Poor sublimation paper can leave you tearing your hair out, especially if you are running a business and every bit of wastage is cutting into your profits! So what can you do?
Finding the best sublimation paper is the answer.
Sublimation printing paper of good quality can be tricky to find. If you’re a newbie, it can be difficult to know which brand to trust and which brand is a dud to beware of.
With this review, we take a close look at paper for sublimation printing and how it can make your life easier.
Give us a few minutes, and once you’ve finished reading, you’ll have a much clearer idea of which sublimation paper you need to buy.
List of Sublimation Paper
1. A-SUB Sublimation Paper 125g Series
2. Printers Jack Sublimation Paper
3. A-SUB Sublimation Paper 120g Series
4. A-SUB Sublimation Paper 105g series
5. Seogol Sublimation Paper
6. S-RACE Sublimation Paper
7. Printers Jack Store Sublimation Paper
8. TexPrintR Sublimation Paper
9. DyeMaster Sublimation Paper
10. HIRALIY Printable Sublimation Paper
Comparison Chart of Top 10 Sublimation Paper
5 Best Sublimation Paper Review
1. A-SUB Sublimation Paper 125g Series | best sublimation paper for epson printer
When purchasing sublimation paper, it is essential to consider the conditions you are working in. Are you in low humidity or high humidity?
If the answer to the humidity question is ‘high’ (with ‘high’ being 70% humidity and above), then you need to get this 125 gsm, 11 x 17 inch sublimation paper from A-Sub.
In high humidity, sublimation paper will become damp exceptionally quickly, resulting in it becoming soft and weak. If you want fracture free, smooth sublimation prints, the humidity will be a real problem on lower gsm paper.
This A-Sub paper is especially handy for transferring designs to all kinds of polyester. You can also make beautiful mugs and plates using most materials. There is a wide range of options that you can create.
A-Sub states that there are some inkjet printers that their paper works better with than others. Epson is one of the named companies, along with RICOH and Sawgrass.
Do other printers result in a substandard transfer, or is this some kind of partnership between the companies? It is hard to give a definitive answer, but with the sublimation process being so important, why risk using a different printer model?
Buying this paper, you get 110 sheets with a brightness rating of 80 lumen and a coated finish. This is a quick drying paper that is incredibly consistent at producing excellent results.
1. Wonderfully crisp results and a 98% plus transfer rate
2. Incredibly fast drying time reduces the chance of ink leakage
3. Extremely clean to work with
2. Printers Jack Sublimation Paper| best sublimation paper for fabric
If you’re working with white or light colored polyester fabric or items coated with polyester, then this sublimation paper from Printers Jack is right up your street.
Beautiful, flawless transfers are possible with this sublimation paper, which offers bright, bold ink transfer onto a range of items. Thanks to the 8.3×11.7 inch size of the paper, you can transfer images large or small.
Color plays such an important role in grabbing the attention of people. The high color reproduction of this sublimation paper makes it ideal for any mug, phone case, bag, or shirt that you want to put a vibrant design onto. You’ll be amazed at the end results.
There are some key attributes you want from your sublimation paper. You want to know that it won’t fade; you want transfers that are waterproof; and you don’t want smudges or cracks. Any of these things happening are devastating to your transfer. Thankfully, this sublimation paper is of such quality that you don’t have this worry.
If you do find issues with a transfer, we can safely say that it is not the paper that is the epicenter of the problem. It will be a problem with your printer or whatever you are using to apply heat in the transfer phase. We’re that confident because this paper is just that good.
1. Works best with light colored polyester fabrics and polyester coated items
2. High quality no fracture and no fade sublimation paper
3. Transfer vivid colors with a 98% transfer rate
3. A-SUB Sublimation Paper 120g Series
There are those who argue that A-SUB sublimation paper is hands down the best quality sublimation paper that you can buy. That is entirely subjective as there is very little difference between a couple of brands out there, so it’s not so easy to determine the number one, very best paper. However, what we can say is that A-SUB paper is undoubtedly high quality and could end up being the only sublimation paper you ever choose to buy.
This fast-drying sublimation paper is 8.5×11 inches – that’s the size of regular A4 pages. 8.5×11 inches is your standard sublimation size, perfectly suited for transferring onto something like a mug. Such a size also means you can use a regular-sized inkjet printer with your sublimation ink rather than a wide-format printer as would be needed with larger papers.
Your printing options are slightly expanded with this sublimation paper. It can be applied on light colored polyester and items with a polyester coating, but cotton also becomes an option, so long as the cotton content of the material in question is no more than 30%.
As with all A-SUB papers, you are recommended to use RICOH, SAWGRASS, and EPSON printers, but you can use other printers so long as they have the correct type of print head.
1. 120gsm sublimation paper works very well in humid conditions
2. 98% transfer rate and instant drying
3. Suitable for light colored polyester and materials with less than 30% cotton
4. A-SUB Sublimation Paper (8.5×11)
We spoke earlier in this review article about the benefits of a higher gsm being required for high humidity conditions, are recommended a 125gsm paper.
One important thing to remember about the relationship between printer and paper is that the thicker, heavier papers require a more specialized printer in order to make the best use of the paper and for you not to see a degradation in quality.
