Sublimation and Heat Transfer Paper: What is the Difference? {GUIDE}

In today’s tutorial we are going to talk about the difference between customizing with SUBLIMATION and HEAT TRANSFER PAPER. I have received many questions on this topic and I look forward to answering your concerns.

Sublimation and Heat Transfer Paper: What is the Difference? {Complete GUIDE}


First Let’s Talk About Which Printers Can Be Used to Customize with Sublimation and Heat Transfer Paper

To customize with HEAT TRANSFER PAPER, you will need a laser or inkjet printer of any brand. I use a Canon Pixma Megatank printer for this process.

Sublimation and Heat Transfer Paper: What is the Difference? {Complete GUIDE}

While for the custom with SUBLIMATION, you will need a special printer for sublimation or you could also convert a printer that does not use heat technology when printing. For example, most Epson EcoTank printers don’t use heat when printing so you could convert one of these new printers for sublimation. If you would like to learn about the process of converting an Epson EcoTank printer to sublimation, I invite you to watch my tutorials on my channel. I use an EPSON EcoTank et15000 printer that I have converted to a sublimation printer and I am very happy with its performance

Sublimation and Heat Transfer Paper: What is the Difference? {Complete GUIDE}


To personalize with HEAT TRANSFER PAPER, you can use the ink that comes with the inkjet or Laser printer. That is, conventional printing ink.

Sublimation and Heat Transfer Paper: What is the Difference? {Complete GUIDE}

On the other hand, to personalize with SUBLIMATION you will need special ink for sublimation. I use Hiipoo sublimation ink.

Sublimation and Transfer Paper: What is the Difference? {Complete GUIDE}


For the HEAT TRANSFER PAPER customization, transfer paper is obviously used. This comes in two types: transfer paper to customize dark fabrics and transfer paper to customize light colors or white. There are a wide variety of very good brands on the market. [Make sure you order the right transfer paper for your printer. For laser or inkjet] I use transfer paper for dark colors from the A-SUB and HIIPOO brands. To customize white t-shirts, I use the PEN GEAR brand that I found at Walmart.

Sublimation and Transfer Paper: What is the Difference? {Complete GUIDE}

Instead, to personalize with SUBLIMATION you will need special paper for sublimation. There are also a wide variety of brands that you could choose from, but I like to use the ASUB and HIIPOO sublimation paper. They are my two favorites.

Sublimation and Transfer Paper: What is the Difference? {Complete GUIDE}

What materials could we customize with Heat Transfer Paper and Sublimation:

With HEAT TRANSFER PAPER you can customize any type of fabric. For example: cotton, polyester, cotton-poly blends and in the colors you want.

On the other hand, with the SUBLIMATION technique you are limited to customizing fabrics from 65% polyester and above and in white or very light colors.

The advantage of sublimation is that you can also personalize hard surfaces such as mugs, tumblers, tiles, wood and much more. Find a variety of sublimation tutorials in my channel.

Transfer Process:

With the HEAT TRANSFER PAPER, it is necessary to cut around it either with scissors or with a plotter cutter if you have one. To transfer the design, you will need a home iron, heat press or easy press. If you use a home iron and the design is larger than the iron, it will take a little longer than indicated since you will have to iron, add pressure and if possible, with movements to cover the design.

Unlike SUBLIMATION you will be able to transfer the design without cutting around. To transfer the design, it is necessary to use a heat press that is larger than the design since you have to press at once, put pressure and without movement to obtain a very clean and sharp sublimation.

If you would like to see the transfer process of both Sublimation and Heat Paper Transfer techniques, I invite you to watch my video tutorial on my YouTube channel.

Video Tutorial Diferencia entre Sublimación y Papel Transfer | Proceso

FREE download of the design used for the video tutorial [click here].


The durability for the two customization techniques is different.

The customization with HEAT TRANSFER PAPER adds a layer on top of the garment. The transfer paper for dark colors is thicker than the one for light colors. This may deteriorate over time as it is washed. Not all transfer paper brands are created equal. There are some that last much longer than others.

While customizing with SUBLIMATION, the ink is absorbed and becomes part of the garment and remains vivid and bright even after washing. 


HEAT TRANSFER PAPER customization may be the most economical. It is possible that you already have a printer and iron and you would only have to buy the transfer paper and the garments, whether they are in dark colors or white.

On the other hand, with SUBLIMATION you would have to have a printer with special sublimation ink, sublimation paper, a heat press that is larger than the design you are going to press and other accessories for sublimation. Like for example, heat-resistant tape, white packing paper, etc.

Conclusion on Customizing with Transfer Paper and Sublimation:

In my opinion, both TRANSFER PAPER and SUBLIMATION are a great customization option for fabric garments. I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you so that you can choose the custom method that best suits your needs.

Please don’t forget to support my blog and YouTube channel by subscribing and liking. In this way you help me to continue working and publishing tutorials like this one. Thanks in advance!

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By Daisy Multifacética

About: Daisy Multifacética
Como Hacer Tortillero Térmico de Tela {Guia Completa Paso a Paso}


This is Daisy from Daisy Multifacética Blog and YouTube Channel.  I am passionate about creating a variety of projects at home. One day I can be doing crafts, another day sewing a garment, customizing items, working with wood, painting, designing custom images or cooking for my family. 

My days are definitely not routine but I enjoy them to the fullest doing what I love the most.

It gives me joy to be able to share my knowledge with you through my tutorials and feel blessed to know that they are helpful to you.


¡¡Hola Bienvenidos!!

Soy Daisy del blog y canal de YouTube de Daisy Multifacética.  Como algunos de ustedes saben, me encanta hacer manualidades. Me apasiona crear una variedad de proyectos en casa. Un día puedo estar haciendo manualidades, otro día cosiendo una prenda, personalizando productos, trabajando con madera, pintando, diseñando imágenes personalizadas o cocinando para mi familia. 

Definitivamente mis días no son rutinarios, pero los disfruto al máximo haciendo lo que más amo. 

Me alegra poder compartir mis conocimientos con ustedes a través de mis tutoriales y me siento bendecida de saber que son útiles para ustedes.


Creativity is intelligence having fun

Albert Einstein

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