How To Sublimate a Cap In 6 Steps

Like other sublimation techniques, cap sublimation is also cool DIY stuff. So today in this article, I’ll guide you on how to sublimate a cap very easily.

As you know, sublimation has been in trend for so long and many people have opted for it for their business. Because the creative and cool graphics on shirts and mugs are much liked by people globally. They can gift a custom printed t-shirt to their friend or can also use it for personal use.

What You’ll Need To Sublimate a Cap

To sublimate a cap, you first need some sort of equipment. The details of which are as follows:

Sublimation Printer: Any Normal Sublimation Printer that can do sublimation is fair enough. Keep in mind that not all printers can do sublimation.

Heat Transfer Paper: A paper designed to transfer dyes from printer to paper and then to desired material which is in most cases fabric, cotton, or mugs.

Heat Press: Unlike Sublimation Printer, it is quite easy to select a heat press machine because all you need is the capability of the heat press to reach 350-400°F.

You might be thinking is there anything related to this temperature? Yes, there is something to relate to because sublimation printing requires a high temperature to transfer the dyes properly.

Caps: When you are thinking of doing sublimation on caps, of course, they are the required thing too. One thing you want to make sure of is that the caps you are going to use for sublimation, are of pure polyester or partially polyester with some other materials.

This is important, because if ink cannot stick to the cap properly, then it will fade away with time, leaving a dull and lousy graphic behind.

Designing Software: Everything has its own unique value and so is the design software too. There are many sublimation design software that you can use to design your creative graphics.

How To Sublimate a Cap?

Once you have all the required stuff, you are ready for the sublimation process.

how to sublimate a cap

Step 1. Make sure that there is nothing on the cap. Things like dust, oil, and spots can cause distortion in the process. As a result, your design will not be transferred properly. So first, check the cap for any kind of stains and dust on it.

Step 2. Place your cap in the heat press. Depending upon your heat press, you can adjust it accordingly.

Step 3. Now take the Sublimation Paper on which you have printed the design and place it on the cap where you want your design to print.

Step 4. Once, you have placed the paper. Put some pressure on the paper to stick it with the cap so that when you close the heat press it will not dislocate from the initial position.

Step 5. Close the heat press for about 40-60 seconds. The time may vary depending on your heat-press temperature. Some heat presses have an auto system that will make a beep sound once it is done.

As I mentioned above, the common temperature for a heat press is somewhere between 350-400°F. For a better understanding, see this example. If your heat press temperature is 374°F ( 190°C ) then you need to keep the cap in the heat press for 20-25 seconds.

The higher the temperature, the less time you need to keep it in a heat press and vice versa.

Step 6. Take out your cap and remove the sublimation paper.

Enjoy your printed design!

For a better understanding, here’s a video to help you out which will guide you on how to sublimate a cap step by step in just 20 seconds.

Some Tips For Better Cap Sublimation

Earlier, I wrote about how to sublimate a cap but that was just a basic tutorial on how to perform it. Now I’m going to tell you some bonus tips on how you can enhance your cap sublimation process.

There are certain factors you need to pay attention carefully to get better results. Read every factor in detail and enjoy better sublimation outputs.

Sublimation Cap Temperature 

One thing you really want to consider is using the correct temperature during the cap sublimation process. Because it is the phase during which the ink is transferred from paper to cap.

Sublimation Cap Temperature usually ranges between 350-400ºF. Some heat press machines have a built-in alarm that let you know when the sublimation has finished so that you can take out the cap.

In case your heat press machine doesn’t have an alarm, follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. Because every heat press has different temperature ranges and pressure too.

Polyester Hats For Sublimation

A cap made of 100% polyester is very ideal for cap sublimation because it is the material that makes it so good. The ink stays over it for a long period of time.

You can also use other caps that contain a good percentage of polyester. For example, a cap made of 50-70% polyester and the rest with other materials can also be used for cap sublimation but pure polyester will give you much better results.

Good Quality Sublimation Paper 

You can use any good-quality sublimation paper. Sublimation Paper plays a very important role in this process so make sure to consider this thing too.

Sublimation Ink

Last but not least, always use the best sublimation inks. Because it is the ink that gives vibrant colors to the cap. If the ink used is not of good quality, not only it will provide dull results but it will also fade away with the passage of time.

So you should always tend to use good sublimation ink.

Related: How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Mugs & Shirts


Why Polyester cap is used for sublimation?

Polyester being a synthetic fiber provides good bonding relation to sublimation ink. Unlike other materials like cotton, whose fibers won’t do well with the sublimation ink, polyester fibers stick well with the sublimation ink.
So that is why polyester is used for the sublimation process because it provides a strong connection between fibers and the sublimation ink.

Is cap sublimation easy?

Yes, cap sublimation is very easy. Just follow the instructions given in this article and enjoy your printed cap.

Can I use any cap for sublimation? 

No, you can’t use any cap for sublimation. You can use caps that are made from 100% polyester or caps that are made with polyester along with some other materials.

How long do I have to keep the cap in the heat press? 

It depends on the temperature of the heat press but in most cases, if the temperature is more than 350ºF and less than 400ºF then the average time should be 20-40 seconds. But these are just estimates if your heat press has an alarm follow it.

Where can I find more sublimation methods like this?

You can see our Sublimation Printing Guide to learn more about other sublimation techniques.


So that were all the steps and instructions that you need to know. I hope that you learned how to sublimate a cap, all you need is a good grip on the sublimation printing process and you must have all the required things with you.

Still, have doubts in mind? feel free to ask me anything in the comments. I’ll appreciate your efforts to write a beautiful comment.

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