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HomeGENERALUnlocking the Art of Sublimation Tumblers: Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Started

Unlocking the Art of Sublimation Tumblers: Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Started

Introduction to Sublimation Tumblers

Sublimation tumblers have taken the world of personalized drinkware by storm. These versatile and customizable drink containers are stylish and make for fantastic gifts or promotional items. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a business owner looking to expand your product range, sublimation tumblers can be a profitable venture. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about starting with sublimation tumblers, including where to find sublimation tumblers wholesale and how to sublimate on stainless steel. Let’s dive right in!

1: Understanding Sublimation Tumblers

Before diving into the world of sublimation tumblers, it’s essential to understand what they are and how they work.

Sublimation tumblers are specially designed drinkware made from materials like stainless steel or glass, allowing the sublimation ink to adhere to their surface permanently. They come in various sizes and styles, with the 20 oz sublimation tumblers being particularly popular due to their generous capacity.

2: Getting the Right Supplies

To start sublimating your tumblers, you’ll need the following supplies:

  1. Sublimation Tumblers Wholesale: To get started, you’ll want to buy sublimation tumblers in bulk to save on costs. Look for reputable suppliers that offer bulk sublimation tumblers at competitive prices. Purchasing in bulk reduces costs and ensures you have a steady supply of tumblers to work with.
  2. Sublimation Printer and Ink: Invest in a high-quality sublimation printer and compatible ink. Ensure your printer can handle the size of your tumbler. Sublimation ink is specially formulated to transfer designs onto the tumblers’ surfaces.
  1. Sublimation Paper: Use sublimation paper to print your designs. It’s designed to hold the sublimation ink and release it onto the tumbler during heating.
  2. Heat Press Machine: A heat press machine transfers your designs onto the sublimation tumblers. Make sure it can accommodate the size of your tumblers.
  3. Design Software: Use Adobe Photoshop or CorelDRAW to create and customize your designs. Ensure your designs are sized correctly for the tumbler’s surface area.
  4. Protective Gear: Safety first! Wear gloves and a mask when handling sublimation materials to avoid inhaling fumes.

3: Preparing Your Sublimation Tumbler

Now that you have your supplies, it’s time to prepare your sublimation tumbler for customization:

  1. Clean the Tumbler: Ensure your tumbler is clean and free from dust or debris. Use a lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface thoroughly.
  2. Design Preparation: Create or select your design and print it onto sublimation paper using sublimation ink.

4: The Sublimation Process

The sublimation process is where the magic happens. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sublimate on a stainless steel or glass sublimation tumbler:

  1. Wrap the Tumbler: Secure your design on the tumbler using heat-resistant tape or sublimation wraps to keep it in place during heating.
  2. Heat Press Setup: Set your heat press machine to the recommended temperature (typically around 400°F) and time (usually 60-90 seconds).
  3. Pressing: Carefully place the wrapped tumbler into the heat press and apply pressure. The heat will cause the sublimation ink to turn into gas and adhere to the tumbler’s surface.
  4. Cool Down: After the pressing time, remove the tumbler from the heat press and let it cool down. Please do not touch the design until it’s cool to the touch.
  5. Remove the Design: Gently peel off the sublimation paper or wrap to reveal your beautifully customized tumbler.

Chapter 5: Quality Control

Inspect your sublimated tumbler for imperfections, such as incomplete transfers or smudges. If necessary, make adjustments to your process to ensure consistently high-quality results.

Quality control is a critical aspect of any sublimation business. It ensures that your products meet the high standards expected by your customers. Here are some essential steps for inspecting your sublimated tumbler for imperfections and making the necessary adjustments to maintain consistently high-quality results.

  1. Visual Inspection: Begin by visually inspecting the sublimated tumbler. Examine it under proper lighting conditions to detect any imperfections.
  2. Touch Inspection: Run your fingers gently over the surface of the tumbler. This tactile inspection can reveal imperfections not immediately visible. 
  3. Durability Testing: To ensure that your sublimation is long-lasting, perform a durability test. Wash the tumbler according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and check if the design fades or peels. A well-sublimated design should remain vibrant and intact after multiple washes.
  4. Quantitative Measurements: For a more precise assessment, use measurement tools such as a caliper or micrometer to check the thickness of the sublimated layer. This can help ensure that the sublimation process has transferred the design uniformly.


Starting with sublimation tumblers can open up a world of creative possibilities and potential business opportunities. By sourcing sublimation tumblers wholesale and following these steps, you can produce stunning, personalized drinkware perfect for gifting, selling, or promoting your brand. Whether you’re interested in creating a side hustle or launching a full-fledged business, sublimation tumblers offer an exciting and profitable avenue to explore. So, gather your supplies, get creative, and start sublimating your way to success!




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