Sublimation spray on 100% cotton is a way to add polyurethane to the surface of cotton and turn it into a material that will take to sublimation. Reminder: sublimation ink will only work with poly materials. However, polyester fabric blanks can often be tough to find. Today, we will explore how sublimate on 100% cotton and what the long term results are.
I am using the same design that I used on the 80% polyester waffle weave towel in this sublimation tutorial. This will provide a good control for the sublimation spray on 100% cotton flour sack towels. There are a few sublimation sprays available online. I found this spray on Amazon. You can also make your own with a mixture of polyurethane and water.
- Sublimation Printer
- Sublimation Transfer Paper
- Butcher Paper
- Heat Resistant Tape
- Lint Roller
- Flour Sack Towels
- Sublimation Spray
- Heat Press
Sublimation Spray on 100% Cotton
Generously spray the area where the design will go on the flour sack towel. Let this dry completely! Then add another coat of sublimation spray. Allow the second coat to dry completely as well. The towel will be slightly stiff from the dried spray.
Once completely dry, preheat the heat press to 365F. Lint roll the towel where the design will be placed. Place the design on the towel and use heat resistant tape to secure it in place. For printing tips on a converted Epson printer, see the waffle towel post.
On the heat press, put a piece of butcher paper down, then the towel with the transfer paper side of the towel facing up, and finally another piece of butcher paper. The butcher paper will help to absorb excess ink and prevent it from transferring to future projects. Press for 40 seconds with medium pressure.
Carefully remove the butcher paper and transfer paper. Use the lint roller again on the towel. Finished!
Fresh off the press, the towel looks amazing! Because of the smooth texture, the design looks more crisp as compared to the waffle weave towel. The colors on the 100% cotton towel with sublimation spray are just as vibrant as the polyester waffle weave towel.
How well does it hold up to washing?
Great question! I put both of them in a regular wash and dry cycle. The waffle towel washed perfectly. The cotton flour sack towel became much less vibrant. When using sublimation spray on 100% cotton, it will wash off over time, but even the first wash will fade considerably. I would recommend only using this on things that you do not intend to wash or wash regularly. It’s perfect for decorative items though!
I hope this helps! Happy crafting!
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