sublimating on butcher paper

Butcher Paper for Sublimation Printing (In-Depth Guide)

Using butcher paper for sublimation printing is without a doubt crucial. The role of butcher paper is simple. It’s used as sublimation protective paper.

However, butcher paper is only one among several sublimation protective papers.

And it’s also my favorite choice.

This is what I use and what many people use when they’re using the heat press to transfer designs from sublimation paper onto T-shirts, mugs, glass objects, stainless steel, acrylic sheets, and many other substrates or objects that we want to personalize through sublimation.

An alternative to using butcher paper for sublimation printing is using blowout paper as sublimation protective paper. So, we’ll also cover blowout paper. But that’s after we talk about butcher paper some more.

Furthermore, there are other questions I also want to answer.

For example, some people will wonder if we can use parchment paper in a pinch? After all, parchment paper is something that most of us have in our kitchens and it’s cheap.

However, I have to ruin things for some of you by telling you that we can’t use parchment paper as a butcher paper substitute for sublimation printing.

Another question some people might have is if we can use Teflon sheets to protect the plates on our heat press and our substrates from coming in direct contact with the heat press.

Once again, the answer is no. Teflon sheets shouldn’t be used for sublimation. But they’re great for HTV (heat transfer vinyl) projects and layering.

What can you use instead of butcher paper for sublimation?

If you can’t use butcher paper, blowout paper or protective paper for sublimation, then I recommend using regular copy printer paper. Just use them in 2/3/4 layers both on the bottom and on top to ensure better protection.

Best Butcher Paper for Sublimation Reviews

If we’re just aimlessly looking for butcher paper, we’ll come across products that mention that they’re ideal for BBQ smoking, wrapping of meat. But at the same time they’ll also mention sublimation, arts & craft projects, paper wraps for sublimation heat press, and descriptions like that.

This is a multi-purpose tool, which is quite amazing.

What you need to know when you look for the best butcher paper for sublimation printing is that it should be: uncoated and unwaxed.

It’s important to be uncoated so that it doesn’t hold the moisture in. Some will also be unbleached and it might also come in white or brown colors.

I prefer using white butcher paper when it comes to sublimation, as long as it’s uncoated. That’s what truly matters.

You’ll come across everyone saying that it should be able to absorb moisture and release it, not hold the moisture in. And that’s why we need it uncoated.

We know that sublimation is all about choosing the best printer, the best sublimation paper, the best sublimation inks, and the best heat press for our needs and budgets.

But it’s just as well about some other crucial things.

Like the design software we use for our designs.

The objects we want to sublimate (ex: choosing shirts with at least 70% polyester, objects with poly coating).

The butcher paper or protective paper we use for both our heat press and our substrates.

And the heat resistant tape we always need to have around.

The heat resistant gloves who should always be on stand-by, etc.

Let’s review some top picks for the best butcher paper for sublimation printing since that’s the focus of this article.

1. Bryco White Kraft Butcher Paper Roll

We get a 100 foot x 18 inch white paper roll of butcher paper for a price under $15.

This is quite affordable and overall amazing.

The paper is described as being used for wrapping and smoking meat, BBQ paper for the perfect brisket crust.

Besides that, it’s also a durable, uncoated, and unwaxed food grade sublimation paper.

It’s also incredibly popular and crafters who use the Bryco White Kraft Butcher Paper Roll absolutely love it.

It is untreated: unbleached, unwaxed, and uncoated. And that is exactly what we’re looking for for our projects.

It is made from the best virgin pulp.

Overall, the Bryco White Kraft Butcher Paper Roll is truly one of the best butcher paper for sublimation.

It doesn’t bleed through so one sheet is enough for in-between our t-shirts and one layer is enough both for the bottom and the top of the heat press.

One layer of this is also enough for wrapping around our mugs and tumblers.

2. Bryco White Butcher Paper for Sublimation

The same manufacturer from above also has a second product for those looking for the best butcher paper for sublimation printing.

However, this roll is more than two times more expensive than the 100 foot x 18 inch Bryco White Kraft Butcher Paper Roll that I recommended as my first pick.

Of course, the much more affordable price is a big reason for choosing that one as my favorite recommendation. And this one that is a bit more expensive fell to second place.

The Bryco White Butcher Paper for Sublimation is also incredibly popular. And so loved by people who practice this beautiful craft.

