Sublimation Paper Instructions

Sublimation printing uses heat to permanently bond sublimation ink to polyester coated surfaces. Special equipment is required, such as a sublimation printer loaded with sublimation inks and a heat press to bond the inks. Unlike screen printing or heat transfer paper, sublimation inks imbed into your surface to create a smooth, seamless finish with vivid color results that are machine washable and commercial quality prints. To use your Hayes paper Co® Sublimation Paper simply watch our video or follow the instructions below.


  • Hayes Paper Co® Sublimation Paper
  • A computer to prepare designs
  • Sublimation printer
  • Heat press - Do not use an iron 
  • Scissors
  • Protective paper like butcher paper, kraft paper or teflon sheets 
  • Thermal tape - if pressing ceramics 
  • Heat protective gloves - if pressing ceramics 
  • Polyester fabric or coated polyester surface to transfer onto. Fabrics must be at least 65% polyester and ceramics and metals can be coated with a polyester coating to prep them for sublimation.
Hayes Paper Co sublimation paper - how to sublimate a t-shirt

Create your design

  • Mirror your design before printing. This allows text to be read once the design is transferred to the final object. 
  • Save file at 300DPI setting for clear image results. 
  • Orient Hayes Paper Co® Sublimation Paper so that the white, smooth side is the side you print the image on. 
  • Print your design using sublimation printer (loaded with sublimation ink)
  • Let the ink dry for 3-5 minutes before pressing
  • Cut design out, if needed 
  • Align your design in the desired position

NOTE: You can not print white with sublimation inks, so if you want the base color to show through leave that area clear in your design. For the most vivid color results, press onto a white or light color ceramic or fabric. If pressed onto a dark background the inks will act as transparent, with the background color showing through the design. 

Hayes Paper Co sublimation paper - how to sublimate a t-shirt

T-shirt Pressing Instructions


  • Set heat press temperature to 410°F or 210°C at medium pressure
  • Position t-shirt* in heat press and press for 1-5 seconds to remove creases
  • Align your sublimation design onto t-shirt
  • Cover the sublimation paper with a sheet of protective paper or teflon sheet to prevent any sublimation inks getting on your heat press plates
  • Close heat press and press at medium pressure at 410°F or 210°C for 40 seconds
  • Open heat press, remove sublimation paper from t-shirt
  • Your t-shirt can be washed by machine. Follow manufacturers' washing and drying care instructions. 


*Your selected t-shirt or material should have 65% or more polyester content. The higher the polyester content, the better the results.

For a step by step guide on sublimating a T-shirt check out our blog post How To Sublimate a T-shirt. 

Hayes Paper Co sublimation paper - how to sublimate a t-shirt

Ceramic Mug Pressing Instructions 

  • Set heat press temperature to 428°F or 220°C at medium pressure
  • Make sure mug or ceramic surface is clean
  • Align your design in the desired position on the mug. Use thermal tape to hold it in place. 
  • Place protective paper or teflon sheet around the mug to protect the press from sublimation ink. 
  • Put on protective gloves to protect your hands from heat. 
  • Position mug in heat press and press for 40 seconds
  • Remove mug from heat press with protective gloves, remove protective paper or teflon sheet and then remove sublimation paper to reveal design. 
  • Let the mug cool before using. 
  • Your mug is dishwasher safe. 


Hayes Paper Co sublimation paper - how to sublimate a t-shirt

You can sublimate all kinds of polyester coated surfaces including bookmarks, puzzles, computer mouse pads, socks, umbrellas, t-shirts, ceramic mugs, tumblers and more. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. 

We offer  three types of sublimation paper and they differ by product thickness, 105 GSM is the thinnest paper, 120 GSM  is medium thickness  and for a more superior print quality we recommend the thicker 125 GSM. Sizes range from A4 or letter size up to Bsize, which can be used for full t-shirt prints or large scale projects. 

If you need some help or advice on your project or you have any issues getting the product to work on your surface, send us an email at We love seeing all your unique creations, so don’t forget to tag us at @hayespaperco on TikTok , Instagram or Facebook


More Sublimation Resources:

Sublimation FAQ's

How To Sublimate A T-shirt