How To Sublimate On Canvas | Best Way (2022)

how to sublimate on canvas
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Have you ever wanted to print your images and art on canvas? I am pretty sure yes, because this is the reason you are here.

Printing your images on canvas can give them a modern and appealing look. Plus, they can also be used for decoration purposes.

But the main question is how to sublimate on canvas. Sublimation on canvas is a pretty tricky process.

You have to be careful while doing canvas sublimation. Little errors may lead to disappointing outcomes.

But don’t fret. Luckily, In this article, I have discussed extremely easy and simple steps to get the job done.

Additionally, I have also discussed some professional tips to get the most bright sublimation result.

Even if you have no knowledge about sublimation printing, you can still do it.

Just read the article from start to finish, and you will be sublimating on canvas in no time.

Sublimation Printing: What It Is And How It Works

Before getting into the step-by-step guide to sublimate onto canvas, it’s essential to know what sublimation printing is and how it works.

If you don’t want to read about sublimation printing, click here, and you will directly jump to the step-by-step guide.

Sublimation Printing

Sublimation Printing is a process that puts prints on the blank using heat. 

It’s a most well-liked printing method. Its results are very vibrant and bright and last for years. 

Plus, it’s very easy to do. You can easily do it at home. More importantly, it’s very cost-effective. 

Unlike the other printing methods like DTG printing or Screen Printing, whose initial setup requires thousands of dollars.

How Sublimation Printing Works

Firstly, the image or art is printed on sublimation paper with a sublimation printer.

Then it’s transferred onto the blank using a Heat Press, Tumbler Press, or Cricut Press.

The overall process is the same for all, but some steps vary for different blanks.

Like, the process of sublimation on glass is slightly different from sublimation on tumblers.

How To Sublimate On Canvas | Step-by-Step Guide

Let’s dive into our main subject, i.e., how to sublimate on canvas. The overall process is very straightforward.

Just read and follow the below steps correctly, and I can make sure that you will get an unexpected and outstanding outcome.

Things You Require

Ok, I am starting with the required things. To sublimate onto canvas, you must have the following items in hand.

required things vector
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1- Sublimation Printer

Firstly, you will need a sublimation printer to print on the sublimation paper.

Sublimation printers are printers filled with sublimation inks. You can’t use regular inkjet printers for canvas sublimation.

However, you can convert them to a sublimation printer. To convert it, check out how to convert a printer to a sublimation printer.

Or, if you are looking for a new sublimation printer, have a look at these best printers for sublimation.

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

2- Sublimation Paper

Secondly, you will require a sublimation paper on which the sublimation printer will print the image.

Don’t use regular papers for sublimation; you may get disappointing results. Always use the best sublimation paper.

I recommend using 120g sublimation paper as they are pretty popular and give eye-catching results.

3- Heat-Resistant Tapes

Thirdly, you will need heat-resistant tapes to avoid unnecessary movements while sublimating on canvas.

Heat tapes fix the image with the blank and remove the chances of movements during sublimation.

Movement is the enemy of sublimation, so always use heat tapes to avoid them.

4- Canvas

After that, you will need a canvas. There is a lot of canvas available on Amazon, Etsy, and other marketplaces.

They can be of different type, like photo frame canvas, wall hanging canvas, etc. You can get any of them according to your requirements.

Or if you have already purchased the canvas, WELLDONE!

5- Heat laminate sheets

The next thing you will need is heat laminating sheets. You can’t directly sublimate on canvas.

You have to apply the layer of heat laminating sheet on the canvas, and after that, you can do sublimation on it.

6- Heat Press

Lastly, you will need a heat press to sublimate your design on the canvas.

Remember you should also have the butcher papers available. They are also part of the heat press.

Step #1 (Image Printing)

Open the image or art you have downloaded or prepared. Then follow the steps outlined below.

1- Take the canvas and measure its length and width. Take the measurements correctly, and don’t round up the digits.

Add an inch to the size you have taken. Adding an inch removes the chances of getting blank areas on the canvas after sublimation.

2- Import your image on graphics software like Canva, Illustrator, or CorelDraw. In my case, I am using CorelDraw.

