How To Make Sublimation Brighter [Improve Quality In 8 Steps]


Creating a fantastic and eye-catching print requires a superb sublimation printer and a good knowledge of sublimation settings.

Several factors contribute to a good print, and you will need to know about sublimation prints and sublimation inks if you want to get the desired results.

Key Takeaways

Sublimation paper weight

If you notice track marks on the back of 125g sublimation paper, then switch over to 120g. This difference in paper weight appears to rectify the problem which will consequently improve the vibrancy of the colors.

Ink maintenance & hacks

If you do not use your printer often, the ink can settle somewhat. This can create line marks on your print where the ink hasn’t saturated.
If you haven’t used your printer for a while, make sure you do a print head clean. After that, print a test page to see if the issue is rectified.

Printer settings

Before printing, it is important to select the correct printer settings. For print quality, select “600 x 600”, for color printing mode, select “color” and for output quality, select “high quality”… these will help product vibrant colors during the printing process.

Best fabric for sublimation

100% polyester fabric will produce the best results for vibrant and bright colors when it comes to sublimation. If you are going for a vintage look, then go for a fabric that is 50% polyester & 50% cotton.

If you thought about what the easiest way to make a sublimation brighter is and how you can create higher-quality prints, then you are in the right place.

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    How To Make Sublimation Brighter On Prints?

    Printing a bright and clear print is the key to creating a high-quality print that will attract the attention of others.

    Making your sublimation brighter is not necessarily easy because you will need to have not only all the right sublimation tools but also some skills that will allow you to regulate the process to your advantage.

    Just a few adjustments can make your print look brighter and clearer, but you need to make sure you are doing everything carefully.

    Bright vibrant colors are possible with sublimation provided you follow the right recommendations

    There are so many things you need to pay attention to, so make sure you are not rushing anything and follow all of our pieces of advice in detail if you want to get the best result.

    Pressure, temperature, type of ink and paper, and many other things can be game-changer, so you should control every part of the process if you want to achieve the desired result.

    These are the things you need to pay attention to if you want to create a bright sublimation print.

    Finding the right sublimation printer

    The choice of your printer is what determines the whole sublimation printing process, and whether you are dealing with a sublimation printer or inkjet printer can make a huge difference in your performance.

    If you have problems with the quality of your prints and the brightness, then you should consider getting a better printer, too, because there are so many converted inkjet printers that are not able to provide you with the smoothest results.

    Older printers, whether they are converted or original sublimation printers, tend to hold on to a lot of dust, and if they aren’t cleaned well, they won’t be able to provide you with a bright sublimation no matter how much you try.

    One of the most important things to do is find a printer with refillable cartridges or whose ink tanks can be changed whenever you want because it will allow you more control over the experience and help you change the parts that are diminishing your experience whenever you need it.

    It is also recommended to get one of the newer printers because even if you have a professional sublimation printer, but it was created more than a decade ago, chances are that it will have a lot of problems throughout the whole process and can never provide you with the results a converted inkjet printer can deliver.

    Old printers can also have a lot of defects that may not seem too big but will show up on your prints all the time, and you won’t be able to do much about it.

    See what are the things you want to achieve with your sublimation prints and then start looking for a good printer that can make all of your desires come true.

    It is also much easier to take care of a newer printer, so you should take some time every month to clean it up and set up the right printer settings.

    Navigating temperature and time settings

    Most people who get into sublimation printing don’t know much about the process and are not aware of how much impact printer settings have on the result.

    Your temperature and time settings significantly impact the final result, so if you want to make your sublimation prints brighter, you will need to learn what settings work best for your ideas.

    These things also depend on the type of sublimation paper and ink you are using, and these settings are the key to getting the vibrant colors you want.

    Setting the right temperature is the key to a good transfer process because if you are not able to do it properly, chances are your temperature is way too high or too low.

    The best thing you can do is set your temperature at 385 F and complete the transfer process at this temperature because it provides you with the best results and allows you to create anything within 60 seconds.

