Can You Sublimate on Silicone? | A Practical Guide (2024)

Do you want to customize your daily use of the products with your design? Well, sublimation is the right technique to enhance the grace and vibrance of various products, whether a mug, shirt or glass, etc.

But what do you think about sublimating silicon products? Can you sublimate the Silicon?

The short answer is yes. You can sublimate silicone products such as phone cases, watch bands, and wristbands.

But first, clean the surface, keep the temperature low, and choose the right sublimation ink.

Whether a pro or a beginner in sublimation printing, you will get tons of knowledge and the right process to sublimate Silicone.

How to sublimate on Silicone?

Silicone products have an important place in sublimation. So, let’s dive deep and learn about its properties. It is flexible, highly durable, and resistant to corrosive materials.

However, it doesn’t absorb sublimation ink as it is synthetic. Its surface is non-porous and slippery.

That’s why printing on Silicone is complicated and needs a lot of guidance.

The step-by-step process is here to sublimate Apple watch bands, phone cases, and wristbands.

Step 1: Prepare the Silicone Blank

First and foremost, the task is to clean the substrate and make it free from dust particles and oil drops. In this way, the design will become vibrant and long-lasting.

For cleaning, you need a solution of warm water with mild detergent or alcohol. Swab the piece of cotton rag and scrub the surface gently. In the end, wipe it with a lit free dry cloth.

Moreover, ensure that no fingerprints, holes, or cracks are present.

Step 2: Prepare your Sublimation Design

It’s time to show some of your skills to prepare a desired design. Prepare the desired design using design software.

For instance, you can employ Adobe Photoshop, Canva, and CorelDraw.

Set the colors on the design as per your requirement.

Step 3: Flip the Design and Print

When the design is complete, flipping it horizontally as a mirror image is essential for sublimation printing.

Now, switch on the printer and copy the design file here. Check that the sublimation ink and papers are present. Ensure the correct settings before clicking the printing command.

If there is space around the design, cut it out using scissors.

Step 4: Set Heat Press

After printing, switch on the heat press and clean both platens. Ensure that there is no dust or other residues.

Now, set the temperature to 400oF and the time to 60 seconds. Time and temperature settings depend upon the thickness of the silicone blank.

Step 5: Apply the Design to Silicone

Alright, all the requirements are complete. Place the blank on the lower plate of the heat press. Set the sublimation transfer paper on the face of the silicone product.

Then place a protective paper over it and fix it with heat resistant tap to avoid sublimation ink bleeding toward the platen.

Now, press the upper platen over the product at medium pressure for the required timespan.

Step 6: Remove the Transfer paper

Once the pressing time is over, please remove the silicone product from the heat press and allow it to cool. Avoid removing transfer paper if the product is still warm.

In the end, gently peel off the transfer paper from the silicone blank.

Challenges of Sublimating on Silicone

Sublimation of silicone products is surely possible, but we can face some challenges during sublimating silicone products. Here are some: remember when you are about to sublimate the silicone blanks.

Least Absorbent Surface

The surface is non-porous and slippery, making it less absorbent for sublimation ink. So, the ink will not permeate into the surface to form bonding.


Silicone is a highly flexible material that can bend and stretch easily without breaking. Due to flexibility, the sublimation design may break or peel off when it’s bent.

Can You Sublimate on Silicone Watch Bands?

Yes, you can sublimate on apple watch bands. However, there are some considerations before starting the actual process.

Material Type

Silicone watch bands are not created equally, but they are equally important. Some are coated with a special layer, preventing the sublimation ink from penetrating.

Color of the Band

Sublimation blank color is also important to consider before sublimation printing. For instance, dark color watch bands require a white base to show up.

Design Size and Placement

The bands are curved in nature, making it more challenging to have a seamless transfer. It is recommended to avoid sublimating small text on bands on the curvy surface of bands.

Equipment and Technique

Before starting sublimation printing on watch bands, arrange high-quality sublimation ink, sublimation transfer paper, and a heat press.

If you risk using low-quality inks, papers, and heat press, you will end up with dull and low-quality printing on the silicone watch bands.


Finally, you have a clear understanding of the sublimation of silicone products. It’s tricky to sublimate such blanks. But, by following the above step-by-step process, you will surely achieve a vivid design on the phone cases, watch bands, and wristbands.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you sublimate on Silicone Phone Cases?

Yes, you can sublimate on such phone cases. But only by prior surface cleaning, using high-quality inks, and keeping the temperature range 350oF to 400oF.

Can You Use Silicone Bands in a Heat Press?

Yes, you can use silicone bands while using a heat press. Silicone bands keep the design tight while applying pressure. In this way, you can avoid ghosting in the final design.

Can you sublimate on silicone cups?

Yes, you can. First, Design your image on the computer and print it on sublimation paper with sublimation ink. Clean the cups, wrap the paper around them, and secure them with tape. Heat press to transfer the design onto cups. Carefully remove paper handle cups gently.

Can You Sublimate on Silicone Focal Beads?

Yes. You can sublimate on silicone beads. Clean the silicone beads surface with alcohol swabbed rags. Then, gently place the design and heat press it. The beautiful sublimation print is ready.

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