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Sublimation On Cotton With Glitter HTV

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Sublimation on cotton shirts and if you can do it, is always the biggest question asked when a person is learning to sublimate. Or they just go for it and end up with a faded mess when they go to wash it.

In this tutorial, I am going to show you the best, and also simplest way to sublimate on cotton garments. Lets go over what you will need for this method of sublimation on cotton.

For Sublimation On Cotton using Glitter HTV you will need:

image of Jamela by pink on a sublimation shirt that is cotton and sublimated on glitter

Can You Sublimate On Cotton?

Can you do sublimation on cotton? That’s the magic question, right? Well, the answer is yes and no. First, let’s cover what sublimation is exactly.

What Is Sublimation, it is a printing is a method of printing that transfers a design to materials or fabrics using heat. For sublimation printing, you do need a special ink, an ink jet printer and sublimation transfer paper.

Sublimation generally works best on poly blends and also some other materials with a special coating. For traditional sublimation, you= need to do it on light-colored fabrics and materials.

I have a few methods I use to sublimate on cotton garments. the one in this tutorial, however, is using a square piece of glitter HTV.

For this method of sublimation on cotton, I always use 2 programs. Cricut Design Space and Photoshop. I do it this way when I want to make sure to get the exact measurements of my image, but Design Space won’t let me print an image this large.

Over in Photoshop, choose your paper size to set up the canvas. And of course, you’re going to choose whatever size paper that you are going to be printing on if it is larger than what cricket design space can do.

image of Jamela by pink on a sublimation shirt that is cotton and sublimated on glitter with text overlay

Using Glitter for Sublimation On Cotton Shirts

So once your canvas opens, you want to go ahead and import in your image. And I just drag and drop from my desktop, because that is the easiest thing to do. But once your image is in there, the next thing that I like to do is pull the rulers to the size of what I need the image to be.

You can use this method on cotton t-shirts and it works on whatever color you want, but you have to be very careful with colors other than black that you don’t get the ink on to the fabric. If you don’t, It will be fine it will wash right out.

The siser rainbow white glitter vinyl is my favorite for sublimation on cotton on however and to use when I press. But, you can use their white glitter to sublimate on, or the Cricut glitter also works very well. I haven’t tried any other glitters, because again Siser Rainbow White is my favorite.

image of Jamela by pink on a sublimation shirt that is cotton and sublimated on glitter

How long does sublimation last on shirts?

The most beautiful thing about sublimation. When you use sublimation as your printing method it will always last the life of the garment.

What does this mean exactly? It means that as long as you have a wearable shirt your design will be there. Your shirt can be completly tattered, torn and ripped to shreads but that design will not wash out.

If you have some design skills, sublimation is also a great way to get very colorful designs and also unique designs. Because you are using a program to print as opposed to vinyl where you have to layer the image the possibilities are truely limitless.

I have a ton of sublimation designs in Shop by Pink to help you get started. Check them out and let me know what you think.

I love using this method to sublimate on cotton. There are actually a few ways or methods to sublimate on cotton using glitter HTV.

Here are a few other Sublimation Projects to try out.

image of Jamela by pink on a sublimation shirt that is cotton and sublimated on glitter
Yield: 1 Shirt

The Best Way To Sublimate On Cotton

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate



  1. Upload the image to Cricut Design Space.
  2. You can leave it as a print and cut the image or save just the shape of the image. .
  3. Resize the image to fit your shirt.
  4. If you can print the size you need from Design Space then you can skip to step 9.

  5. Take note of the dimensions you resized to, they will come in handy later.
  6. If you saved it as a print then cut the image, switch the line type to cut, and cut out the vinyl.
  7. Switch over to photoshop, or the program you are going to use to print.
  8. Make the canvas size the same size as the sublimation paper you have to print with.
  9. Now resize the image to about 1/4 inch larger than the size you noted from Cricut Design Space.
  10. Mirror and print the image.
  11. Once you have your glitter vinyl cut out and your image printed you are going to grab your colored cotton shirt.
  12. Press on the vinyl first, you don't need the full amount of time. Just long enough for it to stick down to the shirt.
  13. Remove the transfer backing and allow it to cool for a couple of seconds.
  14. Now lay your print face down on top of the glitter.
  15. I like to secure mine with tape so I can make sure it doesn't move.
  16. Press with the EasyPress at 385 for 45 seconds.
  17. Carefully removes the paper while hot.
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