FREE Shipping on 100's of Products!
Same Day Ship on Most Everything
FREE Lifetime Tech Support
Se Habla Español
CALL THE EXPERTS! 1-877-793-3278 | Mon-Thurs: 9-6 EST, Fri: 8-5 EST
For All Your Digital Imaging Equipment & Supply Needs!
Customer Reviews
Call Us! Call: 954-989-1250
FREE Shipping on 100's of Products!
Same Day Ship on Most Everything (Order by 3:30EST)
FREE Lifetime Tech Support
Se Habla Español

Sublimation Ink (Dye Sub Inks) For Virtuoso & Epson Printers

Shop Sublimation Inks

Finding the Right Sublimation Inks

If you own any kind of desktop inkjet printer you know how important ink is. And the type and quality of the ink you buy can make a visible difference in the print.

You want to WOW your customers, right? That requires the perfect ink set for your printer and your application.

Which is why we're taking you through some of the ink basics you need to know about.

In this case, we'll be talking about sublimation and the variety of inks that are widely available.

You might be wondering, what exactly is sublimation?

Sublimation is the process of a substance transitioning from a solid to a gas, skipping through the liquid phase.

In simpler terms, the transfer is being "melted" into the fibers of the shirt. This results in a vibrant, full-color print that has ultimately no feel to it and instantly dry.

This process occurs under certain time, temperature and pressure conditions.

Sublimation inks or also referred to as dye sublimation inks are specially designed to do this using the combination of a sublimation printer, paper and a heat press.

A crucial part about sublimation printing to keep in mind is that it only works on white or light-colored substrates made of 100% polyester or specially coated hard surface materials.

Now that you know what sublimation is and how it works, let's get into more detail about the inks.

Different Brands of Sublimation Ink

There are many different brands of inks for your sublimation printer. You want to make sure you do enough research on which ones are compatible with the printer you have.
We've compiled a short list of the most popular and best sublimation inks.

  • SubliJet-UHD
  • SubliJet HD
  • SubliJet R
  • SubliJet IQ
  • ArTainium

Both manufactured by Sawgrass, there a few differences between the brand SubliJet and ArTainium.

ArTainium inks are less expensive than Sublijet but are designed for sublimation professionals who have a better grasp on graphic creation.

This brand of inks also allows people to choose their own color management system and custom color profiles rather than any presets. This gives total color and output control to the user.

These are specifically designed for Ricoh and Epson printers.

On the other hand, SubliJet inks were created for beginners in the sublimation industry.

Used for Virtuoso and Ricoh printers, SubliJet inks come with presets and are a great choice for anyone who wants extra assistance with their color management or graphic software.

There are many other brands of sublimation inks that are available but you just want to keep in mind that in order to avoid your printer from getting clogged, purchasing inks from a high quality, reputable brand is key.

We recommend choosing inks from the same brand of the sublimation printer you own, that way you maintain its warranty.

However, using different inks instead is not necessarily bad for your printer.

 If you are going to use a different brand of ink than the printer you own, we highly suggest going through a purge cycle and running a cleaning kit before installing the new inks.

This is mostly true for those of you who are using an Epson printer. Sawgrass does not recommend switching in between inks.

Aside from brand, it's also important to choose the type of ink that will work with your printer.

Some of you may need to purchase desktop ink while others may need to purchase wide format ink. The two can't be interchangeable.

Now that you have a little bit of background information on brands of sublimation inks, we can get into how to properly store any backup inks.

Epson Sublijet IQ

Epson Sublimation Ink Cartridges

Sawgrass Sublimation Inks

Sawgrass ink cartridges

How to Store Sublimation Inks

When purchasing ink, it's common for people to buy in bulk.

So, what do you do with the left-over ink? If stored improperly, these sublimation inks can grow bacteria or start to separate.

Since most sublimation inks are water based, freezing or keeping them in a warm place will cause them to go bad regardless of the expiration date.

However, storing them properly will not make them last longer.

Once the inks reach the expiration date, toss them!

To preserve the life of your inks, we recommend storing them in an airtight container, away from sunlight as well as from freezing temperatures.
If exposed to heat, these inks can start to grow bacteria and the water will evaporate. This can clog your print jets eventually leading to damage on your printhead.
You will notice a difference in your end products as well, such as discoloration and fading.

Now on the opposite side of the spectrum, if the inks were kept frozen, they will separate and can no longer be used.

In most cases, the container your ink is sent to you in is the best option for storage. These containers keep your inks from being exposed to air and drying up which is also another bacteria causing factor.

If you accidentally discarded the original container, it's best to try and find airtight bottles from your local store.

One last tip for keeping sublimation inks stored correctly is to never mix batches.

It may seem like the most space efficient thing to do but mixing an old batch of ink with a new one should be avoided for two major reasons.
#1: Both ink sets will have different expiration dates.
#2: An old batch can be contaminated with air bubbles or bacteria.
Both of these scenarios can damage your new ink and, in the end, cause you to have to buy them again.

No one wants to feel like they've wasted their money, so keeping these tips in mind will help you in the long run.

Lastly, let's talk about what you will need to accompany these inks.

What is Sublimation

What equipment do I need?

If you want to start customizing blank items using sublimation ink, there are a few items you will need to get started.

Below, we've listed a few of the main products/machinery that's necessary for sublimation printing.

There are a few different items that can help in the sublimation process such as heat tape and finishing sheets, but these aren't completely necessary.
All of this information may seem a bit overwhelming for anyone who is completely new to this business, but we make it easy by offering the machinery, supplies, support and training you will need.

If you're interested in getting into the sublimation business, visit and live chat with one of our pros or give us a call at (877) 793-3278.

Shop Sublimation Inks