How to Sublimate on Colored Shirts? (Ultimate Guide 2024)

In sublimation printing, it is considered that white background with bleaching is essential to have bright and vibrant colors. But what to do when you only have a colored t-shirt and want sublimation print over it? There should be an alternative way to have sublimation print on dark t shirt and colored t-shirts. Here, we will share the complete procedure to fulfill your dream of sublimation print on the colored shirt.

Some experts advise bleaching the shirt at a specific area and then doing sublimation printing. This looks awesome, but we are not going to try this method.

In the following lines, we will discuss how to do sublimation on colored shirts.

How to Sublimate Colored Shirts? (A Step-by-Step Process)

you can sublimate colored t-shirts but have to compromise on contrast and vibrancy of colors. If you have a dark image on the light color shirt, it will look awesome, and vice versa. For sublimation printing, you will have to arrange the following things.

The Required Things

Make sure you have the required item to sublimate on a colored shirt.

  • Heat Press
  • Sublimation Printer
  • Sublimation Paper
  • Lint Roller
  • Heat Resistant Tape
  • Colored Shirt
  • Sublimation Ink

Step – 1: Design the Image for Sublimation

First of all, you have to decide the design that you want on the t-shirt. This design can be created on the computer using Photoshop, Corel Draw, Canva, Inkscape, etc. you have to keep in mind the color of the image must be darker than the color of the shirt.

Now, transfer this image on the sublimation paper through the sublimation printer. Use the best quality sublimation ink to have the best results. Avoid inducing radial effects on the design, as light color areas will not be transferred on the shirt. Also, keep the size of the design more minor than the width of the colored t-shirt.

Step – 2: Make Ready Heat Press

When the design has been printed on the sublimation paper, wait a few minutes until the ink is dried.

Now, switch on the heat press and set the temperature to about 185 to 190 degree Celsius.

Step – 3: Make Ready the Colored Shirt

First, clean the working table using a duster or a cloth. No dust particles must be available on the table. If dust debris sticks to the shirt, the sublimation print will have small holes. So, cleaning the working table is a must.

Now, press the shirt with iron and the wrinkles. You can use a lint-free roller to remove fiber debris.

Step – 4: Set the Design on Colored Shirt

Check the shirt to see whether the area is face up for sublimation print. Now, place the sublimation print facedown on the shirt and fix it with heat-resistant tape. Place the butcher paper or Teflon sheet over the sublimation paper.

Step – 5: Transfer the Sublimation Design

Place the pre-heated heat press on the shirt. Keep the temperature 180 to 190 degree Celsius. Apply medium pressure over the heat press for 50 seconds so the design has the same result. When the timer is off, pick the heat press and switch it off.

Step – 6: Cool It Down to Room Temperature

Wait for about 1 hour so that shirt and the sublimation print may cool down to room temperature. Then remove the butcher paper and the back side sheet of the sublimation paper. Now, gently remove the sublimation paper so the design may not get an effect.

After removing the sublimation paper, you can reveal the sublimation design.


Until now, you have gained much knowledge about sublimation printing on colored shirts. Sublimation printing on colored t-shirts is easy if you have a bleached background. If you want sublimation printing on a plain shirt without bleaching it, follow the above step-by-step guidelines to have a classic sublimation print on a colored t shirt.

To Learn more watch the video:

Considering Sublimation With Color Shirts

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