Can You Sublimate on Cardstock?

Want to know if can you sublimate on cardstock? Here is all the information you need to know.

Can You Sublimate on Cardstock
Can You Sublimate on Cardstock

When it comes to printing designs, sublimation is one of the best options because the ink lasts longer than regular vinyl or ink that is used on clothes and other materials. 

Sublimation might be great, but you might be wondering if it works on cardstock. Cardstock is the type of paper used for scrapbooks, greeting cards, and postcards. So, Can you sublimate on cardstock?

You can sublimate on paper as long as you pick a type of cardstock that has a polyester coating. Sublimation can only be used on certain polymers and objects that have those polymers on them. 

This is the only time that regular paper won’t work well with sublimation ink. The appearance of a specific coating is an important part of the sublimating process for card stock, especially glitter card stock. 

So, picking the right cover is very important for getting good sublimation results. Today, we’re going to talk about the best tips and methods for sublimating card stock. 

To learn the steps for successful card stock sublimation, continue reading until the end.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sublimation printing on cardstock is feasible with polyester-coated varieties, ensuring proper ink adhesion.
  • Cardstock, a sturdier paper type used in crafts like scrapbooking and card making, can retain sublimated designs effectively.
  • The sublimation process transforms solid ink into gas, requiring materials capable of absorbing ink, such as polyester-coated cardstock.
  • Considerations for successful cardstock sublimation include heat resistance, surface texture, absorption rate, and finishing options.
  • Following proper steps and considerations can ensure successful sublimation printing on cardstock, offering versatile crafting opportunities.

What is Cardstock and its Composition?

It would help you understand why you can’t sublimate on paper if you know what cardstock is and what it is made of before we talk about whether you can or cannot sublimate on it.

Cardstock is just paper that is thicker and lasts longer than the regular paper you use for your inkjet printer. But it’s not like other “thick paper” because it’s much more flexible and thinner than cardboard. 

However, it is thicker and lasts longer than regular paper. Because of these things, it’s great for arts and crafts and do-it-yourself projects.

Cardstock is often the best paper for making greeting cards, business cards, playing cards, and letters because it lasts a long time. One thing you should know about cardstock is that it comes in a lot of different types, based on who makes it. 

That means there are different types of paper with different finishes, like a shiny surface, a metallic one, or one with a rough feel.

But where does paper come from? Well, cardboard is made of both hard and soft wood because it’s just paper on steroids. However, the ingredients used to make cardstock are not all the same.

 It depends on who makes the cardstock. Different types of paper are different in how heavy or thick they are. Some are not as thick or heavy, but they are still strong.

Can You Sublimate on Cardstock Paper?

Can You Sublimate on Cardstock

Now that you know what paper is, let’s talk about whether or not you can sublimate it. Many homes and companies use sublimation as a way to print, which makes this an interesting subject to talk about.

 Also, people who like arts and crafts might want to know if paper is a good surface to use sublimation ink on.

When sublimation is used in printing, it simply changes solid ink into a gaseous form that the substrate can handle. If you want the sublimation printing process to work, you should use a material that can take in the sublimation ink as a gas.

It is important to know that sublimation will only work on certain plastics or polymers. This is because these materials can handle sublimation ink in its liquid form without making the ink less good overall. 

So, shirts made of 100% rayon are best for sublimation because they bring out the colors of the ink. It will look plain and dull on clothes that aren’t made of 100% polyester, though.

This is why most of the time, the only things that can be printed on with sublimation are plastics or things that are treated with polymers like polyester. Polyester shirts are often used for sublimation printing, but other materials also work well. You can also use mugs as an example since they are generally made of polyester, which can hold sublimation ink.

When it comes to cardboard, you could sublimate on it even though it’s made of wood, which is the same stuff that regular paper is made of.

 You can expect, though, that regular cardstock won’t bring out the best in the image you’re sublimating on it. The same thing would happen with a shirt that isn’t made of 100% polyester.

One company does, however, make paper that can be printed on with sublimation. As long as you use the right kind of paper, sublimation can work with cardstock.

Related Post: Can You Sublimate on Silicone?

Steps to Sublimate on Card Stock:

How to sublimate any surface? If you want to sublimate anything, even card stock, here are the best steps to take. You can use different temperatures and times to print on different materials. 

Do each one carefully so you can use them all to make images on your favorite materials that look great.

Steps to Sublimate on Card Stock

1) Create your designs First:

The first thing that needs to be done in this process is to make a design that is both sturdy and beautiful. There are several ways to make these kinds of patterns.

But using tools like Illustrator, Photoshop, and Canvas to make designs is the best and easiest way to do it. All of them can be used to make pictures that can be used in a variety of ways.

2) Make the Designs:

After making your designs, you need to make sure they are in a form that can be used in a variety of ways so that they print correctly. For this reason, we are thinking about using special duct tape and shears.

