Tape Marks on Sublimation Tumbler: Reasons And Solutions!

It is very likely to experience tape marks on the sublimation tumbler when you are trying it as a beginner. This problem can easily be solved if you can execute the sublimation process properly.

So, why are you getting tape marks on sublimation tumbler?

Incorrect use of heat-resistant tape or poor-quality tape during the sublimation process might leave tape markings on your tumbler. Also, improper temperature and time management can cause this ugly marking on the surface. So, it is advised to use low-tack sublimation tape and apply proper time and heat otherwise you have to redo the whole procedure.

We covered some solutions to prevent any tape marks on your sublimation tumbler. For a better understanding go through this whole article.

Why is Sublimation Tape Leaving Marks?

Why is Sublimation Tape Leaving Marks
Source: heyletsmakstuff

There could be several reasons for sublimation tape leaving marks. So the reasons are mentioned below:

Reason 1: Method of Application

The process of applying the tape will determine whether it leaves a mark on the tumbler. The tape may adapt to the texture of the substrate if you stretch it while you apply it to your surface. This makes it hard to remove and could leave a mark.

Sometimes, we place the tape with too much force and pressure. It may stick to the substrate too firmly, making it more difficult to remove and perhaps leaving markings. Additionally, if the tape is taken off too soon, it may leave behind stains that are hard to get rid of.

If you can’t do the sublimation process properly sometimes it can cause the sublimation print to be faded after washing.

Reason 2: Temperature & Time

The amount of time and temperature can cause tape marks on your surface while doing sublimation. The tape adhesive may soften and become more challenging to remove if the heat press is set to a temperature that is too high. For this reason, it can cause potentially leave marks on the substrate.

On the other side, the sublimation ink may not entirely transfer to the tumbler if the heat press is not set to a temperature that is high enough. As a result, that leads the tape leaves markings when it is removed.

Also, the tape adhesive may harden or lose its transferability if the substrate is heated in the press for too long or very less time. As a result, it might cause the tape to leave marks when it is removed.

Reason 3: Quality of The Tape

The sublimation tape may leave stains on your substrate depending on the tape’s quality. It might pull on the substrate when the tape is removed if the adhesive is too strong. 

Also, We do use different types of adhesive in sublimation tape, each with different properties. If we use improper adhesive in a tumbler the tape may leave markings when it is removed.

The substrate may move during the transfer process if the tape is either too thick or too narrow. Also, unwanted tape markings could be left behind as a result of this.

Reason 4: Unavailability of Appropriate Supplies

A variety of basic components are required for a proper sublimation process. It’s also possible that sublimation tape will leave stains on your tumbler due to a lack of the necessary components. 

The tools required to complete the sublimation process are:

  • Sublimation printer
  • Sublimation ink
  • Sublimation transfer paper
  • Sublimation tape
  • Tumbler heat press (a convection oven may work well)
  • Heat-resistant tape
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Protective paper
  • Cleaning supplies (Alcohol and cotton balls)
  • Cutter 

The sublimation procedure won’t provide satisfactory results if any of the supplies are inappropriate or of low quality. As it could leave tape marks on a tumbler.

Reason 5: Using the Same Sheet for Every Pressing Cycle

The tape may lose its adhesive properties if it is repeatedly pressed using the same sheet. Between pressing cycles, the tape should be removed to prevent adhesive buildup on the tumbler.

It may cause the tape to adhere less effectively during subsequent pressing cycles. As a result, there is a chance that the tape will move or tear during pressing, possibly leaving a mark on the substrate when it is taken off.

How to Prevent Tape Marks on Sublimation Tumbler? Appropriate Procedure. 

It’s essential to follow the right process to avoid leaving tape marks on a sublimation tumbler. You may perform the following steps:

The tools required to complete the sublimation process are already mentioned for you.

Step 1: Start With Cleaning

Before applying the sublimation transfer paper, wipe the tumbler’s surface with a clean towel and rubbing alcohol. By doing this, you can be sure that the surface is clear of any oil, dust, or debris.

Step 2: Cut According To Your Size

To make it the right size for your tumbler, cut the sublimation transfer paper. Make sure it wraps around the tumbler properly without overlapping.

Step 3: Apply The Sublimation Tape

To keep the sublimation transfer paper in place on the tumbler, apply the sublimation tape around its edges. Always, remember that the tape is applied evenly and it should not overlap the transfer paper.

Step 4: Preheat The Heat Press

The heat press should be preheated to the proper time and temperature for the sublimation transfer paper and tumbler. By doing this, you can make sure that the press is heated properly before you start pressing.

Step 5: Position The Tumbler

The tumbler should be positioned in the heat press such that the transfer paper is facing the tumbler and is centered accurately.

Step 6: Cover with Protective Paper

The protective paper should be placed over the sublimation transfer paper and tumbler to stop extra ink from getting on the press.

Step 7: Press The Tumbler

Press the tumbler in accordance with the guidelines given by the sublimation transfer paper and tumbler manufacturers. Maintain the proper temperature and duration while applying even pressure.

Step 8: Remove The Tape and Transfer The Paper

After pressing is finished, gently remove the sublimation tape from the tumbler and the transfer paper from the tumbler. In order to prevent leaving marks on the tumbler, remove the tape gently and evenly.

You can avoid leaving tape residue on your sublimation tumbler and get a high-quality transfer by following these instructions.

Which Factors Should Be Kept In Mind To Avoid Sublimation Tape Marks?

