Printing fabric with sublimation paper
Ordering Your Sublimation Transfer Paper
Please carefully choose the type of transfer paper you need; either textile or rigid/super dry substrate paper. Textile paper is for printing fabric or t shirts for example. Rigid or Super Dry paper is for hard objects that accept sublimation printing. Please ensure your dimensions are correct and you've selected the right type of transfer paper for your project before proceeding to payment. Typically, transfer paper will be printed within 1 hour of placing your order.
- Upload your image the way you want it to appear on the finished product. Transfer paper is automatically mirrored for you to press. Do not mirror your design and finish it as you want to see it printed.
- Heat transfer paper between 356F - 401F. Time may vary between 50-110 secs.
- Always test on a small piece to ensure the fabric or paper does not melt or scorch.
- Suitable for polyester fabrics / substrate only
- This is not wet decal transfer paper. Our paper is to be used in a heat press only.
Note: Textile transfer paper: max width 62.5 inches | hard surface transfer paper: max width 42 inches
Disclaimer: As stated above, our transfer paper is designed for use in a heat press only. If you want to use an iron or an alternative means of press, we advise you do so at your own risk. Perfectly transferring an image using transfer paper is a delicate process, and you must take into consideration the type of fabric, temperature, pressure and positioning. If you're using the paper at home, please be aware of and accept these risks that accompany it.
Your Transfer Paper Color
You'll notice your design will be pale when you first receive the transfer paper. However, this is not how your finished pressed fabric will look. Once the ink has been heat transferred to your medium, the inks will come to life and reflect the colors in your design. This is normal and nothing to worry about as your design will look fabulous once heat transferred!
Students, we have a great student discount that apply to the sublimation paper, so please take advantage of this for your college projects.
Frequently asked questions:
Do I have to mirror my design before I send it to you for printing?No. This is important. We automatically mirror your designs so that when you transfer the designs across they are printed the way you would like them to be seen. When you are uploading your designs, upload them the way you would like to see them.
Are there any fabrics that aren't suitable for using with transfer paper?When sublimation printing fabric we recommend using fabrics which are 85% polyester or above for best results. Transfer paper inks react with poly based fabrics, so if you're using natural fabrics the process will not be successful. If you have a low percentage polyester the colors and designs may be faded or the print may be less clear. So choose your fabric wisely. We recommend always doing a test print before working on a large scale. Temperature is critical so if you are not familiar with this technique you need to learn how to do it.
Can I use an iron to transfer the prints?Use transfer paper between 180°C - 205°C. Time may vary between 50-110 secs. It's wise that you test on a small piece to ensure the fabric or paper does not melt or scorch. This transfer paper is designed to be used in a heat press only. For home use with an iron or alternative press method, we advise you to do so at your own risk. Many factors need to be considered for the perfect image transfer, such as fabric, temperature, pressure and positioning etc. If you're using at home, please understand you are accepting the risks that accompany it.
Delivery time & costs
At Contrado, we personally commit to our customer satisfaction with a wide product selection hand-made in our premises, a great quality, dedicated service as well as fast delivery.
Make use of our manufacturing and worldwide shipping experienceFor the past 15 years, we have printed and hand-made countless personalized products for a wide range of customers all over the world and many of them have become loyal customers who love not only our products but also the care, knowledge and dedication from our staff.
Here is how it works. We first hand-make your item on average within 1-3 days depending on the product manufacturing timeline and quantities. After production time, we ship your order so you can receive it very quickly, subject to the delivery type you select in your basket. You can then enjoy or resell your handmade products with your very own designs.
You can also read more about our terms & conditions and refund policy.
We hope to start working with you soon.
You have the amazing designs, but do you have a unique range and place to sell?
All you have to do is design what you love and we bring your creations to life. We take care of the hand crafting and manufacture, the sales and the shipping. You the designer, control the products and designs from wherever you are, from home, the office, even on the go. Meanwhile the orders start to roll in and you get commissions fast.
What's the best resolution to print in?
We print at 200dpi, which is a good combination of quality and file weight. Ideally your image should be scaled to 100% at 200dpi; this means that no resizing of your file occurs, preventing any interpolation.
