Sublimation Printing Problems And Their Solutions

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Sublimation Printing Problems And Their Solutions

Sublimation printing is a modern-day aesthetic printing. It gives you exquisite appeal, beautiful colors, and high premium printing quality. No one can deny the efficiency and smoothness of sublimation printing when everything is kept at a good pace. Sublimation printing has perks, and so do problems. If you supply sublimation prints, you run into troubleshooting, manufacturing, and other regular printing problems often. In case, you run into any sublimation printing problem, don’t quit and find a solution.

There is a common observation that when someone starts painting, they learn it over time. At first, they try, later they go through learning and testing, and by the end, they become artists. Sublimation printing is also an art, and it follows the same process. In sublimation printing, there is a strong existence of Sublimation Printing Problems. You can avoid or fix those problems through experimentation, training, and practice. Today we will discuss the common sublimation printing problems, and how we can fix them with time.

Common Sublimation Printing Problems

Here are 8 common sublimation printing problems, and their solution

Image Ghosting

Image ghosting is a printing error that beginners come across. The reason behind this printing problem is incorrect paper placement and inadequate printing supply. When you use low-quality paper or a low-quality printer, image ghosting is the first problem that you face.

The best way to stay away from image ghosting is to learn paper transfer and choose exceptional, or premium quality papers. Beginners or inexperienced printers are not aware of the paper transfer. They place printing paper in the wrong direction, and during the printing process, the paper moves slightly away from its position. As a result, the final prints appear tacky, blurred, and incomplete. To neglect this printing issue, learn how to place a printing paper accurately.

Printing supply is another cause behind image ghosting. For proper supply, make sure nothing is short, and all the printing elements are more than actual demand.


Banding refers to stripped and irregular printing patterns. It is a disturbed and unappealing printing pattern with more spacing and lines. In banding print is missing, and a blank pattern appears with no ink or colors. 

Banding occurs when the printing nozzle is not working properly. Sometimes it gets clogged, or blocked by dried particles of ink. Incomplete blockage of printing nozzles produces a final product with large empty spaces, blank areas, and tintless patterns.

In some cases, it is not the printing nozzle but the printer itself. When users forget to clean printers on time, the risk of clogging is there. A clog somewhere in the printer disturbs the printing mechanism, and banding appears on papers, fabrics, and other materials.

Now how to fix banding?

The best way to fix banding is to clean your printer and its parts. For this purpose, open the printer, find out the problematic area, and fix it through deep cleaning. When you remove clogs or steer clear of clogging through regular cleaning, banding stays away from prints.

White dots or PinWheel print

PinWheel print is a special print with white dots or a line of white dots. It is an odd and disturbed track mark print,  known as pizza print. It looks like a white dot line is present somewhere at the start, middle, or end. At first, the roller marks appear on sublimation transfer, and from the sublimation transfer it reaches printing paper or page. 

The reason behind this bizarre print is high printing speed, and the inability of the printer to dry ink. When you print at high speed, the sublimation transfer masses up, and generates roller marks in a hurry. 

The second reason behind Pinwheel print is the transfer of wet ink through sublimation transfer. 

If the sublimation printer is not able to dry ink, it transfers wet ink. The wet ink droplets fall, and form white dots on fabric or printing pages. The best way to resolve this issue is to buy a new sublimation printer if it transfers wet ink from one side to another.

 On the other hand, if printing speed is one of the causes, decrease it. A slow and steady speed is better because it makes sublimation printing look more appealing. High-speed printing misses details or forms white dots on paper or fabric.

Moisture problem

Sublimation printers use moisture during printing. The moisture quantity matters because it can change the final result. In case of extra moisture, the first stumbling block that appears is paper curling. It makes paper sticky, and when it passes the fabric, the paper ends get curled. Paper curling not only affects the fabric but also the overall print.

To avoid curling or foldings, use less moisture. Also, heat or dry the paper before you apply it. You can do it by exposing heat on paper through a press or by placing it in sunlight for some time. When the paper is under heat, it absorbs sufficient moisture.

If the quantity of moisture is too less, printing issues like color shifting and uneven patterns. In this case, all the moisture evaporates, and printing paper moves away from its place. So, when the page or fabric is out, it has bleeding images, color shifting, and uneven patterns. To fix this issue, use adequate moisture and let the paper absorb it.

Some materials like plastic, ceramic, and metal never absorb moisture. For all these materials, store your paper, let it dry, and add moisture little by little. 

Uneven print transfer

Extra pressure, temperature, and printing time are the causes of uneven prints. When users apply pressure more than normal, the Sublimation printer transfers irregular print patterns to paper or fabric. The line spacing increases and the design gets discontinuous.

So, to avoid pressure problems, learn how to apply adequate pressure. On the other hand, if temperature is the issue, use a normal range of temperatures not so high nor so low. A stable temperature helps paper absorb moisture and transfers printing ink normally.

In some cases, printing time is the reason behind the uneven print transfer. Some users spend a lot of time, others stop the sublimation printer before time. In both cases, the final product is an irregular print with more line spacing and uneven patterns. To resolve this issue, find the accurate printing time, and use it for smooth ink transfer. 

Streaky and Patchy Print

Streaky prints are the result of low-quality ink. When users prefer low-quality ink over expensive ink, the print they get from it looks patchy and blotchy. The ink quality matters, and it can disturb the evenness and print pattern. So, to stay away from blotchy prints, use premium ink.

High-quality inks are expensive, and they demand some money from your pocket. Don’t think of savings, and spend a handsome amount of money on inks. Find the best inks for sublimation printers, and use them for beautiful prints.

Low or high pressure is also one of the reasons behind stripped prints. Use sufficient pressure to transfer ink on paper and other materials. Any major change in pressure value disturbs the print quality to an irreversible level.

Faded Design

Faded prints or design is the result of high pressure and temperature. Most users think high temperature and pressure is the key to elegant prints. Well, the reality is different.

When someone uses a high temperature, the design gets faded or blurs. The same is the case with high pressure because at high speed printers skip printing.

To fix faded designs, use minimum pressure and temperature during printing. Ink quality also matters because poor quality inks affect printing design. The other reason for blurr design is the image quality. Sometimes people download images from the internet for printing and forget to keep image quality premium. 

In this situation, when the sublimation printer transfers a blurred image to printing fabric, the design also appears faded. So, to resolve faded prints, download high-pixel images. The printer setting also matters, because if you mess with the printer setting, the final design looks blurry.

It is advised for all users to double-check printer settings before printing. Double-checking identifies the errors or mistakes beforehand. 

Incorrect color transfer

Incorrect print is a major sublimation printing problem. Sometimes what users see on the computer is not the same print they get on paper or fabric. The reason behind this mismatch is the result of an error in printing mode. If you use multiple images, the system is not able to detect them. So, the output users get is incorrect, or mismatched.

There are two printing modes of sublimation printers CWKY and RGB. If someone mishandles one of them, the output varies from the input. For this purpose, learn how to use printing modes.

Heat press transfer print, and if it is not working right, the incorrect color transfer is the output. For exact colors, use accurate pressure, the right heat press, and printing modes. 


There is more than one sublimation printing problem. All have different reasons and causes. You can adjust them through experience, testing, and practice. 

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