How to Sublimate on Canvas – Detailed Guide

Spread the love

Sublimation is suitable for transferring bright, full-colour graphics onto metal, glass, ceramic, and plastic materials. Sublimation can also be used to make fantastic artwork on canvas. Have you ever desired to create art but didn’t know where to begin? Anyone can make beautiful works of art using sublimation on canvas. This is a simple method with significant effects. 

This post will teach you how to sublimate on canvas using the sublimation technique. You may select the one that fits your requirements and vision! Beautiful sublimation canvases complement your holiday decor, making photo canvases the ideal gift. Are you eager to make it? So Let’s start!

How to sublimate on canvas


Sublimation makes it easy to create pictures with Various materials, including polyester and polyurethane. It’s a dyeing technique that uses heat and pressure rather than ink. This technique is a “dye-sub” because it uses dyes with the sublimation process. We’ll tell you how to print a high-quality picture onto canvas before sublimating it with heat, pressure, and time. We also discuss how to sublimate on canvas.

Sublimation on Canvas

For sublimation, you can use a sublimation-compatible inkjet printer and sublimation paper. The heat-resistant coatings on this paper will help you transfer the image from your laptop screen to any textile or canvas medium.

Canva Panel and Gallery Wrap are the two types of canvases used for sublimation. Canvas is less expensive and produces beautiful wall or table art, so canvas sublimation is very popular. The finished products can use to decorate your home, create beautiful gifts, and launch or support your own sublimation business.

Materials for sublimation on canvas

These are the basic materials that you need for sublimation. If you want to make a sublimate on canvas, you need to use These materials, which give you fantastic results. 

  • Sublimation printer with dye sublimation ink
  • Sublimation paper 
  • Heat press machine
  • Butcher paper and Teflon sheet
  • Scissors
  • Thermal transfer tape
  • Heat transfer vinyl
  • Sublimation designs 
  • Sublimation canvas or blank of your choice 
  • laminating pouches
  • sublimation spray
  • white polyester material
  • Staple Gun and Long Nose Pliers
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Craft Blade and Lint Roller
  • Washcloth and Water
  • Hot Glue Gun – optional

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sublimate on Canvas

You can sublimate directly onto a canvas material if it is made of polyester fabric. It is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step procedure that helps to learn how to sublimate on canvas.

  1. Print your design using the printer on sublimation paper.
  2. Print on the sublimation paper’s shiny side.
  3. Place butcher paper between the canvas bags to prevent the print from bleeding.
  4. Cover it with a Teflon sheet to prevent the sublimation paper from directly interacting with the heat press.
  5. Make sure to print in the highest resolution possible.
  6. Remember to mirror the picture.
  7. Set the temperature and timer on the heat press machine. For 40 seconds, set it to 365°F.
  8. Keep in mind to pre-press the fabric to help it wick away moisture. When pressing the sublimation paper, hold it firmly in place using thermal transfer tape.
  9. It’s time to put the heat press to work!
  10. Remove the heat transfer tape and paper from the merchandise with care.
  11. You’ve finished!

Methods for how to sublimate on Canvas

Here are all the methods used for sublimating on canvas. Cotton Canvas cannot be directly sublimated. Yet, you can alter the canvas’s surface and still achieve fantastic results. We’ll go over how to sublimate on canvas in more detail below.

1- Use Laminate for Sublimation on Canvas

Laminating the canvas first is one of the most popular methods for sublimating it. Laminating machines have lamination sheets to preserve and protect documents, such as ID cards and certificates. These Laminating sheets can take sublimation ink because they are polymer-based. Yet, bonding a laminating sheet with cotton canvas is a perfect match. You only need to use one side at a to laminate the canvas; laminating products are often sold in pouches. The laminate method is used for both types of canvas.


  1. Print the laminate on the sublimation paper’s shiny side.
  2. Press it for 20 seconds at roughly  385°F for it to adhere to the canvas.
  3. Look for creases. Your heat press’s pressure may need to be increased.
  4. Sublimate your image at 400°F for 60 seconds to transfer it to the coated canvas.

2- Using Clear Sub HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl)

This approach is comparable to the previous lamination approach. In this method, sublimate on canvas without the use of laminate. In this instance, heat transfer vinyl is used in place of a laminating sheet. A vinyl cutter may not necessarily require for this.


  1. Cut a rectangle out of the HTV, just big enough to fit the canvas.
  2. Apply the HTV to the canvas using the heat press set advised by the HTV manufacturer.
  3. Directly sublimate onto the canvas with the HTV coating.

Tips for Clear Sub HTV Sublimation on Canvas

  • To avoid having to trim any rough edges, the HTV should be smaller than the canvas size.
  • HTV will provide you with a matte surface if you prefer. The final product is quite lovely.
  • The sublimation paper may adhere to Clear HTV, which is one drawback.
  •  To remove paper remnants, use a cloth and some water. Once the paper is taken off, the image will transfer directly to the HTV and look fantastic. 

3- Use Polyspray for sublimation

Sublimation can also be done with polyspray. Polyspray is used for cotton sublimation. A polyspray is a good option for surface preparation since the canvas is made entirely of cotton. 

The advantage of this method is that polyspray can be used right up to the canvas’s edge, allowing your design to sublimate all the way around. Polyspray’s drawback is that you must coat the surface of the canvas and dry it before sublimation.

4-Canvas Sublimation Using Polycrylic

Some people first apply polycrylic (Furniture Polish or Minwax) to the canvas, then sublimate the image onto it. Like polyspray, the coating can extend to the canvas’s edges, enabling edge-to-edge designs. Remember that polycrylic will need to be cleaned with a cloth and water because sublimation paper adheres to it. 

Yet, we do not advise using this technique to sublimate canvas. Designed for use at room temperature, polyacrylic. When heated, polycrylic can release hazardous solvents and possibly catch fire.

Inshort Sublimation on canvas opens up a world of new and attractive sublimation projects. We’ve gone over several methods for sublimating on canvas. You can now see how to sublimate on canvas. Your masterpiece with some planning and preparation.


1-Can you directly sublimate on canvas?

Yes, you can directly sublimate on a polyester canvas. You can first heat press HTV (heat transfer vinyl) onto a cotton-based canvas before applying sublimation on top of it.

2-What temperature is sublimated onto canvas?

The heat press machine’s recommended temperature and time settings are 365°F for 40 seconds. Remember to pre-press the canvas for 5–10 seconds to help it wick away moisture.

3-Can a polyester canvas be sublimated?

Polyester canvas can be sublimated directly. Heat press the print onto the canvas for sublimation without any extra steps.

4-Is polyester used for sublimation on canvas?

The majority of canvas fabric is cotton, but some of it is polyester. To learn more, look at the manufacturer’s specifications. Check the burn test if you already have a canvas and need clarification on its fabric composition. Use tweezers to hold a small piece of the canvas over an empty sink while you slowly move a candle wick toward it. Cotton fibers will spark as the flame approaches, while polyester fibers will wrap away and melt.

Spread the love

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *