Making the Leap from Vinyl to Sublimation

With over 10 years of experience in the industry, Cheryl Kuchek is the owner of Just My Imagination DeZigns Inc. in New York and the founder of the Facebook groups Sublimation, OKI, iColor and Beyond and Sublimation for Beginners and Beyond—the first of its kind to focus on sublimation—hosting a community of digital decorators and serving as a resource to grow their business through weekly Facebook Live sessions, webinars, vendor discounts, and more. For referrals or more information, contact Kuchek directly at justmyimaginationdezigns4u@gmail.com.

What I usually tell people just starting out in sublimation is to use the software that you already know, and if that is Silhouette Studio, keep using it. 

For someone that is coming from the vinyl space and wanting to get started with sublimation, here are some of the supplies needed:

  • Sublimation paper
  • Sublimation ink
  • Sublimation blanks (polyester or poly-coated)
  • Transfer paper
  • Heat press
  • Repositionable adhesive spray and/or heat tape
  • Heat gloves
  • Butcher paper (unwaxed)

I strongly suggest using heat tape or a repositionable spray as it helps eliminate ghosting on both your sublimation hard substrates and garments. A repositionable spray is a low-tack spray adhesive for sublimation applications. This adhesive spray creates a slightly sticky layer that holds the paper in place.

—Cheryl Kuchek, Just My Imagination DeZigns