Can You Sublimate on Nylon? (Complete Guide 2024)

Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is used for active wear and sportswear. Sublimation printing on nylon is not tricky as in the case of sublimation on rayon fabric because the sublimation ink can form a strong bond with the substrate, i.e. nylon. Here, sublimation heat is the main controlling factor.

So, yes, you can sublimate on nylon without any hesitation.

However, some points need to be considered before the sublimation printing on nylon. This article will discuss the process of sublimating nylon, the characteristics of nylon, and other things you need to know about nylon sublimation.

What Makes Nylon Possible for Sublimation Printing?

The nylon fabric doesn’t absorb moisture or liquids like polyester and cotton. The nylon fabrics have good strength and rigidity, which makes them too be used in daily use items.

Nylon is used in sportswear, webbing, bags, backpacks, etc. It is all because of its durability and stiffness.    

Due to the water resistance of nylon, it is mainly used by fashion designers and bag manufacturers.   

While working with the nylon fabrics like bags, webbing, and other things, the best practice is to use sublimation ink formulated for nylons.

Sometimes, a nylon catalyst is incorporated with sublimation ink to have a better bond between the ink and substrate. Poor cohesion will be observed if the step is skipped. This lowers the durability and resistance against wear and tear. 

How to Do Sublimation on Nylon? (Step-by-Step Process)

Sublimation printing on each of the materials is different from one other. Sublimation on rayon will take a different process than sublimation on nylon.

If you want to enjoy better and brighter sublimation printing of nylon, then follow the guidelines.

Step -1: Arrange the Required Things

The following equipment and other accessories will be required for sublimation printing on the nylon.

Sublimation Printer

A sublimation printer with no ink clogging and leakage issues is the best option for sublimation. A bonus is if the sublimation printer has all the latest software to enhance the sublimation print’s stylishness.

Sublimation Paper

A neat and clean sublimation paper is a must to print the required image or design for sublimation on nylon. Most beginner sublimation tries to use a regular copying paper for sublimation, which will not give you the required results.

In sublimation printing, various papers are used having different weights. Always purchase the best sublimation paper from trusted manufacturers of suitable weights.

Use the sublimation paper with the middleweight range (120g-125g) to avoid any issues in sublimation printing.

Nylon Blank

Make ready your nylon blanks which you want to have sublimation printing. Sublimation printing on nylon fabric, webbings, spandex, sock, and bags can be carried out.

All these must be wrinkle-free and placed on a flat, dry surface. If they have any wrinkles or moisture, press with iron at the lowest temperature settings before sublimation.

Heat Tapes

heat tapes are another item that is required during sublimation printing. It holds the sublimation paper having the desired image or design on the nylon fabric.

If no heat tapes are used during sublimation, the design will be damaged due to the movement of sublimation paper over the nylon blanks.

Heat Press

The following equipment you require is the heat press. This will help transfer the image from the sublimation paper to the nylon fabric.

Arrange butcher paper as well, which has the finest quality and meets the standards of sublimation printing usage.   

Step 2:  Select the Right Nylon Fabric

Various types of nylon are available in the market for sublimation. Nylon 6 and nylon 7 are the most popular ones. Each class has pros and cons depending on the composition and other ingredients.

Nylon has good resilience and resistance to moisture. So, it’s used to manufacture nylon socks, webbings, and nylon bags. These nylon-based fabrics are then sublimated to have better looks and styles. 

It all depends upon your requirement of sublimating the desired design on the substrate, which will have better strength, characteristics, and brighter sublimation colors.

Step 3: Prepare the Surface of Nylon

Nylon is a synthetic material with a smooth surface. The such surface will require some roughening steps to get success in sublimation printing.

If you have old nylon fabric, such as nylon socks or nylon bags, you must wash them with warm water and press them with an iron. Ironing will remove any wrinkles or folds on the surface and helps in drying.

The next step in preparing the nylon fabric surface is the application of a sublimation adhesive. Now, the nylon fabric surface is ready for sublimation printing.

Step 4: Use the Right Ink for The Nylon

The next challenge in the sublimation printing of nylon fabrics is selecting the right kind of sublimation ink. All the ordinarily available sublimation ink can not produce the required results because these tend to wash away after 2-3 washes.

So, select a high-quality sublimation ink that works best with the nylon fabric. This will completely adhere to the substrate and does not fade after washing.

Nylon fabric, such as nylon socks used in sportswear, needs rigid bonding of sublimation ink with the cloth. Otherwise, the design will break away and looks dull and fade due to wear and tear.

Step 5: Prepare Your Design for Sublimation Printing

When all other things are ready, it’s time to prepare the required design to be printed on the nylon fabric.

Check all the color selections and sizes of fonts and the size of the design in the sublimation printer settings.

Step 6: Using A High-Quality Sublimation Printer

Before sublimation printing on the nylon fabrics, check out whether the printer can print on the nylon. A capable and right kind of sublimation printer will produce superior results.

The best way is to use a digital printer with inkjet technology and print the design on nylon without any damage. This can be used in the case of printing graphics and texts.  

When all the settings are done, load sublimation ink using the squeegee, push the ink on the nylon fabric and transfer the design.

Step 7: Seal the Design

When you have performed the sublimation printing on the nylon fabric, you need to protect it from the effects of the environment. It can absorb moisture, and the design will be peeled off.

The best thing is to apply a clear coat of spray paint which will act as a protective layer for the sublimation print.

When the sublimation prints have been set on nylon fabric, you can wash them with cold water.

Related Article: How to Sublimate on Wood

Is Nylon Better Than Polyester for Sublimation?

It all depends on the usage of sublimated fabrics, whether it is nylon or polyester. Polyester absorbs more sublimation ink and has better bonding. While in the case of nylon fabric, the bonding is weak because of its even and flat surface.

Nylon has better resilience and water resistance than polyester, which absorbs moisture and takes more time to dry.

So, it all depends upon your requirements and final usage, and go for the choice which meets your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the methods to print on nylon?

Various methods are available to print on nylon, like DTG, screen printing, and sublimation printing. Sublimation printing requires less initial cost and is generally used for low-volume sublimation printings than screen printing and DTG.

Which is better to sublimate, nylon or polyester?

Polyester is the king in the sublimation printing business. It absorbs sublimation ink effectively and produces a bright and vibrant sublimation print. While in the case of nylon, you may face a sublimation ink bond with the nylon fabric due to its smooth surface.

Can you sublimate on a nylon webbing?

Yes. You can sublimate on nylon webbing. You must have the right sublimation printer, ink, and transfer paper. In the end, heat press the design on the nylon webbing.

What is the right temperature for sublimation on the nylon bags?

The ideal temperature for sublimating printing on the nylon bag is 180-220oC. If you go for higher temperatures, there is a risk of damaging the nylon bag and burning sublimation ink. Also, keep in mind, Low sublimation temperature will result in low cohesion of the sublimation design to the nylon bag.


Nylon is being used in many areas of life. It is used in bags, sportswear, football, socks, and webbings. Sublimation on such items makes them more attractive and stylish. Sublimating the nylon fabrics is a bit tricky because of their smooth surface.

Here we have covered all the features and characteristics of nylon that make it feasible for sublimation printing.

Following the step mentioned earlier by step process, you can sublimate the nylon fabric and obtain the best results.

I hope this article helps create the best sublimation prints on nylon fabrics.

To Learn more watch the video:

How to print sublimation on nylon fabric

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