Choosing the right paper for sublimation

right sublimation paper

How to choose the correct sublimation paper weight?

There are four factors that you have to consider for choosing the right sublimation transfer paper.


This is a very basic factor. The higher the ink limit (wet), the heavier gram the paper should be in order to accept the moisture from the ink without any problems like curling and warping of the paper.


This explains the printing of an artwork that has a very complex design that has a mixed heavy and light ink loading. You can face this in low gram papers, curling will occur and also shifting after pressing. To eliminate this the best solution is a 110gsm or more that accept heavy ink and also light inks.


Calendar press loves low gsm papers. But on heavy ink, consider factor #1.


This is the equation:
Fast printing = lightweight paper
Slow printing = thick paper

According to the humidity of the working environment

Low humidity: In the humidity under 45% , It’s better to choose 80gsm . Because when in a low humidity , the paper will shrink, and the print side is hunch-up. During the printing , the paper absorb ink , the “hunch-up” will be more obviously. 100g and 120g paper are harder than 80g , so the “hunch-up” will damage the print-head . 80gsm is more softer , it could relief the “hunch-up” and protect your print-head from damage .

High humidity: In the humidity above 70% . It’s better to choose 110-120 gsm . Because the paper is very easy to become damp in a high humidity , it will become softer and stiffness is weak at the same time . If you use low weight paper, it will be very hard to print smoothly because of the stiffness and hardness go down . At this time , 110-120 gsm is your best choice

Humidity and affect on sublimation

Humidity and affect on Sublimation

The presence of moisture in either the substrate or the transfer paper results in an adverse effect on the sublimation process. They can lead to issues like color shifting (losing colors accuracy), bleeding of the image, and uneven transfer of solid filled areas of a design.

Sublimation paper can retain an enormous amount of moisture. To minimize the effects of humidity, always keep your transfer paper sealed in a plastic bag in a dry place. If possible, store your sublimation paper in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.

If you suspect the transfer paper is exposed to humidity and have excess moisture, you have a couple of options. One is to set the paper on your heat press without closing it for a few seconds to warm them. The heat radiating from the press should help in evaporating the moisture.

If you’ve already printed a transfer you can place the printed transfer 2″ to 3″ below the heat platen for 30 – 40 seconds to eliminate the excess moisture. This may results in the transfer like missed color or fuzzy looking details.

However, an environment that is too dry isn’t any good either as it can cause print head nozzle loss issues.

The best environment for sublimation printing is one that has at least 45% humidity and is reasonably cool. If adjustments are needed, you can purchase either a humidifier or de-humidifier.