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How to Sublimate Dark t-shirt…2 Easy methods

Sublimation is the process in which sublimation dye is converted into gas state without converting into and then by applying heat and pressure it is again converted into solid. Sublimation is done best on the materials which are polyester made on have a coating of polyester.

Sublimation on t-shirts is a worldwide business which is growing day-by-day. Now you can sublimate dark t-shirts at home by applying only a few steps using your own sublimation printers.

First it was considered that sublimation can only be done on white or light color substrate but with the advancement of technology now it is possible to sublimate dark color or black t-shirt by following few steps. The main difference between sublimating light color t-shirt or dark t-shirt is the use of sublimation paper.

For sublimating light color t-shirt any sublimation paper can be used but for dark color t-shirt you have to replace sublimation paper with fabric sheet. Your desired image is printed onto the fabric sheet by using sublimation printer and then is allowed to dry before applying it on dark t-shirt. In this way you will be able to customize your favorite shirt in your desired design.


There are three common methods to sublimate dark t-shirts

  1. Bleaching process
  2. Use of Easysubli
  3. Use of Printable HTV

Sublimate Dark t-shirt by Bleaching

Things you need during the process

  • Bleach
  • Peroxide to stop bleaching process
  • Vinyl
  • Gloves
  • t-shirt 52% cotton and 48% polyester
  • Sublimation printer
  • Heat press
  • Butcher paper
  • Sublimation tape

Sublimation on dark t-shirt by bleaching is a cheap process but it takes long to sublimate. It is a simple process that starts from printing the desired image and cutting the vinyl according to the design.

bleaching process

Remove any wrinkle in the shirt and place it on any hard surface. Now out the butcher paper inside the shirt to avoid bleach to reach on the lower side of the shirt. Now place the vinyl carefully on the shirt, sticky side of the vinyl facing the shirt. You can also use butcher paper on the side of the vinyl to remove any risk of spilling bleach on other parts of the shirt. 

bleach shirt

Now spray bleach on the cut design of the vinyl very carefully. Wait for the bleach to dissolve the dark color of the shirt on the specific area. You can also use heat gun to speed up the process because heat and light can increase the speed of the bleaching because heat activates bleach. When bleaching is done then spray hydrogen peroxide to stop further bleaching process.

sublimated shirt

Now its time to sublimate your desired design on to the bleached area. Carefully placed your design on transfer paper onto the shirt in aa way that the design is facing the shirt. Fix the design by using heat tape to avoid any kind of mess or ruining the design.

Now its time to heat press the shirt by using heat press machine. Apply heat at 380o F for almost 60 seconds. Now remove the machine and transfer paper carefully. Let cool the shirt before touching it. Now you get your own customized dark color shirt.

Use of Easysubli

Things you need

  • Easysubli Kit
  • Mask
  • t-shirt
  • Sublimation printer
  • Heat press
  • Cutting machine
easysubli htv

Easysubli kit has two sheets, one is HTV print sheet which is used to print our design and other is vinyl to transfer that design on to the shirt.

easysubli method

First print the design on HTV sheet and weed the design. Now transfer your design on to the vinyl and place vinyl onto the shirt very carefully. Place butcher paper on to the vinyl and apply heat through heat press at 310o for 15 seconds. Remove the heat press and allow the shirt to cool then peel off the vinyl very carefully. Your sublimate shirt using Easysubli is ready to use.

Use of Printable HTV

There is another way of printing dark t-shirt. In this method inkjet printer is used for printing on Printable HTV. Following are the requirements;

  • t-shirt (100% cotton)
  • Printable HTV
  • Ink Jet Printer
  • Cutting machine
  •  Teflon sheet
  • Easy press

Printable HTV use simple inkjet printer ink. The first step is to print the image on pritable vinyl then cut the image into the cutting machine. After cutting its ti,e to heat press printable vinyl onto the shirt.

sublimate dark t-shirt

Before you heat press the shirt, press the dark color or black t-shirt to remove any wrinkle or moisture for better results. Then place printable vinyl carefully onto the shirt and place Teflon sheet on it. Now heat press the shirt at 340o F for 90 seconds.

Remove Teflon sheet very carefully. Your shirt with printable vinyl is ready to use. The colors are vibrant and long lasting also resistant to water.

Final Words

Now with the advancement of technology you can print darkk color t-shirts easily with the printer you are already using. Printing with Easysubli is costly as compared to the bleaching process because of the high cost of the Easysubli sheets. Now its totally up to you which method do you prefer to sublimate your dark t-shirt. For further information check best way of sublimation t-shirt and best sublimation printer for heat transfer.


Is it possible to sublimate cotton t-shirt?

Yes, with the advancement of technology it is possible to sublimate cotton t-shirt. The process is carried out by spraying a layer of polyester onto the shirt to sublimate it because sublimation works best on polyester bas substrates.

How to sublimate dark t-shit?

Sublimation is mostly done on light color shirt perfectly. But now you can sublimate dark color shirts by different methods, most common are use of Easysubli and by bleaching process.

Which method is easy for sublimating dark t-shirt?

Use of Easysubli is an easy process because you just print the image printed on Easysubli HTV by applying heat while for bleaching you have to follow more steps to continue the process.

Which method is easy for sublimating dark t-shirt?

Use of Easysubli is an easy process because you just print the image printed on Easysubli HTV by applying heat while for bleaching you have to follow more steps to continue the process.

Which one is cheap, Easysubli or bleaching?

Bleaching process is easy as compared to the use of Easysubli because Easysubli sheets prices are high.

Can we use Inkjet printer for printing dark t-shirt?

We can print dark t-shirt simply by using inkjet printer ink. The printable HTV having your desired image is applied onto the shirt and then heat is applied to transfer the image.

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