However, not all of us have printers with the specs to handle thick sublimation paper, and even it can handle the paper, it might not do it well.
Some believe that the best paper for a standard printer is 70gsm as this transfers well to most items and is easier on the printer.
However, external conditions may result in issues of paper hunching up. Therefore, if you work in conditions that change quite regularly, we recommend using this 105gsm paper from A-Sub as it is it sits in the middle of the gsm spectrum and therefore is the best option.
Like all A-SUB paper, this 105g series, 8.5×11 inch paper offers incredible consistency in print, and you will rarely face a problem that is caused by the paper itself. A-SUB paper is fast drying, so you run less risk of colors bleeding or smudging as you complete your prints and transfers.
1. Top-quality sublimation paper for lower level printers working in changeable conditions
2. Suitable for light polyester colors and polyester coated items
3. Fast drying with low fade, smudge, and fracture chances
5. Seogol Sublimation Paper (8.5×11)
We’ve looked at a number of A-SUB sublimation papers, and that company has made it abundantly clear that for the best end product, you need to use their paper with specific brands of printer.
Now, we review a sublimation paper that doesn’t have the same limitations. Seagol’s inkjet sublimation paper can be used with all printers, whether that’s Epson, HP, Canon, or any other you can think of.
This paper is 8.5×11 inch and therefore suitable to be used on a regular sized inkjet printer. It offers a 98% transfer rate, which is the standard claim of all the top sublimation paper sellers.
A lot has been said in this article about the importance of GSM. Unfortunately, no information has been given by Seagol with regards to the weight or thickness of the paper, but going on sight alone, we can tell you it is thin in comparison to others we have seen.
However, the paper transfers really easily and ensures beautiful images on whatever you have transferred onto. The thickness of the paper suggests it would best be used in low humidity conditions.
This is a quality sublimation paper, the equal of others on the list, but at a more affordable price.
1. Use with dye sublimation ink and any inkjet printer
2. Wide usage on polyester products and items with less than 30% cotton
3. Print and transfer with final product ready in just 10 minutes maximum
Sublimation Paper Buying Guide
When on the lookout for the best sublimation paper, there are many factors that you need to consider. Here we take a look at what some of those factors are as we help you make your decision on which paper to buy.
The type of printer you own is a factor in the type of paper you are going to buy. While sublimation paper requires an inkjet printer, not all inkjet printers can handle sublimation paper.
Companies such as A-SUB tell you specifically that their paper is compatible with the printers of certain companies. Often you will find that a piezo printhead is necessary.
Equally important is the size of your printer. You don’t want to by buying 11×17 inch sublimation paper when you can only print on paper of an 8.5×11 inch size.
You’ll also want to check the maximum weight and thickness that your printer can handle. Entry level printers are not that adept at printing on thicker print media. And the sturdiness of the thicker gsm sublimation papers could end up damaging a printer that isn’t suited to such print media.
Amount of Ink
If you are printing wet designs that use a high amount of ink, then a thinner paper is highly likely to curl and warp. This is clearly detrimental to the overall work and quality that you are trying to accomplish.
Equally, if you have a design that features a mix of heavy ink in some parts and light inks in others, you may wish to go for a heavier gsm paper to avoid similar problems.
Humidity has a significant impact on sublimation paper; thus, you need to consider your work environment.
In low humidity, your paper is likely to shrink or ‘hunch up’. An 80gsm paper is best for these conditions as thicker paper could cause damage to the printer during this ‘hunch up’.
In a high humidity environment, a paper of 110gsm upwards is required. This is because the high humidity causes the paper to become damp, causing the print to be less smooth if you already have a thin paper.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) on Sublimation Paper
What kind of paper is used for sublimation?
Sublimation is a printing technique used to get images onto various items, usually polyester based or polyester coated. In order to be successful using this technique, a special sublimation paper is required.
Sublimation paper is different from the paper you use for everyday printing because this paper has a special coating. It is because of this special coating that the paper is able to hold the dye sublimation ink.
Heat is then used to transfer images from the sublimation paper to whatever item you add a design to.
Can you use sublimation paper in any printer?
No, you can’t use any old printer with sublimation paper.
The main reason for this is that the ink required for sublimation printing is different from what you are using with your regular cartridge. Some printers simply aren’t able to take the ink cartridge that is needed.
Another problem you may face is the wrong type of print head for the job. A lot of sublimation paper companies give clear instructions on which printers can be used.
How does sublimation paper work?
Sublimation paper is a special paper used to transfer images onto polyester and polyester coated items.
The paper itself has a special coating required to hold the sublimation ink. The paper can be printed on using an inkjet printer with sublimation ink and the right print head.
To transfer the ink from the paper to the item you want, the design on heat is applied. The heat turns the sublimation ink into a gas, and this then enters the pores of the polyester item. The ink from the sublimation paper is then trapped in the polyester. It cools down, and then the whole process is finished.
We’ve been searching for the best sublimation paper, and this list has some top options used by people who have practiced sublimation for many years.
Key things to look out for when choosing your sublimation paper are the size of the paper and the weight of the paper.
Make sure your printer can take the print media that you are purchasing without risking damage to the machine.
Equally, consider the conditions you are working in. The effects of low or high humidity can have an impact on the overall work you are doing as it changes the way that the paper behaves.