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Finding the best sublimation blanket time and temp can be make-or-break for your craft. But don’t worry, we have got you covered! Discover the optimal settings and understand crucial nuances in this comprehensive guide, ensuring vivid, enduring prints on your next sublimation project. Look no further as we show you the art of creating stunning, colorful sublimation blankets!

Key Takeaways

  • Optimal sublimation time & temp are key for vibrant, lasting prints; typically 360°F for 60 seconds for blankets.
  • The right equipment is essential: A good heat press, quality sublimation printer, and the right accessories.
  • Troubleshooting is part of the process—uneven color and ghosting can often be fixed by adjusting techniques and ensuring proper material use.

Understanding Sublimation Blanket Time and Temp

Sublimation blanket in heat press

Sublimation is a game-changer in the world of fabric design, and mastering it can unlock a universe of vibrant, durable, and personalized blankets. Producing stunning sublimation blanket projects hinges on two critical parameters – time and temperature. They are the secret sauce that transforms the solid sublimation ink into gas, which then bonds with the polyester fibers of the blanket, creating vibrant designs.

The type of blanket you’re working with dictates how you set up your heat press and the temperature you choose. For instance, the recommended sublimation temperature for textile fabrics is typically around 400°F. If you’re working with a fleece blanket, the optimal sublimation temperature range is typically between 375°F to 400°F. Remember, the thickness of the material and the fabric type are crucial in determining the appropriate sublimation time and temperature settings.

The Science Behind Sublimation

So, how do sublimation works come to life? The magic begins when the solid ink is converted into a gas through the application of heat, bypassing the liquid phase entirely. This process is known as sublimation. High temperatures open the pores of the polyester material, allowing the gas form of the ink to penetrate and bond with the fabric. Once the heat source is removed, the pores close upon cooling, trapping the ink inside. This is how your favorite images and designs become an inseparable part of the blanket.[1]

Sublimation transcends being a mere heat transfer process. It artfully marries heat, pressure, and time to create enduring, high-quality prints on your blankets. The beauty of sublimation lies in its permanence. Unlike traditional printing methods where the ink merely sits on the surface, dye sublimation embeds the ink within the fabric. This means the prints won’t fade, peel, or wash away, even with repeated use and washing.

Importance of Time and Temperature

Having grasped the science behind sublimation, it’s time to explore the crucial roles of time and temperature. Achieving the right temperature and time during sublimation is the secret to transferring your designs vividly and permanently onto the blanket, making the image durable against fading, peeling, or washing away.

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However, dialing in the correct settings can be a delicate balancing act. Both insufficient time and incorrect temperature can lead to poor quality transfers. Incorrect settings can cause a myriad of issues such as blurry or faded images. Therefore, adjusting the time, temperature, and pressure to the appropriate levels is key to preventing these problems.

For sublimation blankets, the recommended temperature and time setting is 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 seconds, ensuring vibrant and consistent print quality.

Essential Equipment for Sublimation Blanket Projects

Plain white sublimation blank

Just like any artist needs their brushes and paints, the perfect sublimation blanket project requires specific tools and equipment. From a purpose-built sublimation printer to high-quality sublimation ink, every piece of gear plays a vital role in creating your fun diy masterpiece.

A heat press is another essential tool needed to transfer sublimation prints onto the blanket. With specialized presses available for different types of materials, the right one can make all the difference in achieving a vibrant and consistent print.

Choosing the Right Heat Press

Selecting an appropriate heat press for your sublimation project is of utmost importance. You need a heat press that:

  • Has a non-stick surface to prevent the blanket from adhering to the platen during the transfer process
  • Offers consistent temperature control
  • Has adjustable pressure to achieve high-quality and vibrant prints on blankets.

Keep in mind, not all heat presses are created equal. Each one operates a little differently, so you may need to adjust and experiment with time and temperature settings to achieve optimal results with your specific press. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be creating stunning sublimated blankets in no time!

Selecting a Suitable Sublimation Printer

A silver sublimation printer next to a lamp

A suitable sublimation printer, akin to the right heat press, is integral to your sublimation blanket project. Models like the Sawgrass SG500 and the Epson SureColor SC-F170 are recommended for their quality and ease of use. These printers utilize special sublimation ink and paper to properly transfer images, and require specific software to print designs.

