What is sublimation?
Dye sublimation printing is a brilliant, Eco-friendly printing technique using sublimation ink, heat, and pressure. It is also known as heat transfer printing or dye diffusion thermal transfer printing.
The tech behind
This printing technique uses heat activated dyes which are used to transfer the ink to the textile. Heat is applied to the dye which converts it into a gas form. At the same time, the dye connects to a synthetic material (usually polyester) and heat exposure opens the fibers of the textile allowing the dye to diffuse through the fiber and create a permanent bond.
The dye sublimation printing process requires two steps. First, the custom graphics are digitally printed on a transfer paper as a mirror image of the original. The transfer paper is then inserted into a heat press which sublimates the print, meaning the graphics transfer from a gas to a solid without passing through a liquid stage, onto a polyester fabric or polymer material.
The main advantage of sublimation printing is the freedom to print any design in high-quality, photographic output. Sublimation is an easy to do heat transfer process. It creates bright, vivid, personalized designs that can be printed all over the textile. With this method you can apply an image to polyester cloth, coated ceramics and metals creating branded items. Therefore, it is a regularly used technique in the fashion and art world.
Furthermore, sublimation printing is a cost-effective digital printing. The same sublimation print can be used multiple times to print on more than just one piece of fabric. Cost can vary depending on the image colors, image size, resolution, quality of transfer material as well as other factors. Dye sublimated fabric is ideal for custom banners, flags, trade show displays and pop up banner stands.
The major benefit of sublimation printing is the environment friendly aspect of the method. Sublimation printing creates absolutely zero waste.
The dyes are safe and not harmful in any way. Printers usually opt for using CMYK, so the result is that only a minimal amount of dye inks are used. The sublimation inks are water-soluble and dye-based. There is very little waste and sublimation transfer paper and tissue paper are always recycled.
Compared to other printing methods, dye sublimated prints dry instantly due to the heat press that is used at the end of the printing process. Dye sublimation is the best printing option because the material saturates the ink, so there in no ink leaks.
Sublimation printing is an innovative printing process popular in the print market. It offers truly beautiful prints that last forever and is a safe design method and an environmentally conscious choice.