How to Avoid Ghosting in Sublimation

In the realm of garment printing, Sublimation has risen to prominence as the most cost-effective technique. Sublimation is proficient at creating lively prints while preserving the full quality of the initial image, and these prints can even endure longer than the garments themselves.

Although touted as the simplest approach to t-shirt printing and endorsed by numerous experts, mastering this printing method requires a learning phase and adherence to specific precautions.

Among the challenges frequently encountered by novices in printing is a phenomenon referred to as “ghosting.

Hello everyone, it’s Lindsey back again with more valuable sublimation tips. In today’s discussion, we’ll delve into effective methods for preventing ghosting during the sublimation process.

Let’s jump right in!

What is Ghosting?

Ghosting poses a prevalent challenge in the realm of sublimation printing. This problem arises when the sublimation ink remains in an active state as the upper heat press platen is lifted. Consequently, the sublimation paper shifts slightly, giving rise to a phantom-like image that appears alongside the original design. Regrettably, this ghostly imprint is stubborn and cannot be eliminated.

How to Avoid Ghosting?

Listed below are my 5 tried-and-true recommendations that have personally yielded effective results in preventing ghosting.

1. Secure the Sublimation Paper: To prevent ghosting, the simplest method is to keep the sublimation paper in place while pressing the design. This can be achieved by using heat transfer tape to fasten the paper onto the garment securely.

2. Handle Auto-Open Press with Care: If you’re using an auto-open press, take care during its gradual opening. Ensuring that the paper remains flat without lifting is crucial to avoiding ghosting.

3. Allow Cooling Time: After the printing process, give the design a few extra seconds to cool before moving the garment to the lower platen. This can help set the print and reduce the risk of ghosting.

4. Remove Protective Sheets: Any protective sheets, such as parchment paper or Teflon sheets, should be gently removed before lifting off the transfer paper. These sheets can contribute to ghosting if not removed properly.

5. Lift Paper Smoothly: When removing the transfer paper, do so gently and smoothly to avoid any sudden movements that could lead to ghosting.


Sublimation printing offers an economical and vibrant way to create stunning garment designs. However, the challenge of ghosting can mar your results if not managed properly. By following these five recommendations – securing the paper, handling equipment with care, allowing cooling time, removing protective sheets, and lifting the paper gently – you can ensure your sublimation prints remain free from unwanted ghosting effects. Happy printing!

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