Sublimation on a 100% Cotton T-Shirt
with Siser® EasySubli® HTV, Sawgrass SG400, & Cricut Explore Air 2
If you’re looking to print and cut full color images without breaking the bank, EasySubli® HTV is the decoration solution for you! Gradients, patterns, and portraits are all within reach when you have the HTV that bridges the gap between sublimation and colored polyester, cotton, rayon, and many more! Available through a select variety of authorized distributors, please email us at Info@SiserNA.com if you’re interested in purchasing information.
Now before you go out and buy up the whole lot, there’s a few more things we recommend having on hand to achieve best results with EasySubli HTV.
EasySubli HTV Companion Products
- Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 printer* (SG400 discontinued for SG500)
- Siser® EasySubli Inks by Sawgrass**
- EasySubli Mask***
- Cricut Explore Air 2 (other Explore and Maker models are also compatible)****
- Cricut EasyPress or heat press
*Also compatible with the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG800 (SG800 discontinued for SG1000) desktop sublimation printer.
**Other brands of sublimation inks and printers may work, but they will require trial and error testing. Siser has partnered with Sawgrass to develop special inks and a profile for the greatest print quality with the least hassle.
***EasySubli Mask is not always necessary. Mask is only required when designs have multiple pieces that need to be kept in alignment.
***Other brands of cutters can be used with EasySubli as well. Read the Silhouette Cameo 3 post here! Read the Brother ScanNCut post here!
These last few items are likely already in your craft arsenal, but were necessary to complete this project:
- Siser Weeder
- 100% Cotton T-Shirt (Any color!)
- Parchment Paper (AKA Butcher Paper)
Typically, sublimation inks are only compatible with light colored polyester fabrics. If I tried to use traditional sublimation paper on this colored cotton t-shirt, the results would not be favorable. Not to worry though! Siser has your back with EasySubli heat transfer vinyl and we’re going to walk through all the steps to working with this new product right now!
Step 1: Set up Your Print & Cut File in Cricut Design Space
If you’ve made stickers, cupcake toppers, or any other kind of paper craft, you might already be familiar with creating a print and cut file in Cricut Design Space. For those of you just learning, here’s how it’s done.
1. Start a “New Project” in Cricut Design Space.
2. Upload your .jpeg or .png file and select “Simple”, “Moderately Complex”, or “Complex” depending on the level of detail in the image.
3. Select and erase any areas of the image that you do not want printed. For .jpegs this is usually just the white background. However, most .png’s have a transparent background (indicated by the gray and white checkers) and no areas to erase.
4. Select “Continue”, title your file, add tags if you’d like, and be sure to save the image as a “Print Then Cut” file.
5. When your image appears in Canvas, you may need to resize it. Cricut only allows for 9.25″x6.75″ of printing space.
6. Select “Make It” when your image is sized as needed. Ensure the “Mirror” slider is NOT on and “Continue” to printing. You’ll notice Cricut recognizes the print and cut file and automatically adds a black box around the image. This box is the registration mark that that will help tell your blade where to cut.
Step 2: Print on EasySubli HTV with the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 Desktop Sublimation Printer
If you have a new printer, follow the installation instructions for Siser EasySubli Inks by Sawgrass. If your printer is currently utilizing another type of ink, please contact Sawgrass Customer Support for further guidance.
1. Place EasySubli in printer tray so the glossy side is facing up.
2. Add a Bleed if needed. This can depend on your artwork, but in most cases I like to enable the “Add Bleed” slider. A bleed adds a little extra printed space so the blade has a margin for error during cutting. You’re less likely to end up with unintentional white spaces with a bleed.
3. Select “Virtuoso Print Manager” (AKA “VPM”)* from the list of possible printers and wait for the Settings window to appear. This is a very important step! Sending to the VPM allows you to adjust the print profile. Selecting “Sawgrass SG400” instead of VPM is not recommended and can result in a saturated output that’s not ideal.
*After this blog post was first created, “Virtuoso Print Manager” has been updated to simply “Sawgrass Print Manager” or “Print Manager” and will be referred to as such or “PM” for the rest of this blog post.
4. Select “Siser EasySubli Vinyl” from the “Substrate” and “Paper” drop downs. Additionally, make sure the “Mirror” box is NOT checked. If these options are not available, you may be running an older version of PM.
5. If your print preview does not appear due to a layout or sizing error, go to the “Layout” tab in PM and check the “PM Performs Layout” box.
6. Select “Print” in PM and listen for the tell tale sounds of the SG400/SG800 sucking in a sheet of EasySubli HTV to get this printing party started!
7. Carefully remove the printed sheet from the tray to avoid smudging the damp inks and set aside to air dry for 30 minutes. Damp inks and over saturated prints can prevent EasySubli Mask from bonding properly so this step is especially important if you plan to use the mask.
The drying process can be sped up by placing the printed sheet under a Clam Shell Heat Press (that is open, on, and heated up) for 60 seconds. The residual heat will do the work of 30 minutes in just 1! With this drying method you may notice the colors begin to develop a little under the heat. This is normal and will not effect the overall vibrancy of the end result.
