Can you sublimate on modal fabric? (Answered)

Quick Answer

The best fabrics for sublimation printing are polyester, nylon, and lycra. Modal is a regenerated fiber, so it doesn’t work well with sublimation printing. However, if the modal fabric is combined with sublimation-friendly fabrics such as polyester or nylon, you can consider sublimation.

So, sublimation in the modal fabric works well only if it is blended with other fabrics. For example modal fabric with at least 40 percent polyester.

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re looking to do sublimation printing, avoid using 100 percent modal fabric, the process likely won’t go well.
  • Even if the fabric is a 50-50 cotton-modal blend, there’s no guarantee of success.
  • The graphic or print is likely to disappear after a few washes if the printing is done on pure modal fabric.
  • Make sure the modal fabric you are trying to sublimate is made of at least 40 percent polyester.
  • Read the care label carefully to figure out the fabric type.

What is fabric sublimation?

In sublimation printing, dye is transferred onto fabric with heat.

In sublimation, the fabric is first coated with a sublimation transfer medium.

The medium is then placed on top of the sublimation paper, and both are passed through a heat press.

The high temperatures cause the dye to vaporize and penetrate into the fabric fibers.

In other words, it’s a printing process that uses ink and heat to apply a design onto the fabric.

Can you sublimate on modal fabric?

Although technically you can sublimate on modal fabric, it is not recommended.

Sublimation on plain modal fabric, or even 50 percent cotton and 50 percent modal, may not work that well.

Ideally, you would need at least 40 percent polyester in a modal fabric in order to make the sublimation work.

So, if your fabric has 40 percent polyester and the remaining 60 percent modal, you can consider it for sublimation.

With that said, the key to the sublimation process is the transfer paper. If you can get hold of transfer paper specifically made for modal fabric, then you can expect better results.

Modal fabric is less likely to retain the color after the wash, making it a poor choice for sublimation printing.

Also, It is important to read the care label of the fabric before attempting to sublimate, as this will provide an overview of the fabric composition.

How to sublimate on modal fabric?

Sublimation on modal fabric does not work well, as it will likely fade away upon washing.

Sublimation works best with polyester or fabrics that contain 40 percent polyester or more.

So, if your modal fabric is a blend of polyester and modal, you can try sublimating it.

Here’s how you sublimate a polyester-modal blended fabric:

You will need the following items to sublimate a modal fabric.

  • A piece of modal-polyester blended fabric
  • Sublimation printer
  • Sublimation paper
  • Heat press

To sublimate on modal fabric, follow these steps:

Step 1: Prepare your design

Create or find an image that you want to transfer to your modal fabric.

Keep in mind that because modal is a synthetic fiber, standard inkjet inks will not work, you must use sublimation inks.

If your design is black and white, you can print it directly onto the transfer paper.

If your design is colored, you will first need to print it onto sublimation paper using your inkjet printer and then use a heat press to transfer the image onto the fabric.

Step 2: Cut your fabric

Cut your modal fabric to the size you need for your project.

If you are using a pre-made garment, such as a T-shirt, make sure to remove any labels or tags before beginning the sublimation process.

Step 3: Preheat your heat press

Set your heat press to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (~177 degrees Celsius)

Step 4: Place your fabric in the heat press

Heat press your fabric for 30 to 40 seconds.

Step 5: Peel back your transfer paper

Once the fabric has cooled, peel off the transfer paper.

Your design should now be transferred to your modal fabric.

Note: The design is likely to disappear after washing the fabric, even if it’s half modal and half cotton. Read the care label carefully before trying sublimation on modal fabric.

What happens if you try to sublimate modal fabric?

If you try to sublimate modal fabric, the results will be poor.

The colors will not be as vibrant and the image will not be as clear as with other types of fabrics.

Even if you manage to get an image onto the fabric, it is likely to disappear after the fabric has been washed.

For best results, use a blend of modal and polyester fabric for sublimation.

Sublimation is a great way to add a unique design to your clothing, but it does not always work with modal fabric.

Can you Print On Modal fabric?

Yes, you can print on modal fabric. However, the right printing method is the key to getting the best results.

When it comes to printing on a modal, the process is similar to printing on any other fabric.

The only thing to keep in mind is that the modal is a bit more delicate than other fabrics, so you’ll want to use a gentle setting on your printer.

Lastly, sublimation may not work that well for modal fabrics. Instead, you can opt for screen printing or digital printing.

Screen printing is an excellent choice for modal fabric, as it will last longer and be more vibrant than other methods.

Can you heat press on the modal?

While you can heat press on modal fabric, it is not recommended because the heat can cause the fabric to deteriorate.

Modal fabric does not like heat and will not stand up to the high temperature that well.

If you must heat press on a modal, use a low heat setting and be sure to protect the fabric with a pressing cloth.

Final Thoughts

A standard modal fabric or even a blend of 50 percent cotton and 50 percent modal is not suitable for sublimation.

In other words, it’s not a good option for sublimation printing since the design is likely to fade in a few wash cycles.

However, if you can get a modal fabric with at least 40 percent polyester and the remaining 60 percent modal, then you may be able to sublimate it.

So, sublimation on modal fabric is possible as long as it has a decent blend of polyester in it.

Just make sure to use a transfer paper specifically made for modal fabric in order to get the best results.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)