Should I save my file as a TIFF or JPEG?
For multi-colored or very detailed files we recommend using a tiff format, but they must be flattened. For simple colors and low detail files, a jpeg is fine.
Which color model should I choose? RGB or CMYK?
If each individual color is specifically important to your design, choose CYMK as our setup will print each color with the closest possible match within our available range. If the relationship between the colors within the image is more important choose RGB; this will reduce all colors equally to fit within our range.
There is no limit on the length of the fabric that you can order. We have a preview design window set up to 5 yd max to visualise the print, but that's not a print limit. If you'd like to order more, you can increase the quantity (x2 for 10 yds or x 4 for 20 yds for e.g.) and then your orders can be as long as you'd like, with a built in automatic volume discount too. The maximum print width of each fabric can be found on the individual fabric pages or in our design interface.
Do I need to incorporate white space within my design if I want a border or some cutting space?
Yes, that might help you Always incorporate any extra space or borders into your purchased fabric size. We trim squarely around fabric samples and fabric prints, leaving approximately 0.22" white space. Cutting neatly on the line has an additional fee.
Do you print on fabric a customer supplies?
Unfortunately not; we like to test meticulously so that we know what gets best results on our fabrics, and our facilities cater perfectly to them. We do however print sublimation transfer paper to order, and if you have access to a heat press you can press your own fabrics easily.
What is the situation with material shrinkage?
Just like many fabric printing processes, there is the potential for shrinkage. Depending on the fabric, please expect and allow between 2-6% shrinkage which you need to plan for in your dimensions.
Can I print on both sides of the fabric?
We do not offer printing on both sides of the fabric, as a lot of our fabrics are semi-transparent. As the customer, you can consider the effect of printing on both sides one of our fabrics and contact us, and we will get back to you if it's feasible.
Can I order labels in another fabric? Will you cut them like you do with the normal fabric labels?
At the moment no, our labels are all printed on the same satin fabric. We may introduce more in the future, but for now this is the best choice. The labels are all cut the same way. You can order the fabric of your choice and make the labels yourself, but we do not cut different fabric into label format.
How is your fabric printing eco-friendly?
With environmental consciousness in mind, our fabrics are all printed using completely water-based inks. This means no chemicals or solvents are used. Our heat fixing procedure fixes the colors and prints, avoiding the downsides of steaming, such as excess or contaminated water returning into the waste system. We have one facility where we conduct all the printing, production and fulfillment.
Sizing For Hemming And Shrinkage
We have a full Cut & Sew service here at Contrado, and are able to hem your fabric prints for a small additional charge. We create a small one- or two-fold hem that typically uses 0.22" to 0.75" (5-20mm) of material, depending on the thickness of the fabric. So, for example, if you want a finished piece of fabric that measures 100 x 100cm, you will need to order a size of 101.5cm x 101.5cm to allow for the hem (on top of that please also allow for shrinkage of min 2%). The thicker the fabric, the bigger the hem will be. You can choose to have your prints hemmed with either Black or White thread. On our silk and other light woven fabrics, one hemmed edge will be straight (vertically down the roll) and the other will be slightly rippled. The hemming material allowances are as follows and you need to make your print bigger to accommodate the hem:
- Light Fabrics (20-100gsm): For silks and other light fabrics, we use 6-8mm in the hem (2 fold), so overall width/height will be minus 0.5"/ 12-16mm
- Medium Fabrics (101-200gsm): For medium-weight fabrics that fray, we use 0.5 - 0.75" / 15-20mm in the hem (2 fold) so overall width/height will be minus 35-40mm
- Stiff/Heavy/No-fray fabrics: we use 0.5 - 0.75" / 15-20mm in the hem (1 fold) so overall width/height will be minus 1.5" / 35-40mm
All of these measurements are approximate and can vary. Including with shrinkage it can mean a fairly significant difference to ordered dimensions, so please plan your print accordingly. Depending on how open the weave is, our fabric can shrink anywhere from 2% to 8% with the average being 2.5%.