When working on sublimation projects, one of the most important accessories to worry about is ink. The ink determines how similar the final design is to the original design and how vibrant the colors are. As you know, sublimation is a process in which a solid material turns into a gas without passing through the liquid phase. The best sublimation ink, encouraged by heat, transfers completely and almost without mess from paper to work surface.
It seeps through the surface, bonding in the gaseous state to the polyester, retaining its original color and design. The ideal sublimation ink has a low viscosity and won’t clog your printer’s tubes or get clogged with fine particles, contributing to a smooth process. While brightness is critical, we really should be looking for reliable ink accuracy.
This means that colors are not only bright and vibrant, but can also show the depth and subtlety needed to print skin tones and nature scenes.
15 best sublimation ink for printers
Printers Jack Sublimation Ink
Printers Jack is one of the first brands that come to mind when it comes to the best sublimation inks. It strikes the right balance between price, quality and customer satisfaction.
This set comes in six different colors, unlike most batches that include four pigments. It is ISO9001 certified, which means it meets international quality standards.
Compatible with all types of piezo printers, it offers fast transfer speeds and very vibrant colors that look good on mugs, t-shirts, banners and other projects.
The downside is that Jack printers do not have an ICC profile. A profile is useful for accurate color reproduction, so it may take a little bit of trial and error to get it right.
Used to transfer, such as T-shirt, fabric printing, pillow, mug, blanket, cross stitch, shoes, cap, pottery, box, bag, decorative fabric, flag, banner, etc.
100% compatible with all sorts of piezoelectric inkjet printers
Sublijet HD Sawgrass Ink Cartridges
If you have Sawgrass, the only printer that specializes in sublimation composition, you will need a certain type of cartridge. Sawgrass manufactures these sinks in-house, finished in four base colors made in the USA. It’s actually a kit that also comes with 220 sheets of sublimation paper, so you’ll get all the tools you need to start your project, plus the confidence that they’re all compatible. It’s not a cheap product, but the color reproduction is excellent and you can trust the manufacturer. Customers are happy with how fast shipping is and Sawgrass also offers excellent customer service.
SUBLIJET HD – Cartridges for Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 and SG800 – FULL SET (CMYK) – WITH 220 SHEETS OF SUBLIMAX SUBLIMATION PAPER.
Supplied with 220 SHEETS of our exclusive 8.5×11 sublimation paper – MADE IN JAPAN (sublimax trademark). This sublimation paper has been fully tested with Sawgrass printers and inks – INSTANT DRY – NO QUALITY – HIGH QUALITY – The best sublimation paper for Sawgrass printers. Complete ink set with 4 cartridges. Standard capacity: cyan (29 ml), magenta (29 ml), yellow (29 ml), black (42 ml).
Original Sawgrass sublimation ink. Made in USA. This sublimation ink is designed to work ONLY with Sawgrass SG400 and SG800 sublimation printers.
Sublimation Ink Set InkOwl
If you don’t want to buy the more expensive original cartridges from Sawgrass, InkOwl is a win-win. The package includes four ink cartridges and injectors that you will use to refill the cartridges. Made in the UK, the particles are fine and won’t clog the printer. You should notice that the Sawgrass printer will display a “non-genuine ink cartridges” message so you can accept and continue with the project.
Be aware that most printer warranties do not cover damage caused by non-genuine products, so read the fine print.
Compatible cartridges with 4 DYE SUBLIMATION inks for use in SG400, SG800 subprinters.
42 ml black dye auxiliary ink
InkOwl Performance-R sublimation cartridges are a less expensive alternative to brand-name sublimation inks. Install all four cartridges or just the colour cartridges that need to be replaced.
Consistent quality control and excellent colour matching for most dye sublimation applications.
NOTE: If you use this product, your SG400/800 printer may alert you about using non-genuine ink cartridges. Before using this ink, please acknowledge the following warnings. Although accurate ink levels are not displayed, the printer will nonetheless notify you when a cartridge is low so that you can prepare a replacement.
Sublimation ink refills INKXPRO 4
Sometimes lesser known brands beat the big names when it comes to quality and this is one such case. When using sublimation inks or any other printing inks, the color depth test is black.
Most often, they come out in shades of purple, blue or gray, and not true black. With INKXPRO you can expect very deep blacks and this is also true for the rest of the colors.
With this ink, you can create vibrant, vibrant and authentic designs. To make sure your printer accepts them, enter your model in the Verify Match box and make sure they match.
They have the best results and least clogging of Epsom printers, but are compatible with many others.
Another fact that helps with color reproduction is the ICC profile available for download for Windows and Mac, which makes the whole process simple and beautiful.
True Color professional sublimation ink for sublimation printing only.
High quality ink, ICC profile for Windows or Mac can be downloaded for free from INKXPRO.
Thermal transfer on mugs, plates, polyester shirts, phone cases.
Sublimation ink CoylBod – best sublimation ink
Another fantastic budget option, CoylBod ink has a useful advantage over other brands – a convenient refill system. An elongated tip, on which a needle-type nozzle is mounted, is inserted into the cartridge.
