Heat transfer and sublimation are two different processes,bot of them require a special type of printer, special ink, special transfer paper, and a heat press.Inkjet Transfers are printed onto special Inkjet transfer paper using an inkjet printer. Then you take the printed image and heat press it onto the garment. Quality varies depending on the printer, ink, transfer paper and garment type.
The image will usually fade over time and with frequent washes.
Dye Sublimation prints are also created by an inkjet printer, using special Dye Sublimation ink, RIP software, and special Dye Sub transfer paper (not the same as the inkjet transfer paper). You then take the printed image and heat press it onto the garment (white or light polyester ONLY). Quality is outstanding, but the learning curve is much steeper. Using the proper Color profile is critical. The image will never fade, crack, peel, or washout (the white or light poly fiber is actually dyed).You can print sublimation transfer on 100% Cotton even on dark shirts. AL of Atttransfers sells a system that includes color laser toner, translucent toner, sublimation inkjet printer and two step self weeding laser transfer.Not sure some might chime in who may have done it who can answer your question. JPSS has hand but not as bad as 3G that has plastic feel. Those transfers were made for pigment ink. Not sure if sublimation will be as durable on cotton using those transfer. All you can do is try then do wash test.
Sublimation inks require a polymer to bind to. Cotton is a natural fabric and contains no polymer.Mouse pads for sublimation have a 100% polyester fabric on top, which is sublimatable.Sublimation paper is closer to regular inkjet matte paper in that there is nothing that is released, except only the dye is released in dye sublimation.Inkjet transfer paper for pigment inks have a plastic coated release, whereas sublimation paper does not have a plastic coated release.For your pigment ink printing I recommend either JPSS or "Iron All" for lights.