If it weren’t for the slightly expensive price, I would recommend this one as my first pick.

Plus, stick around because the slightly more expensive price is absolutely justified.


What I love a lot is that this roll is a 175 feet x 18 inch butcher paper roll. It’s also white but that’s to be expected.

I love the big size. It’s enough to last for a while even for the busiest crafters.

I love buying bigger rolls because I don’t enjoy worrying that I have to place a new order soon. So I appreciate bigger quantities in this case.

Because of that, the slightly more expensive price is totally worth it. And we totally get our money’s worth.

It’s a butcher paper for sublimation that can also be used for cooking and wrapping meat. So you can use it in the kitchen, as well.

3. YRYM White Kraft Butcher Paper Roll

If you are into buying large rolls of butcher paper and you also want a product that is sold for a pretty affordable price, then I recommend the YRYM White Kraft Butcher Paper Roll.

For a pretty affordable price, we can buy a roll of 176 feet x 18 inch.

Many people choose to use this one for their sublimation projects and they love it.

It is made of top quality recycled paper, natural pure virgin pulps.

It’s also unbleached, unwaxed, and uncoated.

Of course, we can use it both for cooking and for crafts.

Overall, it’s high quality, thick, and the YRYM White Kraft Butcher Paper Roll won’t let you down no matter what projects you have lined up. Plus, the huge roll ensures that we won’t have to worry about running out anytime soon.

4. Cricut Butcher Paper

If you are a lover of Cricut products, whether it’s their Cricut Design Space, their various heat presses for T-shirts, mugs, hats, and many other substrates, or their Cricut cutting machines for HTV, then maybe you’ll also be interested in their butcher paper as well.

I also wrote an article reviewing the best sublimation printer for Cricut.

The Cricut Butcher Paper is not expensive, having a price under $10.

But we don’t get a lot of it either.

We get 15 sheets, each measuring 12 x 14 inches.

It’s easy to use since it already comes in sheets that are already cut in a smaller size.

The smaller size indicates that it’s perfect for those who use any of the heat presses from Cricut.

However, it’s not big enough for those using 15 x 15 heat presses so those users won’t be interested in this product.

But if you’re using heat presses like the HTVRONT Heat Press Machine for T Shirt, 10”x10”, Cricut EasyPress 2 Heat Press Machine, 9”x9” and 12”x10”, Cricut EasyPress Mini Heat Press, and Cricut Mug Press, then the 12 x 14 inch sheets will be the perfect fit.


The Cricut Butcher Paper can be used to protect infusible ink blanks, heat presses, and pressing mats. It’s created for infusible ink or for sublimation transfers.

It captures excess moisture released during transfer.

All in all, this product is amazing and it does exactly what it should do without fail. Also, the precut sheets are convenient and easy to use.

However, the price is quite expensive since we only get 15 sheets. So I’m not totally won over since the price is a bit too much for my needs.

I tend to go through a lot of designs so I need big rolls that can last a while. I can’t buy 15 sheets and run through them in a day.

Thus, if you’re heat pressing a large number of designs, the Cricut Butcher Paper is certainly not the type of product you’ll keep around for long.

5. Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper

Since we’re here looking for the best butcher paper for sublimation and we pretty much took care of that, I think we should also check out some alternatives for sublimation protective paper.

Frankly, I’m not a fan of what the Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper offers. I’m not saying that they’re making a bad product because that’s absolutely not the case.

What I’m saying is that they’re making and selling an expensive product that can prove quite costly if you take on a large amount of projects.

That price for a quite small roll of paper is not something I’m interested in paying because the costs add up fast if you sublimate daily, multiple designs every day. That’s my only complaint.

However, I’m totally aware that some people totally recommend the Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper as their favorite. So, I thought we should talk about it to see if maybe it’s something that some potential buyers and crafters might be interested in experimenting with.


The Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper is made of 100% silicone. It withstands temperatures up to 400 degrees F, which is exactly what we want.

Silicone paper is a tool used by professionals to protect their heat plates and project surface mats from inks during heat transfer.

The dimensions are: 15 feet x 12 inches. The roll is certainly not big but I’ll tell you something else.

I’ll give you something that sounds pretty amazing.

Artesprix mentions that their sheets can be reused more than once if it has no ink residues.

