How Long To Heat Press Sublimation

Transferring design through sublimation always gives stunning results. However, appealing results will only be guaranteed if you press the sublimated design for a suitable amount of time. The duration of the press can be a dilemma, which causes users to question, how long to heat press sublimation.

It may seem unimportant, but even a few seconds longer than the ideal time can give damaged results. Therefore, instead of experimenting with multiple projects, it is best to learn the precise seconds you need to keep your sublimation between the platens of a heat press. I had to learn this lesson after multiple burnt and damaged projects.

Instead of leaving you to jump from one website to another in search of knowledge, I have jotted down the answers to your questions in the article below. So, without any delay, let’s discuss the time required to attain stunning sublimation results.

How Long To Heat Press Sublimation

If you are wondering how long you need to heat press sublimation, you can find the answer to that below.

Duration Of Heat Pressing Sublimation

Every user of a heat press is aware of the fact that sublimation requires a longer press time than vinyl. However, the real question is how long it needs to transfer. The direct answer is you need to press your sublimation for a minimum of 40 seconds to a maximum of 75 seconds if you are working with garments. This range does not mean you can randomly press every sublimation project for a duration between the two extremes. Instead, it denotes a range of pressing time for different types of fabrics. However, when it comes to other substrates such as metal or ceramic, the heat press time goes as high as 300 seconds. Needless to say, the time of the press is different for every project.

Factors That Can Alter The Time Of Press

Type Of Substrate

There are a few factors that make it easy to determine how long you need to press for your sublimation to transfer. The first factor is the type of garment or substrate that you are working on. If you are working on delicate fabrics like polyester, you should press it for 35 to 40 seconds maximum. However, if you are working on a cotton shirt, then you need to press it for 50 seconds for the sublimation to transfer. For other substrates such as ceramic, the sublimation duration is longer as compared to garments. You need to press your ceramic mugs for at least 150 seconds for flawless transfer results. The duration of metal is shorter than ceramic but longer than most garments. Metal needs to be heat pressed for at least 60 seconds to a maximum of 80 seconds. The duration needed to transfer sublimation design on frosted glassware is the longest. This substrate needs to be heat pressed for 240 to 300 seconds.

The Temperature Of The Press

The second factor that can alter the time required for heat-pressing sublimation is the temperature of the press. If you heat press at a high temperature, the time will be lower as compared to if you heat press at a low temperature. The temperature range is different for every substrate, but they all come with a range instead of a specific single temperature. So, to quote it simply, if you follow the lower side of the temperature range, you will need to press for longer. On the other hand, if you follow the higher side of the temperature range, you will need to heat press sublimation for a shorter duration. For example, the temperature range of polyester is 380 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while the time span is 35 to 40 seconds. Following the lowest range of temperature means pressing for 40 seconds, while setting the heat press at 400 degrees means pressing for 35 seconds.

Importance Of Following Time Guidelines

This goes without saying that you need to follow the time guideline very closely if you want to get flawless sublimation results. Heat pressing for longer than needed will give you burnt results, while pressing for a shorter span may not even transfer the sublimated image completely.


Every user is aware of the importance of time when it comes to heat-pressing sublimation. But what many users do not know is the ideal duration of the press. If you are a part of the audience that wonders about this question, then you need to read the article above carefully.