Can You Sublimate on Rayon Fabric? A Practical way (2024)

Rayon is a relatively new and trendy textile fabric. It is made from natural resources of cellulose from wood and other agricultural foodstuffs.  

Like other synthetic fibers, sublimation printing can also be used for rayon. Sublimating the pure rayon fabric may take some work at the start. To avoid any damage in the sublimation printing, you can use 95% rayon with 5% polyester fabric. Sublimation of rayon is a bit different from sublimation printing on nylon.

We all know that polyester’s sublimation ability is much better than any other synthetic fabric. So, while choosing rayon fabric, make sure polyester coating is available. If you increase the amount of polyester in rayon fabric, better results will be observed.

How to Sublimate on Rayon ? (Step by Step)

Mainly, two methods are popular for sublimating rayon fabric. In the first method, you have a blend of polyester and rayon fabric with a 70-30 ratio. But such a blend is difficult to obtain, as it is not ordinarily available in the market.

The second method is to coat the rayon with polyester. Sublimating such material will result in better sublimation print quality and bright colors. 

The second method of sublimating the rayon in the market is the most popular.

What Supplies Are Required for Sublimation of Rayon Fabric?

  • Cardboard
  • Normal working heat press machine
  • Rayon fabric
  • Designer concentrate
  • A Silicon pads
  • A small amount of polyester Resin (Poly T)
  • Measuring tape and jar
  • Water Sprayer
  • Latest Butcher papers

Sublimation of Polyester Coated Rayon Fabric

As we have already discussed, you can sublimate on rayon fabric with a polyester coating. In the following lines, we will discuss the complete process of doing this task.

You have to follow all the steps to have better results carefully.

Step 1: Prepare A Solution of Desizer And Water

First of all, arrange a glass-made measuring cup. Mix seven ounces of water with one ounce of desizer concentrate. Stir the solution with a stirrer to make a homogeneous solution. Pour the solution into the sprayer to apply it to the rayon fabric.  

Step 2: Prepare a Solution of polyester

Prepare a polyester resin (Poly T) solution by following the step mentioned earlier.

Step 3: Spraying the Desizer Solution and heat pressing

When both solutions are ready, you can apply the desizer solution on the rayon fabric by spraying. Now, Set the temperature of the heat press up to 385oF and gently press for 35 seconds. Heat press this solution over the rayon fabric to have maximum absorbance.

Before heat pressing, cover the Rayon fabric with a dry cloth piece of cotton. After removing the heat press, the moisture will steam from the rayon fabric. This will eventually be absorbed in the cotton cloth. 

At this point, the rayon fabric is ready for polyester coating.

Step 4: Spray the first coat of Polyester Solution

After applying the desizer layer, it’s time to spray polyester coating on the rayon fabric. Remember that the polyester layer doesn’t exceed the sublimation print area. You can use cardboard to limit the polyester spray within the required range.    

After spraying the polyester solution, you can fold and press the rayon fabric with your hands. Let the spray dry so that it can stick to rayon fabrics completely.

A heat press can be used at a lower temperature for drying purposes. But, be careful as heat platen can touch the coating, which damages it.  

Step 5: Apply the second coat of polyester solution

After completely drying the first coat of the polyester solution, apply the second coat of the same solution to the rayon fabric. Cover the fabric with butcher paper and apply pressure with a heat press so that the second coat can merge into the first coating.  

You are almost done; wait for the second coat to be dried.

Now, the polyester-coated rayon fabric is ready for sublimation.

Step 6:  Sublimation on rayon fabric   

After polyester coating, the rayon fabric can quickly sublimate with the desired sublimation print design. Make ready the sublimation transfer paper and place it on the rayon fabric.

Gently place the rayon fabric on the silicon mat. The silicon mat must be larger than the size of the sublimation print. The large size of the silicon mat will keep the heat focused on the print area and protect the fabric from burning. 

It will sublimate with a heat press at 385oF for 70 seconds.

