Watch How That Cool Design Got Printed Onto Your Rash Guard

Have you ever wondered how those cool logos and designs were printed onto your favorite rash guards? The original rash guards used in BJJ had logos silk-screened onto the fabric, but the logos eventually peeled off due to the wear-and-tear on the mats and washing machines. Scott Nelson, the owner of On The Mat, explains in how dye sublimation works to place logos and designs on rash guards, fighter shorts, and wrestling singlets in the video below. His shop has the ability to print custom orders for your school and team.

So what is dye sublimation? According to The University of Delaware,

Dye sublimation printing starts with films that contain dyes. This will either be a single four layered film with cyan, magenta, yellow, and gray pigments or four separate films for each color. Because the films contain the pigments, they will appear red, blue, green, and gray.

During the printing process, the films are placed on the paper and heated up by the print head. This will cause the pigments to leave the film and enter into the paper where it cools re-solidifies. This is the “sublimation” part. Sublimation means to heat something and turn it into a vapor, then to form it back into a solid. Because the pigments go from solid, to gas, and back to solid, there is little mess compared to ink.

In the case of rash guards, fabric is used instead of paper. Here are the basic steps to making a custom rash guard:

  1. Design the rash guard with design software
  2. Print out design onto the full-color film
  3. Lay the design film over the rash guard fabric and place into 400 degree heat press for 30 seconds to transfer design from film to fabric
  4. Cut out the rash guard design patterns from the fabric
  5. Sew fabric cut outs into rash guard.

Here is the actual process in action where a snake-skinned rash guard is designed, printed, pressed onto the rash guard fabric and sewn together.


  1. Love what you guys are doing.

    Are you guys to do a pattern on the inter rash guard?

    I have images for example. (don’t know how to send them)


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