Sublimation Printing on Nylon Fabric

Sublimation printing is the most popular technique for transferring digital designs onto different substrates like polyester, cotton, tumblers, and leather. But when it comes to nylon, most people wonder if you can sublimate it.  The simple answer is yes, You can sublimate on nylon, but proper knowledge is required for a perfect outcome. 

Nylon is a synthetic material with a high melting point compared to cotton and polyester; that’s why it is also the perfect material for sublimation. In this article, I will discuss two different ways to sublimate nylon.

How Sublimation Printing Works on Nylon? Quick Guide

Sublimation printing on nylon step by step guide

As I have discussed earlier, sublimation is a process in which we use heat to transfer the designs on different types of fabrics. And in nylon sublimation, first, we select the best nylon type for sublimation and then transfer the designs onto it using the sublimation printer, ink, and paper. 

What Type of Material is Nylon?

Nylon is a synthetic fiber, and it is made from monomers. It is obtained from a reaction between a dicarboxylic acid and a diamine. In general, nylon contains repeating units of amide. 

Nylon fabric is made from the fibers from the reaction between a dicarboxylic acid and a diamine. Nylon fabric is famous for its durability and strength and is used in sportswear, clothes, and outdoor items; that’s why most sublimation designers want to sublimate it.

Things Required to Do Sublimation on Nylon?

Required things to sublimate on nylon.
1: Sublimation printer.
2: Sublimation ink
3: Sublimation paper

Before going deep into the article, we first need to know what equipment and gadgets are required to do sublimation on the nylon.

Create High-Quality Digital Design for Nylon Sublimation:

A high-quality digital design is necessary to do sublimation on the nylon. Always make a high-quality digital design for sublimation. Unlike other digital printing methods, sublimation printing provides excellent details and vibrant colors, which depends on the quality of digital designs. 

Our recommended minimum resolution of digital sublimation design is 300 DPI, so always try to create good quality designs.

Sublimation Printer:

The sublimation printer is an essential item and is required in almost every method. Sublimation printers are used to print digital designs onto sublimation paper with the help of sublimation ink. We can’t use ordinary printers for sublimation. But we can easily convert the regular inkjet printer into sublimation. 

If you have not purchased a printer yet and are new in this field, I recommend you check the article “Best sublimation printers for beginners” article for further assistance.

Sublimation Paper:

The sublimation printer uses sublimation papers to print digital designs. It contains a special clay-based coating used to hold and release the sublimation ink by applying the appropriate time and pressure. 

Not all the sublimation papers have the same type of coatings. If you want excellent quality nylon designs, use the thick sublimation paper that holds the ink perfectly.

Sublimation Inks:

Like the sublimation printer and paper, the sublimation inks are also specially designed for the sublimation process. We can’t use the regular printer inks for the sublimation, so purchase good quality sublimation ink before starting the sublimation process on the nylon.

Other Equipment and Gadgets:  

The other supplies required for sublimation on nylon are listed below.

  • Nylon 
  • Heat-resistant tap (Used to attach the sublimation printed paper on the nylon fabric)
  • Heat press machine (You can also use the Cricut easy press)

How to Select Good Quality Nylon for Sublimation?

a girl selecting the nylon for sublimation

There are so many types of nylon, and not all of them are used for sublimation. Some of them have high melting points, and others have low. As you know, after applying a specific temperature and pressure in sublimation, the fabric opens its porous and makes the bond with the sublimation ink at the molecular level. 

So, we will select the nylon which absorbs the sublimation ink more quickly.

Here are some tips for selecting good quality nylon for sublimation:

  1. Choose the tight weaves (thread) nylon fabric.
  2. Some nylon fabric contains impurities, so select the material made from 100% nylon.
  3. Always select heavier nylon because the thick and light fabric can’t hold the sublimation ink effectively.
  4. Choose smooth and lint-free nylon for sublimation.

My opinion: During the past few years, I have sublimated on different types of nylon fabric, and nylon 6 or nylon 6,6 provided me the best results because it has a high melting point as compared to Nylon 4,6 and nylon 12.

How to do Sublimation on Nylon?

Well, you have gathered all the equipment and materials required to do nylon sublimation.

Okay, so let’s get started without wasting any time. We can sublimate on both dark and light color nylon substrates, but the process for both will differ. I am discussing both methods separately.

Nylon Type Temperature Pressure Time
Nylon 275-325°F Average 15-20 seconds
Nylon 4,6 280-325°F Average 15-20 seconds
Nylon 12 300-325°F Average 15-20 seconds

Sublimation on Nylon With Sublimation Paper:

sublimation on nylon with sublimation paper

This method is simple and suitable for light-colored nylon fabric. We first print the digital design onto the sublimation paper and then nylon. Here are the complete steps of doing all this stuff.

1: Create the designs:

Create professional and high-quality vector designs using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Cricut design space, or CorelDRAW. You can also use png or jpeg images but keep the quality high.

2: Print the design

Now, it’s time to print the digital design onto the sublimation paper with the help of a sublimation printer and paper. 

Print the design onto the paper with mirror imaging and uncheck the fast printing mode to get high-quality prints.

3: Prepare the nylon surface:

Clean the lint from the nylon fabric using a lint roller and preheat it under a heat press for a few seconds. This process will remove the wrinkles and moisture from the surface of the nylon.

4: Place the printed paper onto the nylon:

Now put the printed paper onto the nylon surface and tighten it with the help of heat-resistant tape. Use the Teflon sheet or butcher paper to protect the heat transfer machine from ink leakage.

5: Press it under the heat press machine:

Close the machine’s tilt and press it at a normal pressure under a heat press for the 15-20s at 320F.

6: Final Step:

Let it cool for a few seconds, and post-heat the product for a few seconds at a lower temperature and pressure. This will make the design fade resistant and permanent.

 Can You Sublimate on Nylon By Using Glitter HTV?

glitter htv

Yes, it is possible to sublimate on nylon by using glitter HTV. Many people like the dark color nylon and want to sublimate it but don’t know how to do it. We can’t sublimate the dark color nylon with the help of a sublimation paper. But thanks to the glitter heat transfer vinyl, which makes the whole process of sublimating the dark color nylon easy and affordable. In this method, we will first cut the glitter HTV using the Cricut cutting machine and then transfer it onto the nylon garments. Here is the step-by-step procedure to make sublimation designs on the dark color nylon.

1: Prepare the digital design:

Preparing the digital designs for sublimation on nylon is the first step in all methods. 

Create a high-quality design using a Cricut design studio (you can use any other software) and send the file to the Cricut cutting machine.

2: Cutting the design:

Now, insert the HTV sheet into the cutting machine and hit the okay button. The cutting machine will automatically cut the HTV sheet according to your uploaded design.

3: Weeding:

In this step, we will weed the excessive HTV using weeding tools. If you have long nails, you can do this with your hands.

4: Transfer the designs onto the nylon:

Place the glitter heat transfer vinyl onto the nylon and secure it with the help of heat-resistant tape.

5: Heat press process:

Wrap the product in the butcher paper and heat it in the heat press at 280-325°F for 15-20 Seconds. Check the heat press chart for more details.

6: Final Step:

Let it cool for a few seconds, and peel the HTV gently with your hands, and you have successfully sublimated on the nylon.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Sublimation on nylon requires proper knowledge and careful attention. You have learned two different methods to do sublimation on nylon. 

The quality of the prints depends on different factors. But always try to choose high-quality ink and sublimation paper because it is vital to getting the best results.

If you are still not getting vibrant colors, please read the dedicated article on making sublimation brighter.

Leave a Comment