10 most common sublimation printing problems & solution

Sublimation Printing Problems 

Facing issues and problems is very common in any process. If you’re new to the sublimation field you would face some issues until you get enough experience in sublimation. But sometimes some experienced people also face issues because they are unaware of them.

sublimation printing misprints

So, what are the common sublimation printing issues? There are many issues but the 10 most common from them are given below:

  1. Banding 
  2. Drying problem
  3. Printed Transfers are not vibrant
  4. Unwanted color transfer in output
  5. Blurry and Faded print
  6. Small Dots due to Moisture issue
  7. Extra ink
  8. Image not bright
  9. Transfer lines on Apparel
  10. Ghosting and Bleeding

Further in the article, I will elaborate on the 10 common issues that a person can face while sublimation printing. Without any delay let’s get straight into the article.

How to fix sublimation mistakes?

While sublimation printing, we have to deal with many problems and issues. Here I am going to mention 10 common Sublimation printing issues we face while sublimation. 

1. Ghosting

Double print of your design on the fabric is known as ghosting. Movement is the main cause of wrong sublimation. Moisture on the sublimation blank also ruins the process because it blocks the complete transfer of ink. 

Ghosting may occur if you’re not using a blow-out sheet and your design adhere to the heat plate. The design will transfer to the next sublimation blank.

Some fixes to this problem:

  • Avoid excess movement while transferring the design. Use heat-resistant tape to avoid movement.
  • Pre-press your blank sheet for 10-15 minutes before using it. 
  • While using the heat press used to blow out the sheet 

2. Banding

Banding is a very common problem we face. You can identify banding with dark bands. These irregular dark bands of color on the fabric are called banding. Banding may occur due to the wrong print settings like matte paper setting and high quality occurs more often. One cause of banding is clogging in the nozzles of your sublimation printer.

You can get rid of the banding problem to remove the clog. This is a very easy task you can do on your own instead of taking your printer to the printhead. In some cases, banding is due to the excess moisture and heat on the designing area that appears in the form of an uneven pattern.

The solution to overcome banding is:

Proper cleaning to avoid clogging, correct printer settings, and investing to buy a heat press. A heat press will help you to prevent excess moisture.

3. Drying Problem

Sometimes the sublimation ink does not dry properly which results in bleeding. During bleeding, the ink will not transfer to the right place. There will be extra moisture on the transfer paper.

An easy fix for the drying problem is to:

Protect your sublimation paper to get moist. Try to perform the sublimation process in a dry place. Ready the transfer paper at least 24 hours before starting the process.

In this way, the transfer paper will adapt to the environment where you would do sublimation. You can also use devices to balance the moisture if possible. The ideal operating condition is 25°C temperature with 45% humidity. Lastly, “Fast dry” coated papers can also be used.

4. Wrong Color Transfer 

When you see the color of the image you selected in your device does not transfer to the fabric it means there is a wrong color transfer. 

How to fix sublimation colors

Use a high-quality image to sublimate. The inappropriate size of the image might cause the wrong color problem, therefore, resize the image correctly.

5. Printed Transfer Are Not Vibrant

In some cases, your design during sublimation transfer is dull. This is because you do not press the sublimation blank paper while transferring the design. Your transfer might be vibrant if you transfer the design to the wrong side.

Some easy Fixes for this issue:

  • Choose the side where you see a watermark. If there is no watermark go for the brighter side of the paper.
  • Low-quality pictures can also cause non-vibrant transfer. Therefore, make sure that you’re selecting a high-quality image.

6. Blurry And Faded Print 

The basic cause of a blur prints is a low-quality picture. Whenever you download the image or take a picture to your camera make sure it has high pixels. Because a low-quality picture will print a blur sublimation.

 But, the picture quality is not the case at all times, using High-temperature for a long time can also ruin the image and print quality. You can also get faded prints by using low-quality pictures, high temperatures, and high pressure for a long time.

Fixes to this problem are below:

  • Use high-quality image 
  • Use a balanced Temperature for a suitable time

7. Small Dots Due To Moist Issue

Small dots on the site of sublimation are due to the moisture between the sublimation ink and plastic. It means your sublimation paper, sublimation fabric, and protective nothing should be moist. The use of a high amount of ink can also cause moist issues. Extra use of ink can ruin your sublimation completely.

Fixes to avoid small dots:

  • Pre-press of the sublimation paper 
  • Do not use a wet shirt or any other fabric
  • Avoid selecting heavy images because they require a high amount of ink

8. Use Of Extra Ink 

As in point number seven, I discussed the small dots due to moist issues. Extra use of ink cause moist which ruin the design of your sublimation. You can Fix it if you avoid printing large and complex images.

9. Wrong Equipment

Many new Sublimators do not know about the equipment used for sublimation. Some people use an inkjet printer instead of sublimation printers with sublimation ink. Inkjet printers contain regular ink that will never sublimate any of your desired material. 

Easy Fix:

Use appropriate equipment for sublimation. The equipment we need mainly includes Sublimation paper, Sublimation ink, and a Sublimation printer.

10. Transfer Lines On Apparel 

The term means the wrong transfer of an image on the fabric. The image will be correctly printed on the sublimation paper but gets darker lines when transferred to the fabric. The transfer on the fabric appears zebra-like because some ink transfer paper to the fabric and the rest remains on the paper. 

The solution to fix this problem:

  • Try to wash and dry the fabric and then use it. 
  • Mostly you need to use a fresh fabric so prefer to use a new fabric.
  • Adjust the printer settings accurately.



A new sublimate is not aware of the issues he or she can encounter during the sublimation process. Sublimation doesn’t just affect new ones. Many experienced people still don’t understand the problems we face. 

It’s common, therefore I mentioned 10 common issues we face with the solutions. I hope you enjoyed reading the article and that now you can fix the sublimation printing issues on your own.


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