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How To Apply Sublimation Transfers On Long Socks

How To Apply Sublimation Transfers On Long Socks


To be able to customize your polyester socks cleanly, you will need a way to give them a more stable surface to press onto. As socks are elastic in nature, you always want to be careful of their wrinkles and uneven regions as they can cause ghosting or unfinished color results. This is where SubliCraft’s sock inserts can solve such issues. By sliding a straight or hockey-style sock on the appropriate insert, they’ll be stretched out to a flat surface that allows you to apply your sublimation transfers in a full and more consistent manner.

Let’s first cover how to get an image prepared for polyester socks. To get an idea of your sock’s size, it’s essential to measure its width and height with a ruler while slid into a SubliCraft sock insert of the matching shape. Upon importing your design on graphic software, you can then use these measurements to scale it down to the right size. Be sure to do so with a quarter inch added to your width and height so that you’ll have extra bleed available, which in turn will make placing your sock on the image easier and also prevent clipping as a result. If you only want to press a small transfer though, you can just measure the specific area of the sock you’d like to apply it onto.

If you happen to be using 8-and-a-half by 14 inch or larger sized paper, you may be able to fit at least two images for your socks in one document depending on its size. With this in mind, we’ll fit images for the front and back side of our straight sock in one document. As soon as your image is ready to go, you may print it through your sublimation printer. For Sawgrass printers, send it to Sawgrass Print Manager with these settings: Substrate to Polyester, Paper set to your paper’s profile, leave Mirror checked, and in the Color tab, change the Color Mode to Photographic or Vivid depending on your image’s level of detail. With all these set, go ahead and click Print on SPM.

Now that the transfer’s been printed, trim around the edges of the image, then apply a light amount of adhesive spray to the trimmed images. We recommend spraying with a large sheet of parchment paper below the transfer to prevent the surface below from catching any residue. And with the transfers ready to be attached, slide a sock into the proper SubliCraft insert, then attach a transfer to the proper side of your sock. Now you may turn on your heat press and set it to 50 to 60 seconds at 385 degrees Fahrenheit with medium pressure. Once your machine reaches temperature, cover its lower platen with a sheet of parchment paper, then position your sock on top with the paper side up. If your machine is large enough, you can also slide in a second sock to press alongside your first sock. 

With your socks in, simply cover them with another parchment paper sheet and press. When your timer hits zero, open your machine and allow the items to cool down for a moment. Afterwards, smoothly peel the transfers off the socks and one side of them should now be sublimated! Bring the socks elsewhere to let them completely cool down, then you may continue to press the next side of your socks with the same steps as before. Be sure to use fresh sheets of parchment paper for pressing the next side, as any extra dyes left from the prior press can migrate onto the sock. Once you’ve done all this, your customized polyester socks are now ready to go!

If you’d like to share your custom polyester socks with us, alongside an emerging community of heat transfer and customization enthusiasts, be sure to join our HeatPressNation Creators Facebook group at heat.press/FBgroup. But to learn more about SubliCraft accessories and blanks, please visit us at HeatPressNation.com. For any questions, feel free to contact a MyExpert representative at heat.press/support. I’m Travis with Heat Press Nation and have a great day!

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