To ensure print quality and color vibrancy, it’s crucial to use the designated color correction software or print drivers that are designed for use with sublimation printing. So, before you start, make sure you have a printer that can handle the job![2]

Must-Have Accessories

Once you have your heat press and sublimation printer sorted, it’s time to gather your must-have accessories. These small but mighty tools can greatly enhance the quality and ease of your sublimation projects.

Some essential tools for the sublimation process include:

  • Heat-resistant tape to secure sublimation paper in place
  • Butcher paper to prevent ink bleed-through
  • A pressing mat or silicone pad for even heat distribution
  • Heat-resistant gloves for safety
  • A digital thermometer to monitor pressing temperature

Utilizing these tools will help ensure a successful sublimation process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Sublimating a Blanket

Colorful sublimation design display on a MAC screen

With our equipment and accessories ready, we can proceed with the step-by-step guide to crafting your unique sublimated blanket. From image preparation to post-pressing care, each step is crucial to achieving a stunning end result.

As we begin, bear in mind that perfection comes with practice. Sublimation is an art, and just like any other art form, it might take a few tries before you master it. So, don’t get disheartened if your first few attempts don’t turn out exactly as you envisioned. Keep experimenting, adjusting, and learning, and you’ll soon be creating sublimation blankets that are nothing short of a work of art!

Image Preparation

The first step in creating a sublimation photo blanket is getting precise measurements of the blanket material. This will help you in preparing your image. Your image should be of high quality and scaled to fill the desired area without losing resolution. You can use larger paper if necessary, ensuring your image covers the desired areas effectively. For those in the search for photo printers for sublimation, we got you covered.

Utilize editing software or platforms like Cricut Design Space to segment images, preparing them for printing in tiles on multiple sheets and assuring they match specified blanket sections. Keep in mind that your images and design elements must be mirrored before the printing process to ensure they transfer correctly and read accurately on the finished blanket.[3]

Finally, do a test print on regular paper with black ink. This can save resources and provide a preliminary look at the design’s size and orientation, making adjustments easier before printing on sublimation paper.

Pressing the Design

An image of a lint roller

With your image primed, we can proceed to imprint the design onto the baby fleece blanket. Before pressing, the blanket should be lint rolled, smoothed out on the press to remove wrinkles or folds, and pre-pressed to eliminate excess moisture. The pressing time for sublimating a fleece blanket typically ranges from 40 to 75 seconds, which might be adjusted if compensating for uneven surfaces or extra layers.

Now comes the crucial step – aligning the design correctly. To prevent the design from shifting, use tacky sublimation paper for soft goods or secure the transfer with heat-resistant tape especially when including text. Remember, precision is key at every step of the process. A little extra care and attention can go a long way in ensuring a flawless result.

Post-Pressing Care

Congratulations! You’ve successfully imprinted your design onto your blanket. But wait, the process isn’t over yet. After the pre press stage, post-pressing care is just as important to maintain the vibrancy and quality of your print.

Sublimation blankets should be cared for as follows:

  • Machine-wash cold with like colors, without using bleach or fabric softener
  • Avoid dry cleaning
  • Prefer either hanging them to dry or tumble drying them on low heat if necessary
  • Store in a cool, dark place to prevent fading from direct sunlight

With proper care, your sublimation blanket will remain vibrant and beautiful for years to come.

Troubleshooting Common Sublimation Issues

A brown table with a printer and magnifying lens resting on it

Despite being a fun and creative endeavor, sublimation comes with its set of challenges. There can be times when you might face issues such as uneven color transfer or ghosting. But don’t worry! With a little bit of troubleshooting, these common issues can be easily resolved.

The key to solving these issues lies in understanding their cause and knowing the right steps to rectify them. Whether it’s adjusting your technique or changing your material, there’s always a solution on the outside edge of the problem. Remember, every problem is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Uneven Color Transfer

One of the common issues you might encounter in the sublimation process is uneven color transfer. This can result from printing on the incorrect side of sublimation paper. Always ensure to print on the bright white side to ensure vibrant transfers. Also, banding or lines of missing ink can lead to uneven color transfer and results from inadequate printer maintenance or insufficient ink.

