2 Effective ways to Sublimate on Dark Shirts

most of people think that sublimation on dark shirt is not possible. here i'm going to explain proper steps how to sublimate on dark shirts with easy methods

What? Won’t sublimation work on dark shirts? Have you ever heard this myth? Well! To be honest, Sublimation printing on dark fabric is tricky. Because sublimation printing doesn’t show up well on dark shirts, to sublimate dark shirts properly, we must use an under base, which is quite tiring. On the other hand, experts have discovered a fantastic approach to sublimate on dark shirts without using an under-base.

If your black lover customers request dark-colored sublimation shirts, you are frustrated by refusing them or refusing to accept orders because Sublimation does not print nicely on black shirts. Do not repeat this mistake! Because we’ve devised an incredible technique for you, and you’ll never have to turn down an order again. So, without further ado, let’s get this party started.

How to do Sublimation on Dark T-Shirts?

Except for the difference in ink and the use of white glitter HTV, Sublimation on dark shirts is very similar to Sublimation on other t-shirts. Instead of sublimation vinyl directly on the shirt, you use either a sublimation vinyl-like EasySubli or glitter white heat transfer vinyl.

Both white glitter HTV and EasySubli printed HTV are white and include polyester, two sublimation requirements. Smooth HTV will not function, but Glitter HTV is required because the glitter particles contain polyester. It’s also good to use polymer-coated fabric or a T-shirt with at least 50% polyester content.

Supplies Required:

  • Sublimation Printer for T-shirts
  • Heat press
  • Dark-colored T-shirt
  • Sublimation ink
  • Sublimation paper
  • Thermal Tape
  • White Glitter HTV
  • Vinyl cutter
  • Lint roller
  • Butcher paper
  • Heat resistant gloves

1. Sublimation on Dark Shirts with HTV

1. Design your image And Print it:

Whenever we do Sublimation, we mirror the image. But in this case, when you are transferring the design directly on the HTV, there is no need to mirror the image. Print the image using one of the best Sublimation printers.

It is preferred to make borderless prints if your image is larger. Make sure to watch out for the print settings. Before printing, apply the HTV on the shirt in the most precise manner. Take sublimation paper, load it into the printer –It has a shiny side and the other matte. Print the design on the matte side of the sublimation paper because the shiny side cannot hold the sublimation ink.

2. Cropping the design:

After printing, let the sublimation paper cool for about a minute. Trim the design using a vinyl cutter according to your dimensions.

3. Prepress:

Roll the lint roller all over the shirt surface to smoothen it. Set the heat press to 360 degrees Fahrenheit and prepress the shirt for about 5 seconds to remove any creases or moisture.

4. Position your design on the shirt:

It is by far the most difficult aspect of Sublimation on black fabric. Only sublimate the exact printed area after weeding out the blank regions from the vinyl. It differs from heat transfer paper in that there is no need to clip off the undesired parts in Heat transfer paper. Peel off the backing (exposing the adhesive side) before pressing to avoid ghosting. After peeling, position your transfer onto the t-shirt and adhere it to its place.

5. Press it:

Put your butcher paper on the top of the transfer and press it for 60 seconds at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The butcher paper keeps the vinyl from coming into touch with the heat press. Remove the shirt from the press when the timer goes off, and carefully take away the sublimation transfer paper (it’s hot). Use heat-resistant gloves to take out the shirt, and your sublimation dark shirt is ready to launch!


Unfortunately, this is a concern with this procedure because you can’t see through the sublimation paper to determine if your placement is perfect on the HTV. So, keep a close eye on the design during placement.

2. Sublimation on Dark or Black Shirts Using a Fabric Sheet

This is a different way to print on black colors. It’s as easy as the previous one, except for the sublimation paper. Don’t forget to grab a fabric sheet if you’re performing Sublimation on dark-colored shirts.


NOTE: print and press in the same manner as in the preceding approach with the few below-given exceptions.

  • Just swap the sublimation paper and use a fabric sheet in place of it. Make sure the sticky and printable sides of the fabric sheet are correctly positioned in your printer before printing. Allow your fabric sheet output to sit for two hours after printing.
  • Use an automated blade, such as the Cameo, or a scissor to crop it.
  • Set the heat press to 385 degrees Fahrenheit and press the tee for 60 seconds using medium pressure.
  • Wear heat gloves to remove the shirt, and your results will be right in front of your eyes.

Also Read: Most common Sublimation Problems

Tips and Tricks

  • When sublimating on dark shirts, use a light-colored design.
  • Wash dark shirts in cold water and dry them in a dryer for long-lasting color.
  • Cover the Sublimation with foil and iron it on low heat while ironing.
  • Remove the foil carefully by tugging from one corner until all pieces are removed, then wait five minutes before removing it.
  • When sublimating onto shirts, always use high-quality heat press vinyl since lower brands may not work as well and may peel off early.
  • To print an image from the internet, download it and then view it in your editing software, where you can change the colors before transferring the photos.
  • Before wearing or washing your shirt again, let the design dry overnight.


You must have realized that the above statement is a complete myth. Dark colors are nearly impossible to print by sublimation t-shirt printing services, but with the correct supplies and techniques, you can do it. If you sell shirts or want to offer something like Sublimation on dark shirts as part of a t-shirt business, I recommend investing in this process instead.

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