As the years go by, artisans across the world find more and more technologically innovative ways to bring their creations to the next level. One such trend takes advantage of sublimation printing that, through a delicate marriage of heat and ink, forms beautiful patterns that’ll produce permanent and fully colored images which won’t fade even through the passing time, when being washed, and when subjected to direct sunlight.
Ideal for those working with numerous projects at once that all require detailed designs that would take far too long to create by hand, not giving the process a try is by all means, a huge and very costly mistake.
Now here’s the tricky part. Your patterns and designs will only be as good as the sublimation ink you choose which unfortunately for consumers, aren’t all equal in quality. This is where our little guide steps in – we’ve reviewed some of the best sublimation ink products on the market right now so just read on and take your pick.
Best Sublimation Ink
Hiipoo Sublimation Ink Refilled Bottles Work with C88
Promising both wide compatibility across a range of printers as well as well as equally wide application on all sorts of surfaces from fabric T-shirts all the way to ceramic mugs, shoes, pillowcases, hoodies, and even wood, transferring your detailed designs onto a physical surface here will be made easy thanks to the Hiipoo.
Fully water-based, this sublimation ink will provide some of the most efficient heat transfer during the printing process which helps ensure that all the alluring colors in any design is brought out as clearly and brightly as possible.
Beyond this, everything here is totally ISO-9001 and MSDS certified so you can rest assured that quality, safety, and durability are brought to the forefront. Inside you’ll find that the package comes with 4 bottles, each containing 100ml of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink to be precise).
So if you’re looking to leave a long-lasting memory onto your belongings or creations, look no further for the Hiipoo has got you covered on all ends.
Spaceink Sublimation Ink Refilled for C88 C88+
Designed specifically for all types of Epson Printers, Spaceink’s contribution to the world of sublimation ink is one not to be ignored. Inside its compact packaging you’ll find the usual goods – a set of 4 bottles of 100ml ink.
But this is where the ordinary stops – close inspection reveals unique features that allow Spaceink to stand out from the competition. Prints used with this ink will come with full water-resistance, water-proofing, and won’t ever suffer from fading caused by accidental exposure to direct sunlight. So whether you intend to print on a t-shirt, a bag, a flag, a banner, or even a mug, you can rest easy on this front.
Interestingly, Spaceink also promises access to their 24/7 technical support email so if you find yourself facing any problems or have any burning questions, feel free to contact them as they promise a fast and detailed response within just shy of a single day.
NewCee 400ml Sublimation Ink Refill for C88 C88+
Coming as either a set of all black ink or the standard 4-color combination, within these 100ml bottles lies a whole world of artistic expression. If what you see is what you get then what artisans get here is absolutely worth its weight in gold.
Offering some of the easiest-to-use and cutting-edge ink, when it comes to the NewCee, worrying about problems like clogging, uneven printing, volatile solvents, odor, and viscosity will be a thing of the past. Refilling too is made easy thanks to the inclusion of complementary gloves and syringes.
Now when it comes to the actual sublimation printing, NewCee produces some of the most vivid and vibrant colors we’ve ever seen. Yet despite this, it still offers a staggering amount of resistance against any oxidation which means that fading won’t ever be an issue. This is in part thanks to its excellent color fastness grade.
As if this wasn’t already an attractive product, know that the ink still will produce highly-efficient color printing that produces results that will feel and look both natural and clear.
INKXPRO 4 X 100ml Professional True Color Sublimation Ink Refills for EcoTank printers
Great for any EcoTank printer, inkxpro’s sublimation ink is a high-quality pick for those intending on printing the most elaborate of designs on their items ranging from phone cases to polyester shirts and more (don’t forget to check for suitability though).
Here, you’ll get a set of four bottles of ink, each checking in at 100ml, that consists of the standard set of four colors. Now note that this set doesn’t come with any syringes or gloves to assist you during the refilling process. We think having those items at hand will make your life far easier, so we’d suggest popping by your local supermarket and picking them up as an extra purchase to help you with this.
You’ll even be able to receive an ICC profile that’s compatible on both Mac and Windows Operating Systems which comes as a free download on inxkcpro’s own website if that’s something you’re interested in doing!
TBTEEK Sublimation Ink Heat Transfer Printing for Refillable or CISS
Standing true to their mission to combine both modern science with artistry, TBTEEK’s take on sublimation ink is one that will be more than suitable for the casual hobbyist all the way to the budding professional. Fully usable on a variety of surfaces and products from simple mugs all the way to elaborate plates and fabrics, a whole world of color awaits any would be user here.
You’ll find high quality and vivid colors produced with ink like this which’ll ensure the best possible print during any sublimation session and along with its elaborate cleanliness, you won’t have to break a sweat worrying about corrosions and blockages. Did we mention that the patterns produced will also be totally scratch-proof, water-proof, and UV-resistant too?