    However, it is important to pay attention when choosing the sublimation printer because not all of them can heat up to this temperature.

    The timer you set also has a lot of impacts because if you put the temperature too high and leave things like that for an extended period, your materials and paper may get burned, and you probably won’t get the best result, although you were pretty sure this is the only way it would work.

    Different temperatures and timers will work for different sublimation projects, so you should set these settings differently after each project.

    Using the right pressure

    Pressure is also a big factor when it comes to subčimation printing, and you need to ensure you are not pressing things too tightly if you want the transfer process to go well.

    Every high print quality is achieved by a good combination of pressure, time, and temperature, so you should be aware that you are pressing things onto your material or paper.

    If you are pressing things too hard, the whole design can get ruined, and your paper or material can even suffer from orange stains or real burns, making them completely useless.

    This is especially important if you are trying to create specific designs with a lot of details and do dye sublimation printing because the pressure needs to be very gentle; otherwise, your designs won’t be able to get transferred well.

    Medium pressure is usually the way to go, no matter what sort of sublimation paper or ink you are using, so practice a little bit, and you will see how a sublimation process can go well without too much effort.

    Choosing adequate sublimation ink

    You can’t expect outstanding results with bad tools and devices, so you must invest in high-quality sublimation ink and paper to achieve something.

    Depending on the sublimation projects you will be engaging in, you will need to choose a sublimation ink that tends to give the best results.

    If you are looking for vibrant colors and various sublimation colors, you will need to purchase special inks that can provide you with this.

    Ink quality is a major factor to achieving bright sublimation prints

    You also need to make sure that type of sublimation ink is compatible with your printer because not all printers can work with various colors, and sometimes their ink cartridges can’t even fit in the right way.

    Real quality ink cartridges sometimes may not work well with your printer, so to make sublimation brighter, you need to check the compatibility too.

    Sometimes not even compatible inks will give you the desired results, so you may need to experiment a little to see the best option for you.

    Choosing good sublimation paper

    As we have already mentioned, you can’t expect outstanding results if you are not working with high-quality tools and materials.

    How your sublimation colors will look depends a lot on the quality and the type of your sublimation paper.

    It is important to transfer the designs on the right side and always keep the paper on a flat surface to get the right sublimation dye.

    These papers usually come with signs that show you what side you should put them on, and it makes it much easier to make sublimation prints brighter.

    The higher-quality sublimation paper will provide you with much better results, but you should also make sure they will work well with your printer and ink.

    Some types of paper are also an excellent option for simple designs, while others are reserved for more complicated creative projects, so pay attention to this too.

    Choosing vibrant colors

    You probably weren’t able to get that bright royal blue color or great pink because you didn’t set up your settings for vibrant colors.

    All sublimation printers come with several settings, and vibrant colors are one of them that allows you to get the solid ink trace even with the craziest colors.

    If you couldn’t get that result or any bright colors, then this was probably the problem, and you need to choose “Vivid colors” or “Vibrant colors” settings on your device to get the desired result.

    You should also print out everything as a jpg and not a pdf file because the pdf format can diminish the colors, and in combination with low-quality paper, it can completely distort the picture.

    I would also recommend printing out everything in the light background to make sure all the pieces of the design will be seen well.

    Navigate the heat press settings

    Beginners in the sublimation process usually don’t know how to handle the heat press settings and can struggle a lot with yellow and orange stains on their projects.

    This is usually a consequence of poorly set settings and overheating, which damages the print for good.

    It can also happen when you don’t choose the right heat press for your project, messing up color combinations or completely burning the designs.

    Achieving vibrant and bright colors can depend on your heat press temperature and the fabric type the print is going on

    Your heat presses should be set at different temperatures for every type of material, and you can’t use the same settings for polyester and for cotton, so make sure you are navigating these settings all the time.

    When it comes to polyester coating, you will be good with 270 Fahrenheit, while the cotton will need around 350 Fahrenheit to transfer anything.

