Can You Heat Press Polyester and Spandex?

Obviously, you can heat press on polyester and spandex material. In general, polyester is used as the main component of garments material all around the world. Polyester is one of the milestone examples of synthetic fiber innovation.

In contrast, cotton or natural fiber would get distracted in care of push heat for printing on garments.

The special requirement that polyester has is its durability. Polyester fabric, garments items, carpets, caps and other accessories have an excellent ability to heat consuming.

Spandex is popular for its lite weight and elastic body property. Heat transfer vinyl can be used for special purposes on spandex items.

Those are heat sensitive and belong special property of manmade fibers.

In gentle norm, polyester contains more percentage than spandex in a fabric material.

Heat Press Nature

About printing the polyester spandex fabric, you have to have a heat pressing machine which has a horizontal metal plate to distribute heat.

Only one part of the fabric (The face part) would be printed, Your t shirt or garments items face part have to insert into the metal part.

Your heat pressing machine should be that much of capable to hold the fabrics part on surface. 

Can You Heat Press Polyester and Spandex?

Printing Process on Polyester and Spandex with Heat Press Vinyl

Spandex has excellent stretch-ability. Polyester has strength. As with the other fabrics using process, for heat press polyester and spandex you have to follow those processes. Those are discussed below:

Pre heat method

Polyester and spandex or lycra fabric can retain moisture from the environment.

So before starting heat press and printing it is important to press a heat for 3-5 seconds on fabric body to ensure extra water elimination.

Heat transferring printing paper preparation

In that case, you should use a heat transferring paper to implement design on your polyester spandex material.

Water base dense dye, Printer inject, dye pigments you have to use to print your design on the paper. Multiple colors of design can be used on that special paper.

Heat transferring paper has wax, adhesive portion to transfer the dye onto your fabric.

Heat temperature

Polyester materials are heat sensitive. So, with printing press, it needs to be done at a constant temperature.

148 to 170 degrees Celsius is the most common temperature for 100% polyester material.

On the other hand, blended with cotton and polyester (Cottonpoly blend) the pressing temperature would be 175 degrees Celsius, where cotton and polyester ratio is 60% and 40% respectively.

Though, spandex has lower weight properties, it’s better to print with light weight screen printing on it.

Spandex is basically blended with good quality of polyester.

So that when polyester and spandex mix together, they will take less heat to form print onto its surface and it’s nearly about 130-135 degrees Celsius.

Pressing pressure

Pressure is another important module for printing design. Heat press machine gives pressure as well on your given product.

Polyester has a good molecular structure to take pressure load than spandex.

Spandex is a special formation of blended man-made fiber combination. Its pressure consuming ability isn’t that much high than polyester.

Spandex can easily deform with pressure. But if it’s about polyester spandex item, which means, that item have good rigidity as well as extension property.

So that, if you want to use vinyl on polyester spandex, you need to give upside pressure between 22 to 28 psi.

Pressure holding time

Though polyester spandex combinations are generally sensitive to heat, so their time of giving pressure should be very limited.

10-15 seconds is the standard time to give pressure for a single time.

Now you all know that how to print with heat press vinyl in polyester spandex. 

For some special items such as PTE, Acrylic, Nylon, and Rayon you can use the same procedure, but the ratio of blended spandex may cause some difference between temperature and pressure.

Can you sublimate on recycled polyester? how to do it?

Sublimate is possible to recycled polyester.

Polyester is a sustainable and can be recycled. After recycling the fiber properties remain same and the textures are. 

Polyester fabrics then become gain the absorbency from sublimate method.

What is recycling polyester?

Recycle polyester is the formation of the synthetic plastic material component which will use further as fiber or product formation structure.

Polyester can be found in recycled structured as hard, soft, semi hard and liquid special forms.

Polyester recycling

Polyester recycling

It is a sustainable material. From bottle formation of polyester, it can be made to turn into fabric formation. But for sublimating dye, recycling should be worthy. 

Textile sector there uses specific terms and methods to create recycle fabric and garments. Recycled polyester is defined as PET.

Polyester fibers from different sources and materials are gathered to make a new characteristic of polyester item., So, the fibers have to breakdown first and produce with the spinning method first.

On this occasion, attention should be given away to making it sustainable.

When recycling polyester, the molecular structure are forms in smaller construction. Those are what use to make sheet, handbag, polyester yarn and so many things to make of.

Polyethylene and the heat metals repeat process is involved in polyester recycling.

