Anyone interested in learning more about printing on nylon fabric can read this online guide.
A cutting-edge method of printing designs onto cloth surfaces, sublimation printing outperforms conventional screen printing. I’ve written a number of articles about dye sublimation, including ones on rayon sublimate, cotton sublimate, and modal sublimate.
Although nylon can be sublimated at low temperatures, there are several different varieties of nylon, and each one responds to dyes differently.
You just have to be a little careful while sublimating on nylon. I’ve listed a few quick and easy steps to get the job done below. Additionally, some advice on how to improve the outcome. You can finish the process by simply reading and adhering to the entire guide.
Can You Sublimate on Nylon Fabric?
Yes, nylon can be sublimated. The learning curve is slight but manageable. Nylon’s drawback is that it is a polyester substance, and polyester does not sublimate well under heat. Unless you take precautions, the dye will melt and bleed into the fabric.
The secret to sublimating on nylon is to only apply heat for a very brief period of time. The dye will melt, run into the fabric, and ruin your design if you leave the iron on for an extended period of time. Here is a Nylon Fabric Ironing Guide.
Utilize a cotton cover to cover your design to prevent melting or running as a workaround for this issue. Then, use heat for just one second at a time until the dye has been applied to the nylon, including the area under the cover.
Can You Sublimate on Polyamide?
Yes, polyamide (also known as nylon) materials, which are frequently used in textiles and other applications, can undergo sublimation. When a solid material sublimates, it changes from a solid to a gas without first becoming liquid.
This can happen when polyamide is exposed to high temperatures and low pressure because the high temperatures and low pressure will cause the solid material to vaporize and deposit onto a surface.
Can You Sublimate on Nylon Bags?
If nylon bags are coated with a sublimation layer, heated to a high temperature, and then placed under low pressure, sublimation will indeed take place on the nylon bags. Using this method, dye-sublimation inks can be transferred from a paper medium onto the nylon bag to produce a vibrant, long-lasting print.
But not all nylon bags are appropriate for sublimation, so it’s crucial to review the manufacturer’s guidelines before attempting the procedure.
What Do You Need to Know About Sublimating on Nylon?
Nylon has a wide range of variations, and each one responds to colors differently, even though it can be sublimated at low temperatures.
The most common nylon fabrics used in textiles are nylon 6 and nylon 7, which are pre-treated with dye-absorption chemicals. The latter, nylon 66, has a higher melting point of 265 degrees Celsius but is more challenging to color. Nylon 6 melts at a temperature of 215 °C.
Numerous conflicting opinions can be found online. While some printers assert that nylon can produce prints that are even more brilliant than polyester, others contend that nylon will produce a vintage print that is lighter than polyester.
Despite claims to the contrary, some people assert that washing will result in excellent dye retention. However, the dye has the propensity to oxidize in the sun, which over time will cause it to fade.
then why not use polyester instead of nylon? It all comes down to the fabric’s intended use. Polyester performs better in terms of moisture wicking and pill resistance (compared to nylon, which absorbs more water, retains it longer, and reduces breathability).
The key is to test repeatedly if you’re still convinced that nylon is the better option for you. Each fabric blend must be assessed to determine whether printing is recommended and, if so, at what temperature and for how long.
So give us a call if you need help with your next nylon sublimation printing project! Nylon sublimation is perfect for swimwear as the summer months draw near!
Things to Consider Before Sublimating on Nylon
Printing on nylon is possible thanks to the sublimation process. By heating the nylon, ink is then transferred directly onto the fabric in this process. You don’t have to worry about the ink fading or peeling when you wash your clothes because it is a part of the fabric.
Before you start, be sure to look at these things in order to get the most out of sublimating on nylon.
- Know Your Fabric: When printing, it’s crucial to take into account the type of nylon you’ll be using. Polyamide and polyester, the two types of nylon, each have unique properties that will impact how well they take a print and how long they last. However, polyester is typically more expensive than polyamide and is stronger.
- Use the Right Ink: Sublimation inks are made specifically for use on different substrates and should only be used on their designated substrate. For instance, if you want to print on nylon instead of cotton fabric but are using an ink meant for cotton fabric, your design will fade quickly because nylon wasn’t the intended surface for these inks.
- Temperature Setting: Your printer should be set to a temperature between 180°C and 200°C (356°F and 392°F). When the temperature is too high, the print may appear streaked or mottled; when the temperature is too low, there won’t be enough heat to properly transfer onto your material.
- Ink Setting: Between 100% and 150% should be the ink set. If it’s too low, the print might appear faded or washed out; if it’s too high, too much ink will be on your material, and you might notice some bleeding.
- Substrate Material: Your print’s appearance will depend on the substrate you choose. Use ink that is darker than the color of your shirt or garment when printing on dark materials to avoid having the print appear faded or washed out. You can use any color ink or even white ink for a bleached effect when printing on light-colored textiles.
How to Sublimate on Nylon Fabric?
Let’s continue with the detailed instructions for sublimating on nylon. There are only two steps. You will achieve perfect results if you carefully read and adhere to them. (Read: How to Care for Nylon Fabric?)