Transform the size of the image according to the measurements of the canvas. The below size template will help you in getting the job done.

canvas sublimation size template
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3- Make sure that the image you use must be of high resolution. Don’t use low-resolution images. They might result in blurry prints.

4- After transforming the image, turn on your sublimation printer and put the sublimation paper inside it.

5- Ensure that your sublimation printer has plenty of ink and is up for the task. Because if it’s low on ink, it can’t be able to churn out bright prints.

I recommend printing the trial image on a regular paper and if you find any issues, fix them first.

6- After all, print the image, ensure to print in the highest quality, and turn any fast printing mode off.

color print
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Step #2 (Application Of Heat Laminate Sheet)

In this step, I am discussing the application of heat laminate sheets on the canvas. 

1- Take the canvas and the heat laminate sheet.

2- The heat laminate sheet is a pair of two sheets joined from one of the sides. You must cut it from the side because you want only one sheet.

3- Then, cut the heat laminate sheet according to the canvas size.

canvas over heat press
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4- Turn on your heat press and set its temperature to 385 degrees.

5- In the heat press, put the canvas first, then heat laminate sheets on top of the canvas and then butcher paper.

butcher paper, heat press
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6- Press it for 20 seconds using medium pressure. And that’s all for this step.

heat press
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Step #3 (Final Sublimation Process)

Let’s move on to the final process of sublimating on canvas. Follow the instructions written below.

1- Take the canvas, image, and heat tapes.

2- Align the image over the canvas; make sure to align perfectly. And then fix it with heat tapes.

taped canvas, heat press
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3- Put that taped canvas and image inside the heat press in a way that the image side touches the base of the heat press. And then place the butcher paper over it.

butcher paper, heatpress
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4- Press it for 45 seconds using medium pressure at 385 to 390 degrees.

heat press
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5- And after that, remove the canvas from the heat press and you will have your product, i.e., sublimated canvas. You can clearly see how the colors are banging!

sublimated canvas
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Tips To Get Bright Results

Now you have learned how to sublimate on canvas. Let’s discuss some essential tips to get bright and vibrant results.

helpful tips
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  • Always use high-resolution images for doing sublimation on canvas. I recommend using vector graphics.
  • Always use the best sublimation ink and paper.
  • Run printer head cleaning before printing and print something on regular paper first to make your printer up for the task.
  • Use heat tapes to avoid unnecessary movements. Movements during sublimation create two copies and ruin the process.
  • Always use optimal temperature and pressure for sublimating on canvas. Don’t go too high or too low. I recommend using the blank manufacturer temperature and pressure.

These are the things that I already included in my step-by-step guide to sublimate onto canvas.

But to make them more considerate, I rewrote them.

All of them are minor things, but they play a vital role in getting attractive outcomes

Some Asked Questions About The Process

Sublimation on canvas temperature.

The ideal temperature to sublimate onto canvas is 380 to 385 degrees. But it’s not the same for all. It would be best if you used the temperature of the blank manufacturer. But, you have to experiment with multiple temperatures to get the finest outcomes.

How long do you sublimate on canvas?

You should sublimate on canvas for 40 to 45 seconds. But it also depends on the temperature and pressure you are using. You can follow the blank manufacturer guidelines. However, 45 seconds works best in this process.

Final Words

There you go! You have learned how to sublimate on canvas and essential tips to get vibrant results. Now you can go ahead and print amazing designs on canvas.

All thanks to sublimation printing, which makes it so easier to do.

Try to experiment with different temperatures, and I am sure you will become a master in canvas sublimation after one or two tries.

Carefully follow all the above steps to sublimate on canvas, and you will be amazed by seeing how beautiful it will come on the first attempt.

You can put them in your room, kitchen, or anywhere or even you can hang them on the walls.

And if you don’t get it right on the first attempt, don’t lose hope, as practice makes the man perfect.

Related Posts

Best Sublimation Printers.

How To Sublimate On Glass.

How To Sublimate On Bluetooth Tumblers.

How To Sublimate On Hoodies.

How To Sublimate On Aluminum.

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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