Recycled Polyester Properties

  1. Recycled polyester is durable,
  2. Amorphous properties have high absorbent,
  3. Can blend with cotton or spandex with tiny molecule structure,
  4. Amazing strength,
  5. Good impact on the texture of fabric characteristics.

A Chart can easy to describe its functional structure and properties:

Serial NumberSpecificationNew phase polyesterRecycled polyester
01Crystalline Property38.129.4
02Amorphous Property6372.8
03Melting point244.6 (°C)248.5 (°C)
04Tensile strength138.8240.7
05Shrinkage percentage9.46.2
06Molecular weight (g/mol)18,98016,815

The chart describes that every important property that recycled polyester contain is very much effective. Some care, those are high in quality. Those are important to have sublimated with polyester fabric or another item.

Though recycle polyester has a high amorphous, melting point so that it can consume and react well with the hot water pigment of sublimation machine. Besides, its lower crystalline structure and molecular weight prove it can consume the color atom of dye. 

Recycle polyester is more sustainable for sublimation printing in that case.

Recycled Polyester

How to sublimate on recycled polyester

Heat transmitted sublimation printing is very popular in our printing world. The way we are recycling is polyester is eco-friendly.

In the meantime when we do sublimation printing on recycling that would be efficient, sustainable and cost profitable.

Polyester blend fabrics are usually used for printing. The amorphous areas capture the image of printing.

Sublimation printing machines are structurally made for that kind of purpose. Synthetic materials are used more efficiently than a natural one. The roll, pressing equipment, heating obstacles all are made for the heat to transfer properly. And that reason polyester is one of the best choices to print in sublimation.

Polyester and spandex are more likely to have extension properties. So they are very much found of alkaline or alkali reactive dye on their surface, Moreover polyester blended fabrics color also have responsibility of having promising print.

Sublimation must need to use with mirror image printing. No matter what the printing component is, we need to transfer our image design by transforming it into a mirror image.

Basically, Polyester fabrics are more likely blended with natural fiber or another synthetic polymer.

The properties of using blended fabric on textile garments would be 60% cotton and 40% polyester, 50 % cotton and 50% polyester, 40% cotton and 60% polyester, 50% cotton, 40% polyester and 10% spandex, 80% polyester and 20% spandex and many more.

The purpose of using sublimation printing for design purposes would be customized or industrial. 

For the customized purpose, you do not need to think about fabric many more.

the care label

T-shirts or garments fabrics property would mention on the care label. Just use your machine and pigment for that purpose of the quality that the garment requires.

But if you think about it to do run with business you need bulk size of polyester to make the design cost efficient. Though you can print and design all the designs on your polyester by heat and pressure, so you can also deliver quantity orders.

One thing you need to put on your mind, you have to take action by the purpose of your business or reason of customize.

Note: Avoid the recycled polyester from any source. Only given and lab tested recycled polyester can give good results. For industrial purposes also be cautious about reactive dye.

Pigment dyes are also needed to be resistance to water soluble. Washable polyester with quality dye can make a profitable business. 

Heat temperature, pressure and pressing time have to change with the properties of blending proportion of polyester.

Sometime polyester might be mixed with flax, wax cotton, nylon, polypropylene nylon, ethylene materials and so on.

In that kind of multi property mixing quality, the requirement of using sublimate would be changed functionally. 

Three Fundamental Ways to Use Sublimate on Polyester

Prepare your transfer paper and make it in mirror

Transferring papers should print in a mirror position. Fabric or garments of polyester need to open face of the plate.

Before printing, you have to give an iron press to the fabric to eliminate the moisture.

Heat and pressure settings

Heat and pressure are the most important things to set up for polyester. Recycled polyester has more authentic properties than virgin one.

So, their breaking and melting point is also high. You have to give temperature of about 160-to-210-degree temperature and 24 to 28 psi pressure for the production process.

In industrial production, the fabric would already be prepared for that high heat and tension. To customize single or few quantities piece, you need to do that with low heat such as 140-to-160-degree temperature.

If your design isn’t yet fixed well on polyester fabric, don’t worry, repeat it again after sometime. But you shouldn’t use the pressure and temperature at a glance. It would damage your fabric.

Timer function

Timer is something very important here. 5 to 15 seconds are enough for each printing. But if sublimation print does not give you a satisfying result, then repeat the process for 5 seconds each time.