The bottle is squeezable and this arrangement means you don’t even have to take the cartridges out of the printer to refill them. Very handy. In addition, the colors are bright and accurate and are suitable for both mugs and t-shirts
It is compatible with Sawgrass printers, making it an acceptable replacement for their original inks.
Compatible with all types of inkjet printers:
Numerous applications: Heat transfer printing with four colours of sublimation ink. Coffee cup refill cartridges, mouse pads, shot glasses, flasks, T-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and other items. It also gives the same printing quality on all textures and surfaces with sublimation coating. This ink can only be used on materials that contain less than 30% cotton.
Superior ink stability: ISO 9001 and MSDS certifications are available. For colour calibration, a FREE ICC profile for Windows and Mac can be downloaded. Colors that are brighter and brighter, with great saturation, strong permeability, quick drying, waterproofing, and no fading. There was no print head damage, and the printing was smooth.
Simple to Use: Ink refill needles are included as part of the sublimation ink kit accessories. The ink refill needles make refilling ink into the cartridge a breeze. There will be no more ink refilling issues.
Printers Jack 400ML Sublimation Ink for Epson
A good option if you want to have quality Printers Jack ink but save some money is to purchase a four-color pack from the brand. Printers use four or six base colors to recreate the full spectrum of shades, and six base colors offer more variety than four. However, this set will work well for home crafters or people using a simple design.
You can also download an ICC profile for them, which is very helpful in recreating the color. This ink has an exceptional texture and won’t clog tubes.
Colors are accurate and vibrant and you can expect bottles to last a long time, this is one of the best sublimation ink packs for beginners.
Free ICC profile and DIY your life and gifts. The ICC profile can be downloaded free of charge from the Printers Jack website. Heat transfer printer ink is suitable for T-shirt, fabric, pillowcase, mug, quilt, cross stitch, shoes, hat, pottery, box, bag, decorative fabric, flag, banner, etc. Bring your idea to life. and gifts.
Vibrant colors and customized sublimation inks. Water-based sublimation ink provides high speed printing with heat transfer and produces bright and vibrant colors. Three-layer filtered ink designed for thermal transfer printer. No clogging and smooth printing. Fade resistant and easy to install and refill. The reusable UV-resistant sublimation ink set is highly stable and durable. It is waterproof and lightfast, waterproof and no fading. Very easy to use.
For polyester. Dye-based auxiliary inks are for polyester or coated products; not for cotton. ISO 9001 certified.
AOPANE Anti-UV Sublimation Ink for Epson
These inks are compatible with Epson printers and have anti-UV properties. This means it contains chemicals that protect your final design from sunlight, making it less likely to discolor. This is especially useful for T-shirts and other garments that are frequently exposed to the weather. The manufacturer promises to use high-quality raw materials that do not contain toxic substances, which is a big plus for those who care about the environment.
They also offer a one-year warranty and ISO 9001 certification, so you know you’re getting a great product at an even better price.
When making special gifts, the heat transfer printer ink is suitable for printing on T-shirts, fabrics, pillows, mugs, quilts, cross stitch, shoes, cap, ceramics, boxes, bags, decorative fabric, flags, banners, etc. UV protection, cost-effective, easy to install and refill, bright colors, fade resistance, high stability and durability, fast drying, no plugs, waterproof, smoother printing. Smooth colors and textures, clear and natural. Featuring Micron-3 step filtration to reduce print head clogging, producing vibrant colors and smooth printing. Big savings without sacrificing quality.
ISO 9001 certified, 100% manufacturer’s warranty for 1 year.
Sublimation ink Subnnur
These ink bottles are compatible with most Epson printers. These are high quality inks that stand the test of time and water, meaning they won’t wash out of final products after washing.
Use them to refill empty cartridges inside your printer and they won’t disappoint you. Please note that this is not compatible with Sawgrass. This is one of the best sublimation inks in this price range, so if you are a beginner or want to test out a cheaper brand, Subnnur is a good choice. Most customers have even mentioned that a color profile is not required to ensure good color fidelity.
Vibrant colors and no clogging: Full and vibrant color reproduction. The color transition is natural and realistic. These sublimation inks last a long time and are easy to refill cartridges. Ultrafiltration and no clogging.
Cost saving: ciss sublimation ink is durable and can save a lot of money. Each bottle contains 100 ml, which is enough for refilling cartridges. This is for all hobbyists, especially for those who are just starting out with sublimation.
Wide Application: T-shirt source file can be downloaded from us for free. This sublimation ink can be used on coffee cups, mouse pads, mugs, phone cases, etc. But we recommend that you buy a polyester fabric to start practicing.
Trinity sublimation ink
Like most models, Trinity includes four bottles of 100 ml each. It also contains four syringes that can be used for refills. Simply open the printer and cartridges and use the syringe to transfer Trinity ink from bottles to cartridges. This adds to the practicality of the process as you don’t even have to take the cartridges out of the printer.
While it’s a good choice among the available inks, we only recommend it if you’re a beginner or just need to tackle smaller, simpler projects.
