trying to transfer Sublimation image on cotton t-shirts its one of the common mistakes that newbie can make in this game. And I am not surprised 🙂
Cotton t-shirt are normally 3 times cheaper than dedicated t-shirt for sublimation printing, so no brainer that people trying it first. Unfortunately sublimation process will only work on polyester rich fabrics. So more polyester in t-shirt – better quality of the print.
But what to do if you customers don’t want to wear sublimation (polyester) t-shirt? there is a way!
There is a company www.sublitocotton.co.uk that came out with this great idea of sublimation polymer powder. Powder is used to cover image printed on sublimation RICOH (only) printer and special sublicotton paper and then transfer it to 100% cotton fabric as you would on sublimation t-shirt! There was many attempts to try print cotton t-shirt with sublimation inks with some odd ideas before so i decided to give it a go and see if it really works. Great priced gildan 100% cotton t-shirt used for this video. In my opinion are the best for the price and quality is superb!
Please watch short video showing you this simple process of printing with sublicotton.

From seller website:

The result therefore is that where there is no printing on the paper and no polymer powder then nothing can be transferred into the cotton item meaning there is no ‘hand’ or ‘feel’ which is always the case with other transfer methods where the whole sheet of transfer paper is a carrier of the inks and the adhesion process to the cotton garment (for example laser transfers, ChromaBlast, standard ink transfer papers).

Once the image has been coated in the polymer coating the image is laid carefully to the cotton item, pressed at 190 degrees C for 40 seconds using medium/ firm pressure. This is a COLD peal process so once you have printed and removed the item from your press, allow to cool completely and then peal back the transfer paper in a diagonal fashion to remove the SubliCotton paper from the garment and the vibrant image will be transferred.

You will note that the vast majority of the inks are removed from the SubliCotton transfer paper.




UPDATE:

T-shirt is after test wash now and I must admit first wash took some vibrancy away just after first wash. another washes was ok and print still look very acceptable. So In general this is very good product that can be used as a alternative to sublimation t-shirts. I will be using this.