If you’re curious about sublimation but not ready to invest into all the equipment, then there are alternatives. Instead of getting the required sublimation printer, you can order sublimation prints.
Yes, there are many places both online and in person to get sublimation prints made. This way you don’t need to invest in a sublimation printer to test the water so to speak with sublimating. If it turns out you really like sublimation then you can shop for a dye sublimation printer and upgrade to a heat press.
You can use a regular oven or toaster oven for mugs and other rigid items. Unfortunately, you’ll still need a heat press for polyester fabric. A standard iron just isn’t sufficient enough to do the job.
But there are many blanks you can start with such as decorations, mugs, or keychains. Unlike other heat transfers, sublimation is permanent and has vivid colors.
If you order sublimation prints you’ll have all you need to test it out!
Most print shops have a sublimation printer in some form or another. Call local print shops in your area to find what’s available. In my area $10 per print is the going rate. Most print shops are glad to make sublimation prints. But some prefer larger orders and may charge much more for smaller orders.
If you find a shop charging more it’s probably easier for them to create the entire item themselves than just make a few one off prints. In those cases it may only cost slightly more for you to send or choose a design and let them create the item.
But that cheats you of the fun of sublimating for yourself! If your local print shops charge too much then you can save a lot by getting sublimation prints online.
The only drawback is you have to wait for online orders. Whereas print shops can make your prints while you wait.
Online Print Shops
If you want to save money and don’t mind waiting for the mail, online print shops are your best choice. They can easily handle an order for a single page or one hundred pages.
My transfer source is an excellent choice if you just want to try out sublimation. They don’t have a minimum order so you can order one sheet if you want.
Etsy shops are another online source for sublimation prints. They can either print a design you send them or you can choose a design from their store. Either way Etsy is a good source for getting sublimation prints.
- Custom Sublimation Transfers by DeeDeez This and That
- Custom HTV & Sublimation by Prime Pick
- Sublimation prints by Kristina Store and More
If you want to test out sublimation but aren’t ready to commit to getting all the equipment, ordering sublimation prints is a good option. You can use an oven or the heat press you’ve been using for HTV.
There are many places to order sublimation prints. Local print shops are quick but may cost more. Online stores rely on shipping but tend to cost much less.
Ordering sublimation prints is a great way to get into sublimation!
You can find places online or many local print shops to make sublimation prints.
A sublimation printer, sublimation ink, and sublimation paper are the three items you need for sublimation printing.
You need a sublimation printer to print sublimation transfers.
Most normal printers can’t do sublimation printing. You need a printer with a piezo print head. These type of print heads are found on Epson, Brother, and Sawgrass printers. Your average Envy, Officejet, or Pixma inkjet printers are not compatible with sublimation ink.
The Copier Guy, aka Dave. I’ve worked on scanners, printers, copiers, and faxes over 23 years. When I’m not fixing them I’m writing about them. Although, I’m probably better at fixing them. I’ve worked with every major brand. As well as several types of processes. If it uses paper I’ve probably worked on one.