However, it is NOT RECCOMENDED to use the quick dry method if you are using a drawer style or swing away style Heat Press. The residual heat is too close to the HTV on these types of presses and may activate the adhesive on the back therefore bonding it to the liner and making masking almost impossible.
If your design is one big piece that doesn’t need to be cut (or it can be hand cut), then there’s no need to dry or mask it. However, be very cautious when removing printed EasySubli from the backing and transferring to your garment to prevent smudging the inks. If you’re in this boat, you can skip the next two steps and move onto Step #5: Heat Application!
If your design is like mine and it’s made up of multiple pieces, then it’s cutting time…on the next page that is.
I was interested in the EasySubli printer system, and had found a company that I can purchase the system through and as I was reading the description is stated that I had to use sublimation clothing and I would like to know if it is a must to use sublimation clothing with this system or can I use any type clothing as the video states, because the video does not state that the different clothing that were being used were sublimation clothing.
Hi Maddy, sorry for the confusion! You do not need to use special sublimation clothing with EasySubli™ HTV. EasySubli HTV can be applied to any color garment that’s made of cotton, polyester, rayon, or a blend. However, if you want to decorate a sublimated polyester garment (like a soccer jersey for example) with EasySubli HTV, it’s likely you will experience dye migration. I hope that helps clear things up!
Hello have you had any issues with getting your cricut to read the sublimation registration marks? I can not seem to get my cricut to calibrate 🥴😔
Hi Dishana! Make sure you’re working in a well lit area and the sensor is clean. Cricut goes over how to calibrate the cutter here.
I am having the same issue. I have tried it well lit and regular lit and darker, and the Cricut Maker cannot read any of the calibration marks on the EasySubli paper. :(
Hi Carrie, I’m sorry you’re having trouble cutting EasySubli with your Cricut! I would suggest cleaning the sensor with a lens wipe and re-calibrating the machine as these factors can also effect how well the registration mark can be read. I hope that helps!
I’m having a problem getting the vinyl to stick to the masking sheet.
Hi Tamicka! Heavily saturated images that contain a lot of black or red are trickier to mask. We suggest adjusting your art colors or letting the image dry longer before masking.
Hello my sublimation print will not pull off and weed properly. And the mask definitely isn’t gripping it to help pull off. How do I get the sublimated image to pull from the sheet it’s printed on?
Hi Christopher, our support department can best handle the issues you’re having. If you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, they can help get you up and running!
I can’t get easy subli htv to feed through my printer! I have an Epson 4700
Hi Karen! Please email Support@SiserNA.com and we’ll see what we can do to help troubleshoot the issue.
1-can I use my normal sawgrass sublijet ink with the easysubli?
2- does the mask have to be specifically for easysubli? Or can I use my normal htv mask?
1- EasySubli® Inks have been optimized to provide the best color tone, saturation levels, and optimum interaction with EasySubli Mask for brightest and longest lasting image on a garment.That being said, Sublijet-HD inks can be used with EasySubli HTV, however you may experience a color shift and possible issues lifting over-saturated designs from the backing with EasySubli Mask.
2- EasySubli® Mask is the only transfer mask we recommend using with EasySubli HTV. Other types of heat transfer masks will not stick successfully.
I’m having issues with getting my Epson 7610 to print on the easy subli. Any suggestions? Can I put two 8×10 sheets down instead of buying an 11×17 sheet?
Hi Gwen! EasySubli® was designed to work with Siser EasySubli Inks by Sawgrass in a Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 or SG800 desktop sublimation printer. It may be possible to use other inks and printers, however you will need to perform your own testing to gauge the results. You could use two 8×10 sheets instead of an 11×17 if you split your artwork up for printing and then piece the HTV together for heat application.
how do you open the Sawgrass Print Manager from Cricut, it doesn’t let me, a message pops up saying that there was an error opening the file.
Hi Jota! Please contact Sawgrass Support for issues with the Print Manager: https://www.sawgrassink.com/support/contact-support
For paper type EasySubli vinyl is not listed. Any suggestions??
Hi Monica! Paper type Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) will work with EasySubli.
Thank you for the steps above. I followed with my Sawgrass 500 easysubli printer. Question: Does any step require Mirror? My registration marks are not identified on Cricut and I am trying to explore why my Cricut did not cut.
Hi Patricia! If you’re printing and cutting EasySubli® HTV, you do not need to mirror your design at any step. It’s possible your Cricut may need to be re-calibrated or the sensor may need cleaned in order to read the registration marks.
Hi! So. I have a sg500, when I choose print and cut on my cricut the colors are so unclear and dull after appying heat… I tried to print not using the sawgrass500 drop down option and it wont work…please help!!
Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry you’re having trouble! Please make sure to select the Sawgrass Print Manager from the drop down list instead of SG500 so you can select the proper printing profile for EasySubli. If you do not see the Print Manager on the drop down, please contact Sawgrass support so they can help you properly install the print manager.
