Butcher Paper vs Parchment Paper For Sublimation

Butcher Paper vs Parchment Paper For Sublimation

Are you tired of dealing with messy, smudged transfers during your sublimation printing projects? Have you been struggling to find the perfect protective paper that can withstand high temperatures while ensuring crisp, vibrant designs?

If so, you’re not alone! Many sublimation enthusiasts face challenges when it comes to choosing the right material for their crafting needs.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into ‘Butcher Paper vs Parchment Paper For Sublimation’.

We’ll explore their unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses, so you can make an informed decision about which one works best for your sublimation printing adventures.

So, grab a pen and paper and get ready to uncover the secrets to sublimation success!

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What is Butcher Paper?

Butcher paper, also known as kraft paper, is a coarse, dense paper made from wood pulp. It’s commonly used for wrapping and protecting food items, as well as for various crafting projects.

Butcher paper is renowned for its durability, thickness, and ability to withstand high temperatures without easily tearing or disintegrating.

Butcher Paper vs Parchment Paper For Sublimation
Image Credit: Amazon

Made from virgin or recycled wood pulp, butcher paper undergoes a process called the Kraft process, which involves treating the pulp with chemicals to remove lignin and other impurities.

This process results in a strong, durable paper that can withstand considerable stress and strain without tearing or breaking.

In the realm of crafting, butcher paper is widely used for various purposes, such as covering work surfaces, protecting floors during painting or staining projects, and even as a canvas for drawing or painting.

What is Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper, on the other hand, is a silicone-coated paper that’s primarily used for baking purposes. It’s designed to be non-stick, heat-resistant, and moisture-resistant.

Parchment paper is widely used in the culinary world to prevent food from sticking to baking surfaces and to make cleanup easier.

Image Credit: Amazon

Unlike butcher paper, which is made from wood pulp, parchment paper is typically made from bleached kraft paper or, in some cases, vegetable parchment.

The bleached kraft paper is coated with a thin layer of silicone, which gives it its non-stick properties and heat resistance.


  • Good heat resistance up to 420°F (216°C)
  • Excellent non-stick properties
  • Prevents sticking and tearing of designs


  • Poor moisture absorption due to silicone coating
  • Thinner and less durable
  • Cannot be reused

The parchment paper is a non-stick surface, which eliminates the need for greasing or oiling baking pans. This not only makes cleanup easier but also helps to reduce the overall fat and calorie content of baked goods.

Butcher Paper vs Parchment Paper for Sublimation

Let’s dive into the comparison between butcher paper and parchment paper for sublimation printing:

FeatureButcher PaperParchment Paper
Heat ResistanceModerate non-stick properties may require additional release agents for intricate designsGood heat resistance can withstand temperatures up to 420°F (216°C)
Moisture AbsorptionHighly absorbent, can soak up excess moisture released during the sublimation processPoor moisture absorption due to its silicone coating
Non-stick PropertiesModerate non-stick properties, may require additional release agents for intricate designsExcellent non-stick properties, no need for release agents
ThicknessThicker and more durableThinner and less durable
CostRelatively inexpensiveMore expensive than butcher paper

1. Heat Resistance

Butcher paper

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It can withstand extremely high temperatures, making it an ideal choice for sublimation printing, which typically requires temperatures between 380°F and 400°F (193°C to 204°C).

Parchment paper

While designed for baking purposes, may not be able to handle the intense heat required for sublimation printing as effectively as butcher paper.

Even though it can withstand temperatures up to 420°F (216°C), the extreme heat used in sublimation printing may cause it to scorch or discolor, potentially affecting the quality of the transfer.

2. Moisture Absorption

Butcher paper

During the sublimation process, moisture is released as the ink transforms from a solid to a gas state.

Butcher paper’s highly absorbent nature allows it to soak up this excess moisture, preventing smudging, bleeding, or ghosting of the design.

Parchment paper

On the other hand, is designed with a silicone coating that makes it moisture-resistant. While this property is beneficial for baking applications, it can be detrimental for sublimation printing.

The released moisture during the sublimation process may not be properly absorbed by the parchment paper, leading to potential issues with the transfer, such as blurring or bleeding of the design.

3. Non-stick Properties

Butcher paper

While butcher paper has moderate non-stick properties, it may require the use of additional release agents or coatings for intricate designs or delicate substrates to prevent sticking.

This extra step can add complexity and time to the sublimation process.


Parchment paper

Parchment paper’s silicone coating provides excellent non-stick properties, making it easier to remove the substrate from the protective paper without any sticking or tearing.

This can be particularly beneficial when working with intricate designs or delicate substrates, as it minimizes the risk of damaging the transfer during removal.

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4. Thickness

Butcher paper

Butcher paper is thicker and more durable than parchment paper, which means it can withstand multiple uses and is less likely to tear or disintegrate during the high-temperature sublimation process.

Its sturdy construction ensures that it can protect your work surface and equipment from any potential ink blowouts or spills.

Parchment paper

Parchment paper, being thinner, may not be as durable and may need to be replaced more frequently. This can increase the overall cost of your sublimation projects and contribute to more waste.

5. Cost

Butcher paper

Butcher paper is generally less expensive than parchment paper, making it a more budget-friendly option for frequent sublimation printing.

Its affordability allows you to stock up on a sufficient supply without breaking the bank.

Parchment paper

Parchment paper can be more costly, especially if you need to replace it frequently due to its thinner nature and potential for tearing or discoloration during the high-heat sublimation process.

  • Pro Tip: When using butcher paper for sublimation, it’s essential to choose an uncoated variety. Coated butcher paper may not be able to absorb moisture effectively, leading to potential issues with the transfer.

Frequently asked questions

Below are a few frequently asked questions:

What paper is best for sublimation?

Based on the comparison, butcher paper emerges as the better option for sublimation printing.
Its excellent heat resistance, moisture absorption capabilities, and durability make it well-suited for the high temperatures and moisture release involved in the sublimation process.

Can I substitute butcher paper for parchment paper?

While butcher paper and parchment paper have some similarities, they are not interchangeable for all purposes.
Parchment paper is better suited for baking tasks due to its superior non-stick properties, while butcher paper is more suitable for sublimation printing due to its moisture absorption and heat resistance.

What material is best for sublimation printing?

The best material for sublimation printing is polyester or poly-coated substrates.
Sublimation ink is designed to transfer onto these synthetic materials by converting from a solid to a gas state during the high-temperature process.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to sublimation printing, choosing the right protective paper can make a significant difference in the quality and consistency of your transfers.

Butcher paper emerges as the clear winner due to its superior heat resistance, moisture absorption capabilities, and durability.

While parchment paper may excel in baking applications, its silicone coating and poor moisture absorption make it less suitable for sublimation printing.

By opting for high-quality, uncoated butcher paper, you can ensure that your sublimation projects turn out vibrant, precise, and mess-free.

Remember, the key to successful sublimation lies in understanding the nuances of the materials you use and making informed decisions based on their unique properties.

Bella Williams

I'm Bella, a mom of 3 cuties. With 7 years of sublimation experience, my blog dyethrive.com focuses on all things sublimation and printing. Join me for tips, tutorials, and inspiration to enhance your sublimation journey. Let's create and thrive together!
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