Black Mug Sublimation | Step-by-Step Guide [2022]

black mug sublimation vector image
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Have you ever wanted to sublimate on a black mug? Surely Yes. Mug sublimation is a fantastic way to print your designs and images on mugs.

However, things become more interesting when the mug is BLACK. So how to sublimate on black mug? Very easy; today, I am discussing the same topic, i.e., black mug sublimation. Keep Reading!

Sublimation is the way to give your mug a super cool and attractive look. There are many tutorials available on sublimating on white mugs, but very few for sublimating on black mugs.

Sublimation on black mugs is pretty trickier than on white mugs. So can you sublimate on a black mug? Yes, you can. Below, I have outlined simple and easy steps to sublimate on a black mug.

You just have to follow them, and you will be amazed by seeing how beautiful it will be at the end.

Ready to get started? Let’s get started!

What Is Sublimation Printing And How It Works

Before proceeding, let’s briefly discuss sublimation printing. If you don’t want to read about that, click here and jump to the step-by-step guide.

Sublimation Printing

Sublimation Printing is a process in which high HEAT is used to transfer the image on the blanks like fabrics, metals, tumblers, mugs, etc.

It’s a cheap, well-liked printing technique that churns bright and vibrant results. It’s pretty much the same as the HTV Printing method. Check out the difference between HTV and Sublimation.

How Sublimation Printing Works

Firstly the image is printed with sublimation inks on the sublimation paper and then transferred to the blank using a Heat Source like a heat press, tumbler press, etc.

This is the primary method; however, sublimation is done on various blanks, so the process is slightly different for different blanks.

For example, sublimation on faux leather is different from sublimation on Bluetooth tumblers.

Benefits Of Black Mug Sublimation

Sublimation is one of the best methods for printing mugs. There are many benefits of black mug sublimation, including:

  • The resulting mug would be very durable because the image is infused into the mug and it won’t peel or fades.
  • The mug would be vibrant as you print on a black surface. Colors like yellow really stand out on black.
  • You can print any image and design on the mug, including images, patterns, etc. You can gift it to someone or sell it or use it for decoration purposes.

Step-by-Step Process Of Black Mug Sublimation

The overall step to sublimate on a black mug is very straightforward. There are only two steps, so read and follow them correctly.

Things Require For Sublimating On Black Mugs

You must have the following things available to print your image and designs on black mugs.

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1- Sublimation Printer

First, you will need a sublimation printer to print your image. I am talking about a sublimation printer, not an inkjet printer.

Sublimation printers have sublimation ink filled inside. You cant use an inkjet printer for sublimation, but you can convert your inkjet into sublimation.

Although if you have a budget, buy a new sublimation printer. These are the best sublimation printers you can consider.

And for sublimation inks, I recommend Hippo or INKXPRO inks. 

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2- Sublimation Paper

Secondly, you must have a sublimation paper on which the image will be printed. Sublimation paper plays a significant role in making sublimation brighter.

So always use the best sublimation paper when doing sublimation. I recommend using a 120g sublimation paper.

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3- Black Sublimation Mug Blank

Thirdly, you will need the most essential item of the process, i.e., black sublimation mugs. Sublimation mugs have a white patch or white area on them where you print the image.

There are a lot of sublimation mugs and ceramic mugs available on Amazon, Etsy, etc. You can get any of them.

black ceramic mug vector image
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4- Heat Tapes 

After that, you will need heat tapes. Heat tapes fix the image with the blank and avoid movements during pressing. Movement is the enemy of sublimation.

All your efforts will be wasted if your sublimation print moves during pressing. So always use heat tapes to avoid movements and to get perfect results.

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5- Mug Press Machine

Lastly, you will need a heat source, i.e., a mug press machine to transfer the image to the mug.

mug press machine vector image
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Step #1 [Image Printing]

Now you have all the required things in hand, let’s move on to our first step. Follow the instructions outlined below.

