It’s pretty easy to make creative, customized, and crafty garments using dye sublimation. But there are some limitations with sublimation. We have talked about some limited fabric choices that work with sublimation. So, can you sublimate on sequins fabric or not?
If you can, is it any different from transferring those designs onto polyester or other conventional fabrics for sublimation.
In this post, we will find all about it, so scroll down to read further.
So, Can You Sublimate on Sequins?
Sublimate on sequins is straightforward. You only have to think about the design and find the suitable material to get your print.
But printing on sequins is highly creative, and you can customize your dresses, pillowcases, and so much more by doing this. The project is highly creative, and you are also adding more variety to your DIY project creativity.
This is because you are no longer limited to printing on polyester or polyester-coated fabrics. But before we explain this process in detail, let’s get a brief overview of dye sublimation.
Dye Sublimation – A Brief Overview
The process of dye sublimation is about transferring inks onto different kinds of fabrics and garments. Sublimation is all about transferring those water-based inks onto the substrate using pressure and temperature.
The ink bonds together with the substrate molecules and permanently shift the dye onto that desired material. You can conveniently print out this watery ink with the help of a printer. These printers work like regular printers.
The only difference here is that you are transferring sublimation ink instead of regular ink. You are using sublimation paper instead of regular paper. You can even convert your regular inkjet printer into a sublimation printer, which we have discussed in detail in our previous posts.
Some of our previous posts have also discussed what features you need to look at when buying sublimation ink, sublimation paper, and sublimation printers.
After getting your design from the printer using your computer and designing software programs. You need to transfer it onto the garments. Now, what type of materials can you use for sublimation?
Types of Materials for Sublimation Printing
Sublimation can be done on a range of different materials. That watery ink bonds to the polyester molecules, and you get your design. These polymer molecules are present in different plastic types. Any substrate with the polymer can receive the ink.
Therefore, you can get your prints on different materials or fabrics. This includes nylon, polyester, plastic-coated aluminum, and ceramics, and a range of different materials like sequins too.
But you need to follow the guidelines no matter what type of material you are using. There is a specific temperature and pressure to keep when using different materials when transferring designs. Straying away from the guidelines too far will yield negative results.
You might have to deal with incomplete transfers or damaged (burnt) substances. You have to be wise to stick to those recommendations to get the best results.
Sublimation and Sequin Fabrics
Sequin is a special fabric, and you might have heard about it before. This fabric features small species of plastic that are attached to the fabric directly. Sequins are mostly glossy and colorful.
It means that you have the option of making your fabric even more noticeable, appealing, and highly creative. You can also go for a range of different designs on this sequin fabric and use these sequins to create a pattern of your choice.
These sequins are found in different outfits. You might have seen those mermaid outfits with these sequins. Apart from that, you can also see sequins quite frequently used on pillowcases.
Is it easy to sublimate onto sequins?
Sublimation on sequins is something you can do, but you need to keep in mind that you can’t go with any sequins and start the printing process. There are some basic rules when sublimating on sequins.
You have to make sure you follow some basic recommendations, so you don’t damage the fabric. Apart from that, it’s pretty much what you do in your regular polyester sublimation.
One side of the sequins has been coated. And this is the side that you will use to transfer your designs during sublimation. The other side is the fabric, and you can’t sublimate it on that side.
You will only have to ensure you work with a high temperature but lower pressure for a smaller period. This is to make sure you don’t end up damaging those delicate sequins out of plastic.
Also, keep in mind that you only go for the blanks explicitly for sequins. Go through the instructions that they come with. There will be specific temperature and pressure settings for you to use.
If not, then go for light pressure and a time that ranges between 35 to 40 seconds. The temperatures are around 400 Fahrenheit but not above. So for a few trials and get accustomed to the entire process.
Get those sequin sublimation blanks
Before you can begin transferring your design onto sequins, you have to go for those special balls made for sequins. There are some sequin-ready fabrics also available on the market that you can choose. Here are some of our recommended blanks that you can use for sequin sublimation:
Reversible sequin pillowcases for sublimation
One of the most popular sublimation blanks that you can use to transfer those designs is these pillowcases. The good thing is that you can transfer any design onto your pillowcases with sequins.
Once you have transferred your design, you can move those sequins. By doing so, you can either hide the design or reveal it by moving your hands on sequins. And it looks pretty cool!
It’s an awesome DIY project, and you can use it as a marvelous home addition with these customizable pillows. You can introduce it as a new product line in your sublimation business if you do it right.
These pillows are highly creative and fully customizable. Furthermore, you can get these sequins at affordable rates either online or in-store. Amazon also has various options for you to try, and some of them are Amazon Prime eligible.
Magic sequin pillowcases for sublimation
Here’s another sublimation sequin pillowcase that looks quite magical and unique. You can conveniently use any design to sublimate onto your pillowcase. As you move those sequins, you can hide or reveal that design you have transferred.
These pillowcases are great for your DIY projects but are better suited for people using sublimation for business. This is because the materials come cheap, and you will only have to pay around $5 to $7 for a pillowcase.
Some other sources for those sequins’ blanks
You can either try out various options on Amazon or choose numerous options available on Alibaba. The delivery systems of Amazon will be pretty quick. However, you will have to go for some relatively pricey options for your DIY projects.
