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Understanding Pressure in Sublimation - Heat Press Machine How-To

Understanding Pressure in Sublimation

What are the different types of pressure when pressing sublimation blanks?

Have you ever gone through the complete sublimation process onto your chosen product and, upon removing the sublimation paper, saw “light and dark” places on the intended finished product? If so, then you are a victim of “bad pressure”.

You may be wondering how to determine the correct pressure for sublimating to Conde products. I have a sure method for determining that.

First, you must know some general information about the product you are transferring too. Is the surface smooth? Is the substrate flat, rigid, or curved on the edges? Does the surface have textured areas? What are the layers?

Finally, you need to understand the pressure settings on your heat press machine. To share my understanding of pressure for sublimation, I can best explain it as “equal distribution of weight / pressure” or “good contact”. When the press is closed, the transfer should be equally dispersed among the entire sublimatable area of the substrate.

Prospray and Heat Tape can be helpful for adhering accurate image placement onto the substrate but not evenly transferring the image to the substrate.

Manual presses:
Light Pressure = 1 hand; Closing the press with one hand, (ex: t-shirts).
Medium Pressure = 1 ½ hand; Closing the press requires one hand with help from the other hand.
Heavy Pressure = 2 hands; Closing the press requires both hands.
Very Heavy Pressure = 2 plus some shoulder strength.

Closing the press requires both hands and some body weight. In general, most Conde products are safely transferred to with medium pressure. This would include products that are flat and do not have surface texture or ridges.

For example, metals and FRP products are easy in the sense that they do not require layers (ex: Nomex felt pad, or a heat conductive rubber pad). When sublimating to textured surfaces, usually they are pressed face down and may require medium to heavy pressure to better mesh to the sublimatable area (ex: light switch covers, slate and neoprene).

On occasion there are times very heavy pressure will be required. Very heavy pressure is necessary for sublimating to hard to reach areas that are otherwise left exposed from good contact with the transfer (ex: patches).

Don’t let yourself fall victim of “bad pressure”. Follow these simple guidelines for adjusting pressure and eliminating future product waste.

Read: DK20S - The Best Professional Heat Press for Sublimation?

Should you have more questions about sublimation instructions, visit , and then click on “support” where you can download our complete guide for “Sublimation Instructions”. Second, take a tour on and type key words for videos on sublimating to any of our products. In addition, you will find other awesome videos for sublimation and heat transfer by the support team at Conde by visiting Conde TV, Conde Facebook Page and Conde Twitter.

Look for more upcoming videos and informative blog entries to be added for successful sublimation and maintaining your Sublimation Printing System. If there is something that you think would be better said in an instructional video or blog posting, then we look forward to hearing your ideas.

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