An illustration of white shirt with a faed motorcycle print reepresenting the query: Why is my sublimation faded ?

Why Is My Sublimation Faded: Causes and Solutions

Sublimation printing is a popular and adaptable printing technique that enables the transfer of pictures to various objects, such as T-shirts, mugs, and phone cases. It is a reasonably straightforward technique involving the heat transfer of dye onto the product’s surface.

Nevertheless, if you’ve ever seen sublimation prints that are faded or washed out, you know how frustrating it can be and you may be wondering why is my sublimation faded ?. We will discuss the common causes of sublimation fading and what you can do to prevent it from occurring.

Why does my sublimation look faded?

Sublimation may appear faded if the ink used in the printing process is of poor quality or if the transfer paper used needs to be of better quality.

Incorrect heat and pressure settings during the transfer process could also account for the fading appearance. Also, the material being printed upon is not suited for sublimation printing.

The best fabrics for sublimation printing are those with a high polyester content because the ink binds to the polyester fibers to generate a brilliant and durable print.

Suppose the cloth being printed upon is a polyester-and-other-fiber blend. In that case, the sublimation print may appear faded or washed out.


Related Post : How to make sublimation brighter ?


Reasons and Solutions


Low-Quality Ink

Different colored inks cartridges in a printer represnting the query: Why is my sublimation faded ?

Substandard Sublimation Ink Sublimation ink is an essential component of the sublimation process, and low-quality ink can result in faded or washed-out prints.

Buying high-quality sublimation ink from a trustworthy vendor is essential if you want your prints to be colorful and durable. In addition, you must use the proper ink for your particular printer and substrate.


Buy high-quality sublimation ink from a trustworthy vendor, and use the correct ink for your printer and substrate.

Improper Temperature and pressure

Temperature or Pressure Error To fully transfer the dye to the substrate during sublimation printing, precise temperature and pressure parameters are required.

The print may appear faded or washed out if the Temperature or pressure is too low or too high. Inversely, the print can become deformed or unclear if the Temperature or pressure is too high or too low.


 Check your printer’s manual or the directions provided by the ink manufacturer to discover the correct temperature and pressure settings for your substrate. Use a high-quality heat press machine to ensure exact and constant Temperature and pressure.


Also Read : Pigment Ink Vs Sublmation ink: Whats the difference ?


Poor Quality Substrate

A person holding an aluminum foil substrate representing the query: Why is my sublimation faded ?

Unsatisfactory Substrates Another critical aspect of the sublimation process is the quality of the substrate (i.e., the product being printed upon).

Suppose the substrate is of poor quality or includes impurities. In that case, the dye may not transfer correctly, resulting in a fading or diluted print. It is essential to utilize high-quality substrates built specifically for sublimation printing.


Invest in premium substrates created exclusively for sublimation printing. Before printing, properly clean the substrate to remove any impurities.

Incorrect Press Time

A persong pressing heat press on a shirt representing the query: Why is my sublimation faded ?

Insufficient press time The dwell time (the length of time the substrate is in contact with the heat press) is a crucial aspect of the sublimation process. The dye may not transfer completely if the dwell period is longer, resulting in a faded or diluted print.


Refer to the printer’s manual or the ink manufacturer’s instructions to establish the correct dwell time for your substrate. Use a timer or stopwatch to confirm the accuracy of the dwell time.

Poor Printing Technique

For high-quality sublimation prints, it is necessary to use the correct printing procedure. If the printing method is improper, the print may appear faded or washed out.

Printing on wrinkled or unclean surfaces, using too much or too little ink, or printing too quickly are typical printing errors.


Before printing, ensure that your substrate is wrinkle-free and clean. Use the appropriate amount of ink for your substrate, and take your time when printing to ensure that the ink is evenly spread.

Why is my sublimation look faded after washing?

A person washing a shirt in detergetnt representing the query: Why is my sublimation faded ?

This is possible because sublimation ink is less durable than other ink forms. The process itself includes dye molecules bonding with polyester fibers. These dye molecules can break away during the washing process, resulting in a decrease in color intensity.

To avoid this, it is vital to use high-quality sublimation ink and precisely adhere to the manufacturer’s washing recommendations. It is also advisable to avoid strong detergents and high heat settings while washing sublimated items so that the prints last as long as possible.


Also Read : How to wash sublimation shirts?


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are sublimation prints susceptible to fading?

Indeed, sublimation prints exposed to high heat, light, or moisture can fade over time. However, this is a rare occurrence with high-quality sublimation prints created with the proper materials and methods.

Q. How long do prints make by sublimation last?

Sublimation prints are generally more durable and long-lasting than other printing technologies. Sublimation prints can last years without fading or washing out with proper care and handling.

Q. Can I use sublimation printing on materials with dark colors?

Sublimation printing is typically reserved for white or light-colored fabrics, as the dye is translucent and does not appear on dark materials. However, there are now accessible sublimation transfer materials that permit printing on dark substrates.

Q. Can home sublimation printing be performed?

Home sublimation printing is possible with the correct equipment and supplies. To ensure your prints are colorful and long-lasting, you must understand the printing process and utilize high-quality materials.


In conclusion, there are several probable issues to investigate if your sublimation prints are fading or looking washed out. Investing in high-quality materials, employing the proper printing procedures, and adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions may create brilliant, long-lasting sublimation prints. You can generate high-quality sublimation prints that will impress your consumers and keep them coming back for more with a little patience and attention to detail.

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