This is the complete process of sublimating the rayon fabric. You will have a smooth sublimation print with brighter colors if you carefully take each step.

Practicing more and more will give you near to perfect sublimation prints and help grow the sublimation printing business.

Is It Difficult to Sublimate Rayon Fabric?

Almost yes. Sublimating a rayon fabric takes work, as various issues are observed in this journey.

First Problem

As the rayon fabric has a fine and smooth surface. It will most likely scorch and burn if it is sublimated without a polyester coat.

Second Problem

Sometimes, the polyester coating needs to be applied correctly, which results in the solid bonding of rayon fabrics with the layer. This coating and the sublimation print wash away after 2-3 washes. 

So, ensure that the applied coating will stick and make intense bondage with rayon fabric. Otherwise, it will be challenging to sublimate the rayon fabric.

How to Care for Sublimated Rayon Fabrics?

It would be best if you cared for them properly when you have successfully sublimated the rayon fabric. If you use rayon fabrics carefully, it will enhance the life of the sublimation print over it. 

  1. Check the fabric label before purchasing, whether it is washer safe or not. Most rayon fabrics are fragile and dissolve while washing in the machine.
  2. I prefer dry cleaning over washing machines while cleaning the rayon fabric. After dry cleaning, remove the plastic bags covering the fabric. Prolonged exposure to these plastic bags can generate yellowish spots on the rayon fabric.
  3. You can wash the rayon fabrics with your hands. You need a mild detergent and warm water solution. Soak the rayon fabric in the solution and squeeze after five minutes. 
  4. For drying the rayon fabric, never use a dryer. Hang it on the hanger and wait for drying.
  5. To remove any wrinkles, press with iron at a low temperature. You can also use the wrinkle-releasing spray before ironing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you sublimate 95 rayon with 5% spandex?

No. It is not possible to sublimate such a combination of materials. The polyester amount in the rayon should be more than 20%.

Can you sublimate on 50 polyester 25 cotton 25 rayon?

Yes, you can sublimate on a blend of rayon, cotton, with polyester. The resulting image with have better results because of the presence of polyester.

How long does sublimation ink last on rayon?

The sublimation design can last for about 10 years if treated well. There are chances that the fabric may wear out before the cracking of the design.

Can I Wash Sublimated Rayon Garments?

Yes. You can wash the Rayon fabrics having sublimation prints. Rayon fabric is durable, and there is no fear in machine washing. 

Is It Necessary To Pre-Treat Rayon Before Sublimating?

No. Pre-treatment is unnecessary for rayon fabric, but at a good option to have better sublimation design results.  

Can rayon be dried with a dryer?

No. Rayon fabric cannot be dried in a dryer as it shrinks afterward. A better option is to hang on a hanger or spread it on a dry and flat surface.

Can you heat press rayon?

Yes, the rayon fabric can be heat pressed. But you must be careful as rayon and polyester are heat sensitive and require a heat transfer medium. This transfer will keep the fabric safe from burning or scorching. Usually, the temperature is kept below 280 degrees.

What fabrics can you sublimate on?

Polyester.

If you apply sublimation printing other than polyester, it will wash away after 2-3 washes. So, choose the fabric with a mixture of polyester to have better results.

Can rayon be stopped from shrinking?

Yes, there are many ways to keep the rayon fabric wrinkle-free. First, don’t dry in the dryer after washing. Second, wash with hands instead of using a washing machine. Thirdly, dry under normal air and hang on a hanger.

Conclusion

Sublimating the rayon fabric is tricky as it takes a lot of effort and resources. If you want a long-lasting sublimation print on rayon fabric, arrange a blend of rayon and polyester. Pure rayon can not hold the sublimation print after washing.

Sometimes, a polyester coating is applied to the rayon fabric. This helps out in retaining the sublimation print and gives brighter colors.

So, considering the proper precautions, you can sublimate the rayon fabric.

Related Post: How to Do Sublimation On black/Dark T-Shirts?

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