First, cut off the extra ends of your drawings to make them look like they have a regular shape. Make sure to use duct tape to protect the ends of your drawings from the scissors before you put them on the heat press machines.

3) Use Transfer Papers to Stick the Designs on:

You need to put your drawings right on top of the transfer papers after cutting off any extra edges. You can use these transfer papers to get your drawings printed correctly on card stock.

It is important to make sure that the transfer papers touch the designs at the best and most correct angle. After that, these transfer papers will hold your whole image and a big step in the printing process is done.

4)  The Quality of the Transfer Paper:

The most important thing you need to know about sublimating card stock materials is what’s on the list above. Still, it’s very important to know what kinds of trade papers are out there.

This is why people ask, “Can you sublimate on glossy card stock, paper bags, poster board, greeting cards, melamine, cardboard, or any other surface?” The answer is yes, but only if you pick nylon transfer papers that weigh 45 to 55 pounds.

5) Utilize a Heat Press:

The next thing on the list is using a brand-name heat press machine to put your images on the main materials through the transfer papers. So, it’s very important to pick a brand-name heat-pressing machine.

We always tell our customers to get heat press machines made by Epson for this reason because they work best for this. Their fast heat production lets you print quickly and easily on a variety of surfaces.

6) Achieve an Optimal Temperature:

When it comes to how the heat pressing machines work, the rate at which they produce heat is the most important factor in this printing step. As it has to keep the temperature low enough so as not to damage the designs.

For this kind of job, about 400 F is the best and most flexible temperature. For example, you can easily move different designs from card stock paper to the outside of things like phone cases and mugs.

7) Making Use of the Right Inks:

Designs that can be printed on different things can be made with a lot of different colors of ink. But the quality of these inks is very important for getting the printed pictures to stick well.

So, it is best to buy named inks on the market, especially ones that are related to Epson and Sawgrass. With its flexible styles and colors, it lets you make designs that last a long time.

Related Posts: How to Sublimate on Leather

Considerations For Cardstock Sublimation:

Cardboard is a heavy type of paper that lasts longer and is thicker than regular paper. A lot of people use it to make cards, do crafts, print, and do other similar things. 

When sublimating on paper, here are some more things you should think about:

Resistance to Heat:

Most of the time, cardstock is resistant to heat, but you need to make sure it can handle this process without discoloring or bending.

Also, make sure you double-check things like the manufacturer’s directions or do a quick test to see how well your paper handles heat.

Finishing or Coating:

Some types of cardboard have a finish or coating that can change how the sublimation cardstock process works.

Because of this, choose cardstock paper, which works well for printing and sealing. The answer is yes, and you can also sublimate on glitter cardboard paper.

Rate of Absorption:

Different types of cardstock can absorb different amounts of ink. Make sure that the cardstock paper you choose has good absorption qualities.

Before choosing one type of cardstock, you should try out a few different ones.

Texture and Smoothness:

The results you get from sublimation will also depend on how smooth or rough your paper is.

A smooth surface is what you should look for to get the best results.

Measurements and Weight:

The size and weight of the cardboard paper are also things you should think about.

One reason is that you need paper that fits your printer and the sublimation ink can stick to it.

Management and Completion:

After the sublimation process is done, think about the different ways you can finish the cardboard paper. 

Whether you laminate or wear safety clothing to make your papers last longer will depend on things like what they are going to be used for.

Bottom Line: Can You Sublimate On Cardstock

A question that comes up a lot in the world of sublimation is whether card stock can be used effectively for this. We’ve given you useful information and easy-to-follow steps on how to sublimate cardboard materials in this piece.

Don’t worry—everything in this guide is safe to follow. If you carefully follow each step and don’t make any mistakes, it will be easy to print on your best things with card stocks.

The most important thing to us is that you find the information in this piece useful. Remember to come back to our site for more similar blogs and articles. 


Certainly! Sublimation of cardstock is indeed possible. Cardstock, which contains cellulose, allows dye-sublimation inks to penetrate its surface and bond with the fibers. 

However, it’s crucial to use high-quality cardstock that is specifically coated for sublimation. While you might technically be able to put cardstock in a sublimation printer, it’s recommended to print transfers on sublimation paper for better results. 

If you heat the coaster to 400°F Medium for too long, the paper will stick to it. At 400°F medium, the plastic covering can be taken off in 60 to 80 seconds. There is a piece of copy paper on top of the item.

Is card stock a good material for sublimating? 110–120 gsm is the best pick. Paper that is easily wet will become softer and less stiff when there is a lot of humidity.

 Because the low-weight paper isn’t as stiff and hard, it will be hard to print smoothly. Right now, 110–120 gsm is the best pick.

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Muhammad Haseeb

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