What Is Thermal Sublimation? How To Do Sublimation On Tumblers?

November 09, 2021
What Is Thermal Sublimation? How To Do Sublimation On Tumblers?

What is thermal sublimation?

In scientific terminology, sublimation is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gaseous state without passing through the liquid state.

Thermal Sublimation: as the name suggests is a printing method in which the graphics on the intermediate carrier film are transferred to the substrate using the corresponding pressure, and according to the different pressure used, the transfer can be divided into water transfer, thermal transfer, air transfer, screen transfer, low-temperature transfer, and so on. Among them, thermal transfer is the portrait, landscape and other arbitrary images using thermal transfer ink (i.e., thermal sublimation ink) printed on color inkjet paper (or thermal sublimation special inkjet printing paper), or ordinary ink printed on adhesive film thermal transfer paper, and then heated to a certain temperature within a few minutes by thermal transfer heating equipment, the pattern on the paper realistic color transfer to digital plastic, ceramic, glass, metal, cotton and textile materials A special process.

The printing of thermal transfer film adopts dot printing and also printing out, the pattern is pre-printed on the surface of the film, the printing pattern has rich layers, bright colors, flexible, small color difference, good reproducibility, can achieve the effect required by the design of the pattern, and is suitable for mass production; the processing of thermal transfer printing is currently done through an automated thermal transfer machine once processing (heating and pressure) to transfer the beautiful pattern on the transfer film on the The surface of the product, the ink layer and the product surface dissolve into one after forming, no need to set color, simple operation, good added value, good decoration, environmental protection and realistic, can be applied to many products appearance treatment according to the requirements of CMF, add elements to your products, enhance the product grade.

Heat transfer production process:


Step 1. Create high resolution images with professional equipment and design software;

Step 2. Make a dot gravure electro-engraving plate according to the picture size;

Step 3. Install the gravure plate on the printing machine to print on PET polyester film that is printed into thermal transfer film, an hour can print thousands of meters of finished patterns.

Step 4. Install the heat transfer flower film on the heat transfer stamping machine for printing, easy to operate, the pattern is formed once, no need to set color.

A heat transfer stamping machine can print out tens of thousands of products in 8 working hours a day.

Can be applied to ABS, PE, PP, EVA, leather, stainless steel, glass, wood, coated metal.

Digital heat transfer production process:

Step 1 . Create a high resolution image;

Step 2. Print the pattern on the thermal transfer paper through the thermal transfer printer, hundreds of meters per hour;

Step 3. Use common machinery such as stamping machine to print the pattern on the product, easy to operate, the pattern is formed once, no need to overlay color;Suitable for PET, ABS, PP, leather, ceramic coated cups


Sublimation printing is a new generation technology that uses special sublimation inks and sublimation transfer paper. Sublimation ink is a mixture of highly viscous solid dye particles in a carrier liquid. During the printing process, the sublimation process occurs when heat and pressure are applied to the solid dye embedded in the transfer medium. If printed on clothing, the ink sublimates directly into the clothing fibers with the same durability as dyed fabric, and the colors are vibrant, better suited for colorful patterns, last longer, and do not crack or peel over time like other printing methods.

What Is A Sublimation Tumbler?

Because sublimation printing is easy to operate, low cost and the technology is quick to get started, many manual enthusiasts will make it at home. Some of the most popular sublimation blanks in the market are mugs and tumblers. All of these are coated with a special polymer coating. Under the high temperature, the pattern on the sublimation paper will be sublimated to the tumblers.

How To Do Sublimation On Tumblers?

Here we are sharing with you the fast two ways to do the sublimation work on the tumblers.

1. Tumbler Sublimation Printing With Heat Gun:

Materials You Need:

Sublimation Papers, Sublimation Tumbler Blanks, Heat Gun, Heat Resistant Tape, Water

● Step One: Wet the sublimation paper.

● Step Two: Wrap the bottle with wet sublimation paper and make sure the pattern is facing down.

● Step Three: Tape the sublimation paper tightly.

● Step Four: Heat the bottle with a heat gun for about three minutes.

● Step Five: Take off the sublimation paper.

2.Tumbler Sublimation Printing With Oven:

Materials You Need:

Sublimation Papers, Sublimation Tumbler Blanks or Blank Water Bottle, Water, Cotton Thread

● Step One: Wet the sublimation paper.

● Step Two: Wrap the bottle with the wet sublimation paper and make sure the pattern is facing down.

● Step Three: Wrap the bottle with the copy paper.

● Step Four: Use the rope to fasten the sublimation paper on the bottle body.

● Step Five: Put into the oven at a temperature under 160 degrees for 20 minutes.

● Step Six: Take off the sublimation paper.


1. Can you sublimate on any stainless steel?

In order to obtain the best sublimation effect, it is best to use it together with polyester materials.

It can be used with a range of materials with professional polymer coatings, such as those found on mugs, mousepads, tumblers, etc.

2. What are the disadvantages of sublimation printing?

One of the core limitations of sublimation is the color of the material. Because sublimation is essentially a dyeing process, you will get the best results when the fabric is white or light-colored. If you want to print on black or dark materials, it is best to use a digital printing solution.

3. Can you sublimate a tumbler twice?

Tumblers can be sublimated to any number of times as they don’t get damaged, however, you must know that the previous print image will appear as a ghost image in the background when it is reheated.

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