Ink refill kit (100 ml black, 100 ml cyan, 100 ml magenta, 100 ml yellow, 4 syringes).
Compatible with all types of piezoelectric printers.
International certification: ISO 9001 and ISO 140001
Buying Guide for the Best Sublimation Inks
This is the first thing to check when buying sublimation ink. Even the best cartridge or refillable bottle will be useless if it doesn’t work with your particular printer. Check not only the brand of the printer, but also the model, this also matters.
Transfer speed refers to how much ink transfers from the paper to the platen. You need a transfer rate of at least 90% for bright and accurate designs.
Since the substance passes directly from the solid phase to the liquid phase during sublimation, drying should be minimal.
However, some cheaper brands of ink use a lot of water in their composition, which significantly increases the drying time. The more water, the worse the ink and the longer it takes to dry.
Sublimation ink should be smooth and fine-grained. In addition to preventing clogging of the printer, fine particles also contribute to a better end face design.
When you use a magnifier on mugs, t-shirts, etc. printed with coarse ink, you can see them all the way through the design. Ideally, particles should not be larger than 0.1 microns.
Even though the color of the ink should be bright, you don’t want it to be oversaturated. More importantly, they reproduce the original design colors and have depth.
This is what will provide a professional looking drawing, especially on faces and skin tones. The best way to check this is to print out a black drawing and check how clean it is, as opposed to dark purple or grey.
Frequently asked Questions:
Can I keep changing sublimation ink brands?
It is best to always use the same brand of ink or empty the cartridge before switching to another brand. This will avoid contamination and ensure the consistency of your designs.
What is the difference between sublimation ink and regular ink?
Conventional ink uses very small particles of colored material that, when printed, are deposited on paper to create patterns. Sublimation ink, on the other hand, is carried into the environment in a gaseous state and completely encapsulates the polyester molecules, creating a durable design.
What is an ICC profile?
Every printer needs to be able to print thousands of colors from just four or six primary colors. Although they already have this ability, different brands offer slightly different shades, which affects the result.
An ICC color profile is a guide that many brands offer to download so that your printer can compare ink colors to original colors. The software can then adjust and correct the differences and print a more accurate design.
Does the sublimation ink fade?
A project made with high-quality ink should not fade. If the ink looks faded at the end, check the temperature used, the pressure applied, and the expiration date of the ink.
What is the shelf life of sublimation ink?
While many people agree that expired ink can be used, it is recommended that you use the cartridges within six months of installing them in your printer.
What is the difference between sublimation ink and pigment ink?
Before analyzing the differences in ink, let’s look at the features of each type.
Pigment ink is a finely ground powder that is diluted in a washing liquid. It has a distinct color. Each particle has its own configuration and shade.
Differ in the high level of light fastness, resistance to changes of weather conditions. Used in the production of advertising banners, billboards, signs and other images that are used on the street. They have a long service life.
Pigment printer ink dries quickly, ideal for printing various documents. Excellent on paper. When printing on paper, a pigment layer is created.
Sublimation ink is used to apply images by thermal transfer to a variety of pre-prepared surfaces. When heated, they pass into a gaseous state and are fixed.
Differ in simplicity and comfort during the work. Allows you to speed up printing. With their help, you can create circulations of different volumes without increasing the cost of products. Pictures are of high quality, clear and natural. Similar to photos. It is difficult to achieve such a result using other technologies in the work.
How to Transfer an Image
First, the image should be printed in a mirror image on paper specially designed for thermal transfer. Next, press the image with a heat press to the product to which the transfer is carried out. The fabric or hard surface is heated until the printing ink turns into a gas and is completely transferred to the selected object.
What is the difference between pigment and sublimation inks?
- sublimation cannot be used in printers with thermal heads. This is due to the fact that they are equipped with dyes that can be sublimated. Pigment can be used in any printers;
- sublimation printer ink is used to print pictures on fabrics and products made of porcelain and ceramics. Pigment ones are suitable for printing images on any objects, as they are resistant to high and low temperatures, sunlight, and humidity.
The differences are based on the individual properties of the dyes. Sublimation ink can go into the gas phase without going through the liquid state. Therefore, they must not be used in printers with thermal heads.
The application has its own characteristics. Sublimation is used to make souvenir images on fabric, ceramic and porcelain surfaces. Printing is carried out on the material or using an intermediate paper carrier. Pigments are used to print documents or pictures that are resistant to moisture and sunlight.
Picking the best sublimation ink for you
Remember, in this review, we’ve been reviewing sublimation inks based off a couple of different factors: availability, performance, cost and popularity. This hasn’t been a technical overview on these inks, nor was it intended to be. If you are looking for a technical review on sublimation inks, than I’d highly suggest this post by Sublimation Studies. She’s published a very technical, detailed post reviewing and analyzing the performance of a ton of different sublimation inks.
Regardless of the sublimation ink that you end up choosing, you’ll always have the best performance possible when you use a custom made ICC Color Profile. If you don’t want to put in the time and effort to create your own color profile, you can check out our downloads to see if we have a color profile for you ready to go. Else, check with your manufacturer to see if they’ll provide a profile for you.