The items listed below must be in your possession in order to sublimate on nylon.
- Sublimation Printer: First of all, you’ll need a sublimation printer to print on sublimation paper. Sublimation printers are printers filled with sublimation inks. You can’t use regular inkjet printers for sublimation as inkjets are incompatible for this purpose.
- Sublimation Paper: Secondly, you’ll need a sublimation paper on which the image will be printed. You can’t use regular plain paper for sublimation. It’s incorrect to use plain paper, despite popular opinion to the contrary. Using plain paper gives the lowest result. The best sublimation paper should always be used when sublimating nylon.
- Nylon Blank: Thirdly, you’ll need a nylon blank like nylon jackets or nylon bags, or nylon fabrics.
- Heat Tapes: Then you’ll need heat tapes to fix the image with the blank. When doing sublimation, heat tapes are absolutely essential. They prevent unnecessary movements during sublimation. The entire process and effort are ruined by movements during sublimation. So, to prevent needless movements, always use heat tapes.
- Heat Press/Cricut Press: Finally, a Heat Press or Cricut Press will be required to transfer the image to the nylon blank. Don’t forget the butcher papers; they are also part of the Cricut Press and a heat press.
Step1 (The Printing Process)
Once you have everything you need, proceed to step 1 by saying., The Printing Process. Observe the directions listed below.
- Create your design using software like Illustrator, Canva, or Corel Draw. Ensure that your design is uncomplicated. Avoid using vibrant images. Make the design as straightforward as you can.
- Place the sublimation paper inside the sublimation printer and then turn it on. Make sure the sublimation printer is capable of the job and has plenty of ink. I recommend printing a trial image on regular paper to check for issues. Fix any issues you find if there are any.
- Check all the print properties and then print the image. Turn off any fast printing mode and print in the highest possible quality.
Step2 (Final Sublimation Process)
Done printing; it’s time for the final sublimation process. To proceed, just do as instructed.
- Head over to the heat press with the printed image, heat tapes, and nylon blank.
- Turn on the heat press and set its temperature to 220 degrees. Everyone experiences the heat press at a different temperature. Therefore I recommend using the blank manufacturer temperature.
- Place the butcher paper first in the heat press, followed by the nylon blank, the printed image facing down. Make sure the image is properly positioned over the nylon. For accurate measurements, a ruler can be used. Use heat tapes to fix the nylon and the image after that. Place two pieces of tape on the image’s two sides.
- And after all, press the nylon for 15 seconds using medium pressure.
- When pressing is complete, take off the image by removing the heat tapes, and you will have your finished product, i.e., sublimated nylon.
Tips to Make the Outcome Brighter
Let’s talk about some suggestions to improve the sublimation results. These are minor tips, but they can make a massive difference in the outcome.
- Invest in top-notch materials. I’m referring to sublimation ink, paper, and blanks.
- Before printing an image from the printer, clean the printer head.
- Movement is the enemy of sublimation, so use heat tapes whenever you’re sublimating on a blank to stop it from moving.
- Use the ideal pressure and temperature. Never venture too high or too low.
More about nylon fabric:
- Does Nylon Fabric Shrink?
- How to Clean Nylon Fabric?
- Can You Paint on Nylon Fabric?
- Can You Bleach Nylon Fabric?
- Is Nylon a Breathable Fabric?
Can Nylon Withstand Heat Press?
On nylon, sublimation is heat resistant. The answer is thus affirmative. During the sublimation process on nylon, the ink is transferred from a paper or film into the nylon fabric using heat and pressure, making the pattern an integral rather than a surface feature of the fabric.
Ink molecules combine with nylon fibers to create a durable, long-lasting pattern that is resistant to washing, use, and even high temperatures.
Incredibly strong and long-lasting sublimation on nylon is well known. The precise temperature that the sublimated pattern can withstand, however, may change depending on the nylon and ink used.
Although sublimation on nylon can withstand high temperatures, it is still important to wash and take care of the item in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the sublimated design lasts as long as possible.
Conclusion: Sublimate on Nylon Fabric
So, can nylon be sublimated? Yes, you can, but it won’t be simple; you’ll need to experiment with various conditions and materials, and you’ll need to take safety measures.
Testing is key if you think nylon is a better choice for you. Each fabric blend needs to be tested to see if it can be printed on and if so, at what temperature and for how long. So let us assist you with your upcoming sublimation printing project on nylon!
Can You Sublimate on a Nylon Swimsuit?
Absolutely, nylon swimsuits can be sublimated. The best fabrics for sublimation are those made of natural fibers.
Can You Sublimate on Nylon Spandex?
A stretchy fabric made of both polyester and spandex, the best material for sublimation prints on flexible fabric.
What Temperature Should Sublimation Be Set At?
The ideal temperature to use is 200 degrees Celsius, or 392 degrees Fahrenheit, to ensure that your design transfers well. This will guarantee that all of your colors print as you intended them to and that your design is clear and unmarred.
Can You Sublimate on Acrylic Fabric?
Technically any cast acrylic will sublimate. An acrylic sheet that has been cast. a device that you might use with a laser or Glowforge. On the acrylic sheet, I sublimated a sublimation print.