Alibaba has some great affordable options for you to try out. But you will have to wait for their delivery because they ship from China. Try them out first before you go for a large order.
But there are various options you can try according to your budget and quantity requirements. You have to keep in mind that delivery will take some time if you order anything from China.
How to Sublimate Using Sequins?
Now, let’s talk about the process of sublimating on sequins and how to do it effectively.
First, you will have to work on the design and get your print from the sublimation printer. You have to make sure that you have the right kind of software program to work with. There are various options that you can try here.
Adobe and Corel Draw are two of the top programs that you can use to create your designs. Of course, you can use your computer or your tab to get this design. But you can also create your own or take an image from your camera or the web if you want.
After creating your design, you need to take the printout on the sublimation blank. You will have to use a printer that has sublimation ink. This is because regular ink will not work at all for this high-temperature and pressure involving process.
Using one of the sublimation printers by Epson is highly recommended. You can also go for Sawgrass because their printers are also convenient for this purpose. Sublimation inks have much more tolerance to high temperatures and pressure. Using your sublimation printer, you can get the print on the sublimation blank.
But no matter what printer you choose, go for the one that supports a format more significant enough for your desired substrate. For instance, if you are printing using a 16 x 16 sequin, you must ensure that your printer and the design are compatible and support 16 x 16 size.
You must set up your heat press for an initial temperature of 400F along with light pressure. If you are going for a temperature or pressure that is too high, you risk damaging your sequins, or they will end up deforming.
On the other hand, if the pressure or temperature is too low, you won’t transfer your design entirely. In most cases, they will be dull and will fade.
Don’t be hesitant to go for light pressure and a temperature of 400F. This is the recommended choice when dealing with most materials. Therefore, you should stay away from these guidelines.
But if you’re looking for some different settings, you are more than welcome to try them out. The heat press settings that you will use for your sublimation printing will depend a lot on those blanks you are using.
The sequin blanks you are using also have different recommendations and guidelines. If yours comes with these guidelines, then focus and don’t generalize the settings.
And if they don’t come with any specific guidelines, you can consider going for light pressure and 400F temperature.
It’s always a good idea to take out a couple of samples before going for the first print. The tryouts will help you find your footing.
So, you will be able to make some necessary adjustments before you print for the product. This will give you some room to deal with a mistake if you have made one or if you’re new to sublimation on sequins.
Once your design is printed out and your heat press is ready to take the next step, you can begin the sublimation process onto the sequin blank.
- Place at least a couple of pieces of paper on that heat press to keep it safe from the high temperature.
- Now, tape that sublimation design on your sequin blank. But keep in mind that when you tape your design onto that blank, the transfer sides have to face each other. Otherwise, you won’t get an adequate transfer.
- If you want to transfer your designs on both sides of the sequins on your pillowcase, you must transfer your designs first on the sequins and then onto the fabric underneath.
- You have to place your sequins blanks inside your heat press. And after that, place that transferable design on top of that.
- Now, place another paper right on top of your design. By doing so, you will be keeping your heat-press platens and your substrate safe.
- Press the design and keep the temperatures somewhere between 380 F and 400 F. The temperature needs to be on the lighter side. The press time that you need to keep is about a couple of minutes or 120 seconds.
- If you don’t get the best results, then you can try other settings. You will have to try a few different settings before finding the best ones that meet your needs.
- After making the transfer remove the blank form, heat press, and remove that transfer paper from the substrate.
- Be more cautious when removing the transfer paper, and your substrate for the heat press doesn’t make your transfer paper move at this time. Otherwise, the transfer will be smeared or ghosted.
Can you sublimate on both sides of the sequin pillow?
Now, you can’t sublimate on sequins using both sides. The front side of the fabric is sequins that you can reverse with two different sides. This one side has been coated, and you can only sublimate it. You cannot do sublimation printing on both sides here.
What are the recommended heat press settings for sequin sublimation blanks?
The sublimation blanks that you have purchased will come with all the instructions for the settings that you must use with these blanks.
You don’t have to guess anything at all. But if they don’t have any such instructions, the general rule of thumb is to go for a heat press of temperatures ranging between 380 F and 400 F with light pressure for about 120 seconds.
Can I directly iron sequins?
No, you cannot directly iron sequins. You also can’t use fabric irons to cut this fabric. Make sure to go for a press cloth and keep your temperature on the lower side, or you will end up damaging the sequins.
Are sequins made of plastic?
Yes, they are made of plastic, and they can also be pretty terrible for the environment. Most of the sequins might be swept into the ocean, and they end up being walled by fish that mistake them for food. So, these sequins are not environmentally friendly.
Maybe someday, someone will come up with a material other than plastic for these sequins. They are made of PVC, and they might be in excess of 200,000 present on a single garment. And at the moment, there are no biodegradable or recycled options available on the market.
If you have never transferred on sequins fire, then you have to try this out. There are so many creative and customizable designs available, especially if you want to work on pillowcases.
This is why these pillowcases are becoming so popular. They look so cool and can make your interior look uniquely awesome.
Sublimation on sequins is not that difficult either. If you have been doing sublimation for some time, you won’t have any trouble doing this. Just make sure that you get your design on the sequins first and then on the fabric underneath.
If you are doing it for the first time, give it a few tries to get used to all the settings and how the results will come out. When you are fully satisfied, start working on the original printout on the pillowcase that you will use for your home or your customer.