That would keep the quality of your polyester t shirt or other garments fit to sustain.

Can You Sublimate on 60% Cotton and 40% Polyester?

Can You Sublimate on 60% Cotton and 40% Polyester?

Yes, obviously you can. Most of the garment manufacturing commercial objects are done with blended polyester with cotton.

60% cotton with 40% polyester is a good material combination. Textile fibers are usually blended with each other to produce a final product. Technology is innovative this way to produce goods with effort able cost.

Cotton fibers have high amorphous properties than polyester. So printed pigments are genuinely used there without using extra resin or adhesive.

As usual binding agent or glue is enough to make that print onto the surface clearly.

Sublimation print can be used as an alternative use of screen printing. It does not penetrate into the fabric but has a good attachment to the surface of fabric. 40% or polyester makes the fabric component strong.

Besides 60% cotton makes it less shrinkage and can have a good attachment with printing dye.

The temperature should be considered as the property of natural and synthetic fiber. So its fundamental temperature would be 160 degrees to 200 degrees.

About the pressure and timer, the function would be changed because of its blending with cotton. Pressure value over there considerable with 16 psi to 20 psi and 20 seconds to 60 seconds time have to spend of each print.

The carefulness is an alley with the printing is it’s after precautions. You have to give enough time to let it dry and then put away the heat transfer paper or use the drier.

50% Cotton, 40% Polyester and 10% Spandex Blended Fabrics Sublimation Printing

50% Cotton, 40% Polyester and 10% Spandex Blended Fabrics Sublimation Printing

Blended fabrics are different than the actual nature of fabrics.

We can identify the procedure and properties check with the duration of positivity of using blended fabric. Cotton, polyester and spandex is the modern technological textile way to make that industrial hub big.

3 Printing Method of blended fabric (50% Cotton 40% polyester and 10% spandex):

Wash and pretreatment before print

To avoid excessive dart and increase fastness properties to make your design more shine, You can wash your garments before sublimation printing.

Read the care label instruction carefully and take action about washing. Detergent and fabric softener should be melted and warm water has advantage to remove wax properties from your garments.

Some special fabrics with blended synthetic fibers require steam treatment. That cause because of the GSM (Gram Per Square Meter) of the fabrics.

Wash and pretreatment before print

Cotton polyester with spandex will give you bet results after giving a clean wash. Make sure you make it dry very well.

Before starting printing you must have to give a metal iron on the garment’s surface. That iron would give the smooth experience of printing.

Spandex will help your fabric elongation, besides cotton has shrinkage property. 

Polyester makes a vital roll over there to make it stronger.

Machines settings

In customize purposes, the printing would be in a gentle temper and pressure.

Industrial purpose goes on a long runway of massive production.

Background of the used color material is important for this print. Different kind of fabrication refers to several principles of printing such as screen printing, penetrate, surface printing, etc.

About sublimate print surface printing has good demand on require.

For those two types of synthetic (polyester and spandex) and single natural (cotton) fibers textile materials, the heat pressure and time duration have relied on those fiber properties.

In other words, you have to change machine settings over the property of printed materials.

160–180-degree Celsius temperature, with 20-22 psi pressure and printing duration of about 40 seconds to 70 seconds are the best parameters for a good printed experience of blended polyester, cotton and spandex. 

Chill down the fabric

If you use heat transfer vinyl for printing you need to let the material down and cool. All those upper protected papers need to remove after it.

Again, sublimation printing machine will give the shining design on your fabric with reflection of your module of settings and dye excellence.

Note: Be careful about the pigment are you using. Don’t use acidic dye. Acidic dye has a reaction affection on cotton fiber so fast.


A remarkable sign would open to print the design on polyester, spandex and cotton combinates material. Sublimate printing can put value on every kind of fabric more or less. More than 80% of printing upon image design on custom or factory-oriented production is possible by sublimation heat press printing nowadays.

Overall, this other synthetic item such as rayon can be considered as an example, might be problem of wrinkle because of its moisture regain properties. To compare with that, polyester with cotton or spandex has a batter success ratio on printing by sublimation machine.

Read Articles On More Polyester & Others Fabrics Here:

How to Shrink Polyester (3 Easy Ways)

How to Use Heat and Bond for Patches – How Does it Work

How to Print on Transparency Paper for Screen Printing

How to Make Heat Press Transfers for T-Shirts

Screen Print Vs. Vinyl T-shirt Printing & Which One and Why?

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