Can you Sublimate on Nylon?

Can you Sublimate on Nylon?

Sublimation is a printing process where ink is turned from a solid state directly into a gas, without going through a liquid phase. This process typically works best on materials with a high polyester content, as the dye sublimation ink bonds with the polyester fibers during the process.

Nylon, on the other hand, is a synthetic material that doesn’t work as well with sublimation printing. It has a different molecular structure and melting point, which makes it difficult for the sublimation ink to bond effectively with the nylon fibers. In addition, nylon tends to have a lower heat resistance than polyester, so applying the high heat required for sublimation may cause the material to melt or become damaged.

While it is possible to attempt sublimation on nylon, the results may be less vibrant and less durable than when using polyester or a polyester blend. If you need to print on nylon, other printing methods such as screen printing, heat transfer vinyl, or direct-to-garment printing might be more suitable options.

Sublimation on Nylon can produce faded colors. It will be more durable than cotton sublimation, but it won’t live up to the quality of polyester sublimation.

What is the difference between Nylon and Polyester?

Polyester and nylon are both synthetic materials, but they have different properties and are used for various purposes. Here are some key differences between the two:

Chemical composition:

Polyester is a polymer made from ester monomers, derived from petroleum. It is made through a process called polymerization, which involves combining ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Nylon, on the other hand, is a polyamide made from the reaction of diamines and dicarboxylic acids, or by using lactams (cyclic amides). Both materials are part of the larger family of synthetic polymers.

Moisture absorption:

Polyester is hydrophobic, meaning it doesn’t absorb water easily, which makes it quick-drying and resistant to mildew and mold. Nylon is more hydrophilic, meaning it can absorb some moisture, making it slower to dry than polyester. However, it is still more water-resistant than natural fibers like cotton or wool.

Durability and strength:

Nylon is generally stronger and more durable than polyester. It has excellent abrasion resistance and a high tensile strength, which makes it suitable for applications where durability is essential, such as ropes, parachutes, and outdoor gear. Polyester is also strong but is less resilient to abrasion than nylon.

UV resistance:

Polyester has better UV resistance than nylon. It is less likely to degrade or fade when exposed to sunlight, making it a popular choice for outdoor fabrics and clothing. Nylon is more susceptible to UV degradation and may lose strength and color over time with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Environmental impact:

Both materials are petroleum-based and not biodegradable, which means they have a negative impact on the environment. However, polyester can be more easily recycled, and many manufacturers are now producing recycled polyester from post-consumer waste, such as plastic bottles. Nylon recycling is less common but is also possible.


Due to their different properties, polyester and nylon are used for various purposes. Polyester is often used for clothing, home furnishings, upholstery, and outdoor gear. It is also the preferred material for dye-sublimation printing. Nylon is commonly used for applications requiring strength and durability, such as ropes, tents, parachutes, luggage, and heavy-duty fabrics.


In summary, while both polyester and nylon are synthetic materials, they have different properties that make them suitable for different applications. Polyester is more hydrophobic, UV-resistant, and suitable for dye-sublimation printing, while nylon is stronger, more durable, and absorbs more moisture.