While doing sublimation on our own we need to consider some factors to avoid tape marks on the tumbler. The process also needs some practice and patience to become perfect. So the factors are highlighted below,

Using Proper Heat:

When doing your sublimation technique in a tumbler, you must use the proper temperature. The minimum temperature that tapes offered for our use should be able to sustain at least 240°C or greater than that.

Tumbler sublimation transfer paper typically needs a temperature range of 350–400°F (176-204°C). If you’re meant to press mugs at 180°C and the tape stains the mug since the press was at 200°C, that tape isn’t good enough. 

PET (polyester) is the most commonly used material and is offered in a variety of colors (transparent, red, green, and blue). It has a 204°C maximum suggested temperature. The tape in the brownish color is polyimide (PI) tape, whose suggested maximum operating temperature is 260°C.

So, the accurate temperature for sublimation on a tumbler will depend on the specific sublimation transfer paper and tumbler you are using. You also need to use a high-quality heat press so that it can’t keep your electric breaker tripping.

Time Management:

Usually,  50 seconds to 160 seconds are ideal for pressing sublimation tape. To guarantee that you get the finest results, it’s important to pay attention to the tumbler’s manufacturer’s directions.

Make sure the tumbler is completely covered in sublimation transfer paper and tape. Then try to position the paper appropriately to achieve even coverage and alignment.

Using Heat Protective Sheets:

Since heat protection sheets act as a barrier between the sublimation transfer paper and the heat press, their use is important throughout the sublimation process. It helps in keeping your tumbler free of any undesirable burns, stains, or markings.

However, the heat-protecting sheets additionally help in evenly distributing pressure across the substrate’s surface that is being sublimated. Using these sheets the sublimation ink can be transferred evenly and smoothly to the tumbler.

It is also considerably simpler to clean up after sublimation when heat-protective sheets are used. The protecting layer will catch any extra ink during the sublimation process rather than on the heat press. It helps the sublimation paper not to stuck with the tumbler.

Way of Tape Removal:

It’s extremely important to follow the right steps when removing the sublimation tape after sublimating on a tumbler. To prevent ruining the pattern or leaving tape traces on the surface follow these steps.

The tape should be carefully peeled off when the tumbler has cooled, starting at one end and pulling it 45 degrees angle away from the tumbler. Be careful not to pull too forcefully as this may harm the pattern or leave tape traces.

If the tape is challenging to remove, you might warm it up using a heat gun or hairdryer to make it simpler to pull off.

Use a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol or a specialist adhesive remover to carefully remove any tape residue that remains. If there are any issues, you may need to redo the sublimation process.

These instructions will help you remove the sublimation tape from the tumbler without scratching or damaging the surface.

Substrate Type:

Sublimation only works on materials that have been particularly developed to take sublimation ink, which is known as “sublimation substrates.” Due to a unique coating, these substrates can stick to the sublimation ink throughout the heat and pressure process.

Polyester textiles, ceramic mugs, metal plates, and polymer-coated products like phone covers and keychains are examples of common sublimation substrates. 

It’s also essential to remember that different substrates may require different sublimation parameters, such as pressure, temperature, and duration. For example, sublimating into a tumbler might require a higher temperature and a longer pressing time than sublimating onto a polyester shirt.

Which Tapes Should Be Used for Mark Free Sublimation?

Heat-resistant tapes

Heat-resistant tapes are made to withstand the heat of the press. Always select a high-quality sublimation tape that is made especially for sublimation printing if you want to avoid marks left by poor-quality sublimation tape.

Due to the fact that it won’t melt or leave any sticky residue on your substrate, it is a popular choice for sublimation printing. Some of the more popular ones are listed below

Product NameDescription
3M High-Temperature Flue TapeIt is ideal for use in sublimation printing since it can resist high temperatures. It is simple to use and won’t damage your substrate with adhesive residue.
Lichamp High Temp TapeThis tape can withstand heat up to 500°F and is constructed of tough polyimide film. It is appropriate for use in sublimation printing and has a powerful adhesive that won’t leave any traces on your substrate.
Yubbaex Heat Resistance TapeThis PET film-based tape contains a silicone adhesive that withstands heat up to 482°F. It won’t leave any residue on your substrate and is ideal for sublimation printing.
PTFE Coated Fiberglass Fabric TapeFiberglass fabric is used to make the PTFE-coated fiberglass fabric tape, which has a high level of heat resistance. It is perfect for sublimation printing since it is simple to use and won’t leave any stains on your substrate.

Before making a purchase, it’s also advisable to check the product description and customer reviews to be sure you’re receiving the proper item for your needs.


How to Fix Ghosting on Sublimation Tumbler?

The simplest technique to avoid ghosting is to keep the transfer paper fixed when taping your panel to it. Even while the transfer paper is still taped to the panel, ghosting can occur if air or air pressure enters the space underneath the paper.

Can You Sublimate a Tumbler Twice?

Yes. Tumblers may be sublimated as many times as needed as long as they are not damaged. However, you should be aware that reheating a tumbler can cause the previous print image to reappear as a ghost image in the background.

How Many Minutes Do You Sublimate a Tumbler?

A tumbler needs to be sublimated for 4-7 minutes. When the mug press is ready, hold the tumbler with the seam side of the sublimation paper facing down. Then insert the top half of the tumbler into the mug attachment. Ensure that the tumbler’s top lip fits completely inside the cup attachment.


Now you know how to avoid tape marks on the sublimation tumbler. The sublimation process is not hard when you have the proper equipment, design, and material. So, If you have patience and a practicing mindset then you can easily sublimate your Tumbler without leaving any marks.

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