It was specifically manufactured to be used in heating projects so it’s heat resistant during multiple uses.

Butcher paper is also used in cooking barbeque so it can withstand heat in the smoker.

Moreover, butcher paper can withstand temperatures up to 420 degrees F and it’s thick and durable. The Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper is not the only one that is heat resistant.

But I still like the fact that we can reuse the Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper multiple times. It will make this tiny roll that we buy last a lot longer. It definitely has a major advantage over the Cricut Butcher Paper.

I still prefer butcher paper, in as big a roll as I can find, but I can see the appeal of the Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper, too. I just don’t think that it’s for people who handle loads of designs every day or on a regular basis.

How to use Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper

We use butcher paper as the bread and our substrates and sublimation paper with the design on it are the filling in the sandwich, meaning that we place protective paper both on the bottom and on top.

We will use the Artesprix Neutral Protective Paper in the exact same way.

Besides protecting the plates and offering a protection layer against the heat, any protective paper for sublimation will also trap the dyes during the heat transfer as they change from solid to gas and back to solid again.

Butcher Paper for Sublimation Printing: Why We Need It

The name might make you think of butcher’s shops instead of suggesting such a beautiful craft as sublimation. Of course, we’re totally right to think that.

Butcher paper is a heavy-duty kraft-style paper that was traditionally used by butchers to wrap fresh meat.

Butcher paper is made out of kraft pulp (process of conversion of wood into wood pulp, consisting of almost pure cellulose fibers, the main component of paper). It is treated with caustic soda and sulfide as well as sizing agents to prevent leaking.

That’s why, when we’re looking for butcher paper for sublimation printing, you’ll come across descriptions like: BBQ smoking, wrapping of meat, sublimation, arts & craft projects, paper wraps for sublimation heat press, etc.

It has multiple purposes so the same paper we use for our smoked meat we can also use to transfer beautiful designs on a wide array of objects, from T-shirts to hats, sneakers, pillow covers, aprons, mugs, sublimation glass cutting boards, sublimation keychains, earrings, fridge magnets blanks, faux leather pieces, stainless steel and glass tumblers, mylar bags, phone cases, and the list can go on.

Uncoated butcher paper

The most frequent form you’ll find it in is as a bright white roll of paper. But it can also come in different colors.

No matter its color, butcher paper is famous for being sturdy and thick and made of a breathable material, treated wood pulp.

It’s also heat resistant up to 420 degrees F.

We will also come across unbleached butcher paper that is brown in color. Just like unbleached parchment paper is brown but we definitely shouldn’t use parchment paper for sublimation.

I prefer using white butcher paper and pretty much everyone does. What matters is that we need to use uncoated, unwaxed butcher paper for sublimation printing.

If you don’t have any butcher paper or blowout paper or protective paper for this craft, then use
copy printer paper.

Use several sheets to cover the entire heat press plates and the substrates in their entirety.

And if you’re using copy printer paper for protection, layer it in 2 or 3 layers for increased protection against the heat from the heat press.

How to use butcher paper for sublimation

Using butcher paper for sublimation is one of the easiest steps in the whole process of personalizing fabrics and objects with whatever designs we print on sublimation paper.

The first rule is that we should always cover the entire bottom plate of the heat press with a layer of butcher paper.

This will protect the bottom heat plate from being stained with ink or from scratches. Removing ink and residue from our heat press should be something we never have to do and that’s why we’re using sublimation protective paper.

There are also heat presses that won’t require this step because they only have one plate for heat pressing. These are products like the HTVRONT Heat Press Machine for T Shirt, 10”x10”, Cricut EasyPress 2 Heat Press Machine, 9”x9” and 12”x10”.

The second step is to cover the substrate (the object we want to personalize) with butcher paper or sublimation protective paper. Thus, the butcher paper will go on top of the sublimation paper that contains the design.

If we’re sublimating T-shirts or anything similar that is made of two layers of fabric, I also recommend adding a sheet of butcher paper inside the shirt so the sublimation ink will not create a ghost image on the opposite layer.

And that’s about it.

The butcher paper will prevent the ink from bleeding onto the heat plates, it protects ink from smudging or running, which would ruin our design. And it will also protect the substrates, the objects we sublimate, from the intense heat of the heat press.

All in all, using butcher paper for sublimation printing is one of the easiest and one of the most necessary things we’ll do.