, saving time and money.
Here are a few critical points that make the best sublimation paper.
Ink Capacity and Limits
The ink limit of the paper is crucial. If the ink limit is high (wet), the paper should be heavier to absorb the ink without issues like curling or warping.
For complex designs with a mix of heavy and light ink, lightweight papers may lead to curling and shifting after pressing. To avoid this, use 110gsm or higher paper to handle heavy and light inks effectively.
Roll to Roll or Roll to Sheet
If using a calendar heat press, low-gsm papers are preferred. However, it is important to consider the capacity and limitations for heavy ink usage, as this may cause warping and curling.
The printing speed directly impacts the quality of the paper produced. Fast printing produces lightweight paper, while slow printing produces thicker paper.
Besides the above two points, you must consider the best sublimation paper as per the working environment humidity.
Low Humidity (below 45%): Low humidity causes the paper to shrink and thus a hunched-up print side. So, the paper absorbs ink, leading to the hunch-up effect. A higher-weight paper, like 100gsm and 120gsm, is more rigid and susceptible to print-head damage. In contrast, 80gsm paper is softer and can alleviate the hunch-up, protecting your print head from damage.
High Humidity (above 70%): In high humidity conditions, opt for 110-120gsm paper. The decreased stiffness and hardness can impede smooth printing if you use a low-weight sublimation paper. Therefore, during high humidity, higher gsm paper is the ideal choice.
Part 2: Sublimation paper recommendation
In my opinion, HTVRONT Sublimation paper stands as one of the best choice for your sublimation needs. With the paper, you can effortlessly transfer your favorite images onto various surfaces like T-shirts, pillows, bags, ceramic mugs, phone cases, puzzles, metal plates, and keychains.
Experience the convenience of extremely fast drying and greater ink-saving performance with HTVRONT Sublimation paper. It ensures precision in your transfer applications and is in the package for ease and accuracy.
If you prioritize printer compatibility, the best sublimation paper for you would be HTVRONT. This paper type excels in size, measuring 13″ x 19″, which is ideal for larger surfaces.
Let’s delve into the features of this paper.
One great advantage is that HTVRONT sublimation paper works seamlessly with any inkjet printer.
- You can use it with Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500, printers HP, Canon, Epson, and others; the print quality and transfer rate will be outstanding.
- For the best results, use HTVRONT sublimation ink, particularly on light-colored fabrics like canvas bags, t-shirts, pillows, etc. It is perfect with a substrate of less than 30% cotton content.
HTVRONT sublimation paper is affordable, too, and offers various options.
- For example, a pack of 120 sheets measuring 13″ x 19″ will cost less than $0.30.
- For smaller substrates like mugs or crop tops, the 8.5″ x 11″ pack of 120 sheets will cost merely $0.13 per sheet.
- Minimal to zero bleeding, saving almost 20% of your yearly paper usage.
- The uniform 125 gsm basis weight also allows it to work well with sublimation blanks beyond fabric.
HTVRONT sublimation paper is the go-to paper for a wide range of sublimation blanks just that you should maintain the ideal temperature depending on the printing material.
- The range can go as low as 280-350 degrees Fahrenheit for standard ceramic mugs.
- For textiles with less than 30% cotton content, keep the temperature range to 356-392 degrees Fahrenheit.
- A range of 20 to 50 psi is mostly suitable for pressure settings.
- Lastly, the time under the heat press may vary from 0 to 4 minutes, depending on the substrate.
HTVRONT has proven an impressive high transfer rate of 98%. The coating on this paper is slightly thicker than others, which lowers the likelihood of bleeding. Its optimal tackiness dries the ink dries in less than a minute during usage.
In short, this paper type saves ink and also stays rigid without curling, ensuring the best transfer quality.
- Excellent transfer rate of 98%.
- It works with most printers and substrates.
- Distinguishable logo pattern to identify the right side.
- No curling or bleeding issues.
- Prone to fingerprints.
- Colors may appear less vibrant on materials with more than 30% cotton content.
- It works best with HTVRONT ink.
Part 3: Best Sublimation Paper Settings
Correct temperature and pressure settings for vibrant and accurate transfers are a must, even with the best sublimation paper and the most beautiful design.
Sublimation Heat Press and Temperature Settings Table:
|Polyester||400°F||35-40 seconds||40 psi|
|Ceramic||350-400°F||150-210 seconds||40 psi|
|Metal||400°F||60-80 seconds||40 psi|
|Hardwood||360-400°F||40-80 seconds||40 psi|
|MDF (fibreboard)||400°F||80-90 seconds||40 psi|
|Plywood||400°F||60-70 seconds||40 psi|
|Fiber-reinforced plastic||380-400°F||60-75 seconds||40 psi|
Thus, each sublimation material has specific temperature, timing, and pressure settings to complete the design transfer from the best sublimation paper.
- Polyester: Polyester is an excellent substrate for sublimation due to its strong bond with sublimation ink. For best results, set the heat press to 400°F for 35-40 seconds at a medium pressure of 40 psi.
- Ceramic: Ceramic sublimation requires a heat press to accommodate the product’s design. Set the heat press to a temperature range of 350-400°F at 40 psi pressure. The transfer process may take longer, typically between 150-210 seconds.
- Metal: Metal sublimation produces shiny and detailed results. Before sublimating on metal surfaces, remove any plastic coating. Set the heat press to 400°F and press the design for 60-80 seconds at a medium pressure of 40 psi.
- Hardboard and MDF: For hardboard, an engineered wood product, press the design for 40-80 seconds at a temperature range of 360-400°F with medium pressure (40 psi). MDF requires pressing at 400°F for 80-90 seconds with medium pressure.
- Plywood: Remove the plastic coating and clean the surface before sublimating the plywood. Set the heat press to 400°F and press the design for 60-70 seconds at a medium pressure of 40 psi.
- Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP): FRP requires a slightly longer pressing time than MDF. Press the design for 60-75 seconds at a temperature range of 380-400°F with medium pressure (40 psi).
Follow the above paper settings for outstanding sublimation printing results with the best sublimation paper.
Part 4: Summary
That was all you need to know about the best sublimation paper. We discussed how to get the best out of a sublimation paper, choose one, and the ideal paper settings.
So, try our recommendedations and we hope you see exceptional results at home!