Xcinkjet Sublimation Ink Cartridge Compatible for Sawgrass Virtuoso
If you’re looking for a cartridge and don’t feel too keen on playing around with latex gloves and syringes (where things almost always tend to get pretty messy), consider Xcinkjet’s Catridges. Providing fully compatible and disposable cartridges, here you’ll get 4 of them in a single pack. Specifically, you will receive three 29ml bottles of cyan, magenta, and yellow and one 42ml bottle of black ink.
Of course, because these are the types of cartridges that’re frequently used by professionals around the world, expect whatever you print on your clothes, mats, hats, watches, and even medals to come out as pristine and as vivid as your imagination. And of course, if you ever find yourself confounded over an issue or two, Xcinkjet will be more than happy to address your concerns via their 24/7 technical support line.
WOKOK Sublimation Ink refill for Ecotank
Coming as the usual set of four which we’re all used to, Wokok’s Sublimation Ink is one that is absolutely outstanding in our books. Providing some of the lowest viscosity amongst all products we’ve ever seen, clogging and smooth printing here are truly the high points of this ink. It even features three microns filtration so as to improve on this aspect.
Beyond this, you’ll have ink that is not just vivid but is natural, safe to the touch and to the printer, totally water resistant and will withstand even the harshness of UV rays thanks to its extremely strong stability which’ll keep issues like color fading to a bare, unnoticeable minimum.
Plastering your design ideas onto just about anything from clothes to shoes to bags and even flags here will be as easy as pressing a button. However do note that the Wokok is only suitable for fabrics that are made out of less than 30% of cotton.
Printers Jack 400ML Sublimation Ink Refill for Epson C88 C88+
Sitting as the perfect complement to just about any Epson Sublimation Printer, this high-quality product charges a little premium on its price for good reason and it’s worth every penny. This heat transfer ink will work flawlessly across a multitude of surfaces and products from cloths to quilts to more.
Vivid colors and absolute brilliance will be produced by this water-based ink thanks to its unique composition and 3-layer filtration that’ll provide both a smooth and effective experience. Of course, like the very best sublimation inks, worrying about fading and water spillages here is a thing of the past.
Best of all, refilling is made easy thanks to the inclusion of free medical gloves and syringes! Just know that the dye works wonders for everything except cotton.
Absonic Compatible Empty Refillable Ink Cartridges and Sublimation Ink Set
If you don’t have a cartridge or even refillable bottles in your sublimation printing set yet, we suggest you consider getting the full package. Absonic here sits as our favorite pick for good reason. You’ll get the full deal with a product like this – with refillable empty ink cartridges that’s paired with pre-filled bottles of ink as well as medical syringes that’ll help you with the refilling process, kickstarting your sublimation printing journey couldn’t be easier than with the Absonic.
Rest assured that the quality of the ink will be just as every bit solid as any other pick on our list and along with the ink cartridges that come with their own ARC auto reset chip, you’ll be able to reuse this set again and again for the many years to come. However do note a little caveat – if your printer is new and hasn’t yet used their original cartridges, you’ll first have to install the original cartridges before using this set in order to calibrate things properly.
A Buyer’s Guide to Sublimation Ink
As great as a bottle of ink may be, at the end of the day it’ll be useless if it’s not designed and appropriate for your model of printer. Using the wrong ink will yield disastrous results that’ll not just produce a subpar product but will also lead to potential clogging and can cause serious damage to your printer. Products like say, the Printer’s Jack (which we’ve reviewed above) will work wonders with just about any Epson printer but will fail totally if used on a Sawgrass printer.
The good news though is that checking on this is absurdly simple – simply conduct a quick google search or read the instruction manual before doing any printing!
You might have noticed how some of the products we’ve reviewed come with a little extra in the form of gloves and medical syringes. These are absolutely essential when it comes to refilling your cartridges (maybe not the gloves in this case if you don’t mind a little staining on your skin). They’ll allow you to inject your ink without you ever worrying about any spillages and as accurately as possible – just don’t forget to use different syringes for different colors!
Much like a painting on a canvas, as you’re dealing with ink, you’ll still need to ensure that whatever you’ve printed has a little drying time before you start fiddling around with it. Now because the sublimation process uses significant amounts of heat, this process shouldn’t take too long. However, you might find yourself waiting for longer periods of time depending on the water content in your ink. The general rule of thumb is this: the cheaper the ink, the higher the water content, the longer the drying time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long can a bottle or cartridge last me?
There is absolutely no fixed answer to this as the answer will vary wildly depending on who is asking exactly. If you’re a professional who churns out dozens of designs in a single day, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that you’ll be needing a refill after a single week of work.
Conversely, if you only print once in a blue moon and for special occasions like birthdays and surprises, you can expect your printer to run smoothly for months before needing a refill.
Does sublimation ink have an expiry date?
Unfortunately the answer to this is yes. While technically speaking, you could get away with using expired ink for your projects we don’t recommend this. The risk of causing damage to your printer and producing subpar designs will increase rapidly after the eight month mark.
Because of this, we think that it’s simply good practice to change out the ink in your printer once every eight months to ensure no nasty problems pop up later down the line!