For larger items like blankets, they must remain in the heat press longer due to the greater surface area being sublimated. By addressing these issues, you can prevent uneven color transfer and achieve a perfect and vibrant print on your blanket.

Ghosting or Image Shift

Ghosting or image shift during sublimation can present as a duplicate image or shadow. It usually occurs when the sublimation transfer paper moves during pressing. To prevent this, use protective paper with thermal tape for securing transfer paper on hard substrates or adhesive spray for fabrics to anchor the paper.

Also, it’s essential to follow these steps to prevent ghosting and achieve a flawless sublimation print:

  1. Gently open the heat press post-sublimation.
  2. Move the item to a cooling area without disturbing the paper.
  3. Wait until the item has cooled sufficiently before removing the transfer paper.

With these tips in mind, you can prevent ghosting and achieve a flawless sublimation print.

Customizing Your Sublimation Blanket

A custom design on a sublimation blanket

The excitement kicks in when you start customizing your sublimation blanket! This is your chance to let your creativity take the driver’s seat. Whether it’s a special photo, a unique pattern, or a meaningful quote, you can add a personal touch to your blanket that reflects your style and personality.

The possibilities are endless. You can design a grid-like pattern on your blanket, filling each segment with personalized details such as photos or specific patterns. Or, go for a seasonal theme by incorporating seasonal elements or colors into your designs. And for a cohesive look, use a color palette generator to choose a harmonious color scheme for both graphics and text on your sublimation blankets.

Incorporating Photos and Images

Incorporating personal photos into your sublimation blanket can add a sentimental touch and make it truly one-of-a-kind. From your favorite vacation snaps to precious family photos, you can immortalize your special moments on your blanket.

You can also create a collage of images on the baby blanket, perfect for commemorating special events or telling a visual story. Or, why not create a photographic grid with slight overlaps at the photo edges for a seamless look when transferred onto the blanket fabric. And for pet enthusiasts, a sublimation blanket featuring high-resolution pet images complemented by paw print designs or names can make a perfect cozy cuddle companion or a thoughtful baby shower gift.

Adding Text and Typography

Incorporating text and typography into your sublimation blanket introduces a new layer of depth to your design. It could be a meaningful quote, a special date, or a name – the possibilities are endless. But remember, the font you choose should complement the theme of your blanket and be readable at the chosen size.

The placement of your text also matters. Whether it’s in the center, corner, or along the border, make sure it maintains a visual balance and complements the images on the blanket. You can also experiment with orientations like vertical or diagonal to add dynamic interest. And remember, color plays a key role. Using contrasting text colors can make your messages more striking against complex patterns, and matching text color with design elements can achieve a cohesive look.


And there you have it! You are now equipped with the knowledge and skills to create your own vibrant and personalized sublimation blankets. From understanding the science behind sublimation and the importance of time and temperature, to mastering the pressing process, and finally customizing your blanket with unique designs, you are ready to start your sublimation journey. With patience, practice, and creativity, you can create stunning sublimation blankets that are not just cozy and warm, but also a reflection of you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature do you sublimate baby blankets?

To sublimate baby blankets, press the blanket at 400°F for 60 seconds with medium pressure once the transfer is affixed. This will ensure a good sublimation process.

What temperature and time do you press sublimation?

You should press ceramic mugs for 150-210 seconds at a temperature of 370-400 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long does it take to sublimate a fleece blanket?

It takes 50 seconds to sublimate a fleece blanket. Just follow the instructions to achieve the best results.

What equipment do I need for sublimation blanket projects?

For sublimation blanket projects, you’ll need a sublimation printer, sublimation ink, a heat press, and accessories such as heat-resistant tape and a pressing mat. This setup will allow you to create stunning designs on your blankets!

What are some common issues in sublimation printing?

Some common issues in sublimation printing are uneven color transfer and ghosting/image shift, which can be resolved with practice and the right techniques.


  1. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (1998d, July 20). Sublimation | Definition, Examples, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/sublimation-phase-change
  2. Yu, J. (2012b, October 4). How to buy a printer. CNET. https://www.cnet.com/tech/computing/printer-buying-guide/
  3. Cricut Design Space. (n.d.). https://design.cricut.com/#/
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