    The temperature should be high for dark fabrics, too; otherwise, the print quality can turn out to be very poor.

    Check out the material on your pieces and the temperature on your heat press before you start the project because you won’t be able to change things too much on your finished garment if the result is poor.

    Adjust screen brightness

    A beginner’s mistake is forgetting to adjust the brightness on your device, which can lead to fabric fibers not going through the transfer process.

    All you need to do to set these settings is to open manual settings on your device and set the color adjustment and brightness the way you want them to be.

    This will help you regulate the brightness and overall achieve the desired result if things seem to be slacking for a little bit.

    You can also choose whether the surroundings and the fabric are dark, light, or normal, which will determine the final outcome.

    All of these pieces of advice are some easy ways to make sublimation colors brighter, and you should make sure you consider all of them on your sublimation journey because you can never know which one will give you the best results.

    However, keep in mind that a wrong and outdated printer may cause you many problems, so if you are dealing with one of them, you can be sure they are the reason for several issues, and things probably won’t get fixed until you purchase a new one.

    Why My Sublimation Isn’t Bright?

    We have discussed above the reasons why your sublimation probably isn’t bright enough as you want it to be, and you should be are that sometimes a mix of all of these things can lead to a terrible result.

    The best thing you can do to ensure that you will always get the bright sublimation project you want is to keep working with new printers and materials and to constantly check out the settings to make sure everything will flow smoothly.

    One of the things you also need to have is some experience in sublimation printing so that you will be able to realize whether the problem with your printouts is in the printer or because of lousy ink and paper.

    So many people have no idea how to make sublimation brighter by choosing a bright color or dark color modes on their devices, so you need to spend some time exploring the sublimation printers and techniques before you get your hands on a DIY project.

    I recommend trying out several techniques and then sticking with the one that gives you the best results because if you don’t try, you will never know what works for you.

    Watch this video: Make Your Sublimation Colors Pop! [22 mins 29 secs]

    skip to timeline 01:16!

    How Do I Make Sublimation Brighter On Cotton?

    Sublimation printing on cotton T-shirts seems to be quite a challenge for most people, but the truth is, you only need to know a few tips and tricks to succeed at it.

    There are several ways you can sublimate on cotton quickly and easily, so choose your favorite option.

    Sublimation with vinyl

    People mostly avoid using heat transfer vinyl, but that is the best method when sublimating on cotton, so don’t be afraid to follow our short guide and get your hands on this tool.

    It is an excellent surface for cotton, and you will be able to transfer any sort of digital design because it is perfect even for the most complicated designs.

    You will need just a little bit of it, and all your designs will be impeccable, no matter how many colors they have.

    Sublimation with glitter HTV

    Glitter HTV may seem like a pretty uncommon choice for sublimation, but it works perfectly even on the highest temperatures, and paired with a good heat press, it will give you the desired result within seconds.

    All the glitter will transfer perfectly on a T-shirt, jeans, or even a mug, so it is an excellent addition to your creative process.

    Sublimation with fabric sheets

    Fabric sheets are cheap, can be found anywhere, and will provide you with a wrinkle-free design quickly.

    Since it comes in different sizes, you can transfer designs to pieces and materials with great precision and keep them just where you wish them to be.

    This technique works well not only for cotton but also for many different, sturdy elements, which makes it an excellent and affordable way to handle the sublimation printing process with ease.

    All these techniques are highly efficient, and you can be sure you will get the desired results even if you don’t have too much experience with them, so try them out and see which one will give you the best result.


    It’s interesting that with sublimation you can follow all the correct steps to transferring your print on a fabric. However, get one (or several) steps slightly off and your print looks dull and lifeless.

    Unless your design is specifically made to look aged, rugged or worn, you are going to fail grabbing the attention of others.

    Whether you want people to notice your custom made design, or are running a business where you sell fabric with sublimation prints, you need to have the colors look vibrant and full… mess this step, and you will fail to make your mark!

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