Can you Sublimate on Modal Fabric? | 7 Steps Easy Guide!

Sublimation printing is the best way to beautify fabrics with custom patterns and sublimation designs.

Sublimation printing has vast applications as it is valid to sublimate on rayon, nylon, and colored shirts. The modal fabric is synthetic, and most of the time, it is used to wick moisture from the skin. Originally it was developed to mimic the silk fabric.

But can you sublimate on modal fabric?

The good news is, yes, you can sublimate on modal fabric. To make the design shine on the modal fabric, you must stick with lighter shades (or white!) for the most dazzling results. Also, you have to make some considerations and adjustments compared to the traditional sublimation of polyester fabric.

Reasons to Sublimate on Modal Fabric

Here are the Reasons why you should go for sublimation on modal fabric;

Modal Fabric is Porous

Modal fabric has a porous surface through which the sublimation ink can pass to the deep inside layer of fabric. The sublimation ink forms a firm bond with even bond distribution to the fibers.

Thanks to its breathability, which gives high comfort and a cozy surface.

High Affinity for Sublimation Ink

The traditional sublimation ink is not suitable for sublimating modal fabric. The right ink for modal fabric has a higher percentage of dispersed dyes. These dye particles go deep inside the fabric and form strong bonds.

Right sublimation ink can be taken from trustworthy vendors who follow manufacturing standards.


Modal fabric is the natural product of the Beech tree. The modal fabric becomes softer, more moisture-wicking, and more durable by mixing with other fabrics, such as cotton or spandex. With these high-end properties, it can outshine cotton as well.

Plus, it’s eco-friendly since its origin is natural and decomposes naturally with time.

Read more: How to Sublimate on Colored Shirts?

Considerations Before Sublimate on Modal Fabric

Before diving into the sublimation printing on modal fabric, consider these things to achieve better results.

  1. Sublimation printing on 100 % Modal fabric is possible. But top-notch results are conceivable using the blend of polyester or cotton with modal fabric.
  2. Most sublimation experts recommend using light color modal, as darker modal fabrics don’t produce vibrant colors, and fading is often observed.
  3. Before starting the sublimation project, it is highly recommended to carefully consider the exclusive requirements and limits for sublimating modal fabric.

How to Sublimate on Modal Fabrics? (Step by Step)

Here are the most important steps which must be followed to achieve high-quality and vibrant sublimation designs on the modal fabric.

Step-1: Gather the Required Items

Starting sublimation on the modal fabric requires the following items available in the nearby store.

  • Sublimation printer
  • Sublimation paper
  • Modal Fabric blank
  • Heat press
  • A fresh stack of butcher paper
  • Heat resistant tape

After arranging all the above items, the next point is to have a spotless working space.

Step-2: Prepare the Modal Fabric

Bring the blank (modal fabric) and wash it thoroughly with a light detergent. It is to remove dust or other ingredients which can harm the quality of the sublimation print.

Step-3: Print the Design

Start the sublimation printer and check its operation to see whether it’s working normally. If yes, make the required sublimation design and copy and paste it into the sublimation printer. Place the sublimation paper inside the printer. If you want a clear print, input the right values of size and resolution into the printer settings.

Step-4: Cut the Design

As the print is available, now cut its extra edges and leave a small border at the corners. If we don’t cut these extra edges, it becomes difficult to fix them during heat pressing.

Step-5: Place the Design on the Fabric

Place the modal fabric on the work table. Gently take the sublimation print from the printer, place it over the modal fabric, and ensure it is centered and straight. Now, place a piece of butcher paper above the sublimation design.

Step-6: Setup the Heat Press

The required temperature for heat pressing the modal fabric is 270oF. The higher temperature may cause damage to the surface of the modal blank.

Step-7: Press the Design

Place the modal fabric with sublimation design and butcher paper on the heat press table. Now push the upper plate for 5-10 seconds at a temperature of 270oF.

Step-8: Remove the Design

When the pressing time is up, take out the fabric and remove the heat-resistant tape and butcher paper. Carefully peel off the sublimation paper so the design doesn’t get damaged.

Please don’t touch the sublimation design until it’s cooling and curing.

Read more: How to Sublimate on Canvas?

Can You Sublimate on 50% Cotton 50% Modal?

Per the expert, sublimation printing works best with polyester fabrics. It is because the sublimation ink forms a strong bond with polyester fibers.

But cotton and modal fabrics don’t have similar ink-absorbing abilities as polyester does. As a result, fading in the colors and deterioration in designs is possible.

So, before starting the project of sublimation printing on the Modal fabric or cotton, you must perform a test print. Through this test print, you will have the idea to move forward or decline the idea.

A specific amount of polyester is highly recommended if you want vibrance in colors and longevity in sublimation designs.

Can You Heat Press on The Modal?

Yes, surely, you can heat press the modal fabric. But it is not recommended if you are a beginner in the sublimation printing business.

Modal fabric has a fluffy and porous surface with high breath-ability. It doesn’t have heat-resistant properties like other textile blanks, such as cotton or polyester.

If you want to heat the press modal, use a low heat setting at 270oF for 5-10 seconds, and be sure to protect the fabric with butcher paper or a pressing cloth.

How do I care for my Modal Fabric after Sublimation Printing?

Caring for modal fabric is crucial. They will lose shine, grace, and vibrance if you are not gentle with them. So, I recommend you wash without bleach or fabric softener. You can iron the modal fabrics but don’t go for high temperature and apply low pressure.
It is recommended to wash and dry modal fabric on a gentle cycle and avoid using bleach or fabric softener. Also, iron on low heat and avoid exposing it to high temperatures for a prolonged period to maintain the integrity of the fabric and the print.

Read more: Can You Sublimate Over Sublimation?


Sublimation printing on modal fabric is a fantastic way to create custom fabric designs. Modal fabric has a special surface that binds the ink well and creates bright and long-lasting designs. Remember to use lighter colors or white shades for the best results on modal fabric. Mixing modal with polyester can make your designs even more colorful and durable.

Modal fabric is also eco-friendly since it comes from the Beech tree and can decompose naturally over time. So, not only can you create beautiful designs, but you can also be kind to the environment.

Ultimately, sublimating on modal fabric opens up a world of creativity and allows you to make wonderful designs that will last a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is modal the same as polyester?

No. Absolutely not
The modal fabric is manufactured from Beech tree, while the polyester is derived from chemicals. These fabrics have different surfaces and properties like texture, durability, and breath ability.

Is modal fabric heat-resistant?

Most sportswear manufacturers use modal fabric because it is breathable and durable. But the modal could be better heat resistant to high temperatures. Due to low thermal stability, it loses longevity when exposed to UV rays and Sunlight.

Is modal fabric artificial?

No, the modal fabric is the product of Beech tree pulp. It is used in household items and sportswear, underwear, and pajamas. So, it is a plant-based textile item.

Is Modal Fabric Quick Drying?

Yes, modal fabrics have great breath ability and a porous surface. That is why they are the best water absorbent and dry very quickly.

What are the limitations for sublimation on modal?

Dark color modal fabrics are not suitable for sublimation printing. This is because some intricate designs require fine lines and small text.

What type of modal fabric is best for sublimation printing?

When the modal fabric has light color and white, it is highly suitable for sublimation printing. Most experts also recommend polyester blending as it enhances the sublimation ink adherence to the fabric.

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