#1 Take the mug and measure its size with the measuring tape. Just measure the printable area, not the entire mug.

#2 Open graphics software like Corel Draw, Canva, or Illustrator and create or open the image. And then transform the image size according to the mug size. Check the below size template.

mug print size template
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#3 Turn on the sublimation printer and print a trial image to check for issues, then put the sublimation paper inside it.

turning on sublimation printer
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#4 After all, check all the print properties and print the image. Ensure to print the image in high quality.

#5 After printing the image, cut it from the paper, leaving 0.5-inch from all four sides. And that’s all for this step.

image printed on sublimation paper
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Step #2 [Sublimation Process]

Now we have printed the image, it’s time to transfer it to the cup. Follow the instruction below.

#1 Turn on the mug press machine and set its temperature to 180 degrees.

#2 First, we have to pre-press the mug, so place it inside the mug press and press it for 5 seconds only.

#3 Then take the printed image and wrap it around the mugs.

wrapping image on a mug
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#4 Then, fix it with heat tapes like the image below.

heat tapes on mug
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#5 The mug pressing will be done in two steps; first, we press the mug for 120 seconds.

Then rotate it to 180 degrees and press again for 100 seconds using the same temperature.

#6 So, open the mug press and place the mug inside it, making sure to align the center. And then press for 120 seconds at 120 degrees Celcius using medium pressure.

mug inside mug press machine, time 120 seconds
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#7 After pressing, take the mug out. Don’t forget to wear heat-resistant gloves. Then rotate it to 180 degrees and press again for 100 seconds using the same temperature and pressure.

mug inside mug press machine, time 100 seconds
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#8 After all, take the mug out and let it cool for several seconds.

mug on table, heat tapes
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#9 Then take the tapes out, and you will have your product, i.e., a beautiful customized mug.

You will get bright results if you carefully follow all the above steps correctly. But I recommend following these tips to make sublimation more bright and vibrant.

sublimated mug over table
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Pros And Cons Of Black Mugs Sublimation

pros and cons vector image
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  • Extremely easy to do
  • Very durable and last for years
  • You can sell or gift it
  • Very cost-effective And looks so beautiful


  • Time-consuming process
  • The mug should be polyester coated

Video Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Can sublimation be done on any mug?

No, sublimation can’t be done on all mugs. Sublimation can only be done on a mug that has a polyester coating on it. They are also known as sublimation mugs or ceramic mugs.

Which type of designs can you print on mugs?

You can print many types of designs on sublimation mugs. Some trendy designs are Typography, Geometric patterns, Natural scenes, Portraits, and a logo.

What mugs are best for sublimation?

Ceramic mugs are best for sublimation. They are very durable and the print appears so bright on them. Ceramic mugs are available in different sizes like 15 oz mugs, 12 oz mugs, etc.

Which color is best to sublimate on a black mug?

Black contrast colors are best to sublimate on a black mug, like yellow, white, red, orange, etc. You can also make your own color by mixing two colors in graphics software like Corel Draw.

Conclusion: Black Mug Sublimation

Phew! You have now learned simple and easy steps to do black mug sublimation. And I am pretty sure you have got the answer to your question, i.e., how to sublimate on black mug.

You can now go ahead and create amazing designs, images, patterns, and artwork on cups. Keep in mind all the steps, and you will get an eye-catching result.

Customized mugs are great gifts and promotional items. One thing I recommend is to use good-quality sublimation mugs.

Try to experiment with multiple temperatures and if you have any questions, leave a comment below or Tweet @printertip.

More From PrinterTip

How To Sublimate On Nylon.

How To Sublimate On Hoodies.

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From A Shirt.

How To Print On Plastic With An Inkjet Printer.

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About Shoaib Saqib

Hello there! It's Shoaib, the creator of PrinterTip. I am a printing expert and have worked in the printing business for more than five years. I have completed tens of thousands of printing tasks and have an extensive understanding of secrets. And I love writing about printing, mostly Sublimation Printing.

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