Hi Lily. thank you for sharing all the steps to use the Siser EasySub.
Do you think that we the ones using the Epson tank inks for sublimation, can NOT print in the Easy sub vinyl??? thanks
You’re welcome, Liliana! Thanks for reading the Siser Blog :) I think it’s possible for EasySubli Inks and HTV to work with other printers, however we cannot provide step by step instructions for a tried and true method, therefore you would have to perform your own testing until you achieved your desired result.
I’m having problems with number three. Print manager does not show up as an option for printing from creek cut. It’s on my computer I’ve used it many times but it’s not an option for printing. How do I make it show up as an option for step number three
Hi there! You’ll likely need to reach out to Sawgrass customer support for them to help you set up the print driver. Sometimes an update to the Print Manager can cause it to disappear from your printing options. Otherwise, you can contact our support team at Support@SiserNA.com or 586.203.8171 for more troubleshooting help.
I can only find rolls of easy subli, do I need a special attachment on my sawgrass 800 to print or is it best to cut first and sublimated onto the cut design.
Hi Jocelynn! Rolls must be cut down to sheets in order to fit inside the Sawgrass 800 printer. Please email us at Info@SiserNA.com to find an authorized distributor selling sheets of EasySubli® if you prefer to not cut your own sheets.
Hello I bought my sawgrass sg1000 this summer but Ive been having trouble using my sg printer when I use it with the Cricut software. When I print my designs through Cricut (Because I want cut the design) it ALWAYS prints the designs with different strips of color through the design as if its running out of ink. And when I try to print I never get the option to use the sawgrass print manager, it always takes me to the Mac book printing manager.
Hi Prisella! Unfortunately, some users with a Cricut and Mac have been experiencing this issue. Please contact Sawgrass Support so they can help enable the print manager.
My printer seems to have an issue printing on this material… it doesn’t even pull it down.
Does someone have same issue?
Hi Cathy! For any issues with our materials, please contact our Support department. They are better suited to answering tech questions regarding specific printers.
Hello, I have done each step with my Cricut explore air 2 and went through the cutting process and it’s not cutting. Idk why but it’s becoming very annoying and frustrating. Please Help
Hi there, I’m sorry to hear that! Can you please send the cut settings you’ve tried and which type of vinyl it is to Support@SiserNA.com so we can help troubleshoot the issue?
Can i use an inkjet printer on the sub vinyl?
Hi Ashley! Unfortunately, we do not offer an inkjet compatible product. EasySubli® HTV is only compatible with sublimation inks while our other Digital Medias are compatible with solvent, eco-solvent, and some latex inks.
I. Considering getting the sg500. I have a circuit explore 2. I understand how to use the program and print the image but how do I cut it bigger? Circuit only prints so big and if I want to use the sawgrass program to print how do I get it back over to circuit to cut?
Hi Tracie! Unfortunately, you cannot bypass Cricut’s printing size restriction. If you want to print larger images, I would suggest looking into other cutters equipped with print/cut capabilities like the Silhouette Cameo or Brother ScanNCut. Another option would be to use the 2 step method (explained in this video) where you print on the sublimation paper instead of directly on EasySubli® HTV.
What setting material do I use for sister subli sheet to cut as cricut does not have subli listed
Hi Nubiene! For the Cricut Explore Air and older we recommend the Iron-On setting. For newer machines, we recommend the Everyday Iron-On setting. However, since the age and wear of your blade and machine can affect settings, I’d suggest doing a test cut before cutting your full design to ensure the setting is going to work properly. I explain test cuts further in this video.
IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE FOR THE EASY SUBLI? MY CUT-OUT DESIGN IS NOT STICKING TO MY SHIRT. I FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS TO THE TEE. I WATCH SEVERAL VIDEOS ON YOUR SITE. I LET THE SUBLI DRY OVERNIGHT BEFORE CUTTING IT. MY COLORS NEVER REACHED ANY BRIGHTNESS NOR DOES IT ADHERE TO THE SHIRT. I PURCHASED AN 8X10 50 COUNT BOX AND A 11X17 25 COUNT OF EASY SUBLI LAST YEAR. DIDN’T REALLY USED THE PRODUCT UNTIL TODAY 04/27/2022. THOSE BOXES WERE EXPENSIVE. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO WITH THESE ITEMS?
Hi Rai, EasySubli® HTV has a shelf life of two years when stored properly. If you could please send an email to Support@SiserNA.com with the application instructions you used and any pictures of the issue, we will do our best to troubleshoot the problem. Thank you!
Ok so I printed onto my easy Subli can you use without mask? Have cricut press
Hi Laura! Yes, you can use EasySubli® HTV without the Mask- just peel the HTV away from the liner and place it with the printed side up on your garment. It’s easiest if the image is one large piece and best if the inks were allowed to dry since damp inks can show fingerprints from the peeling process. Without a mask, you’ll definitely want to use parchment paper on top of the HTV to protect your Cricut EasyPress.