SUBLIMATION PRINTING: WHAT IS IT AND WHEN SHOULD YOU USE IT?

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What distinguishes dye sublimation ink printing from other techniques?When it comes to picture brightness and durability among all the methods for printing images on cloth, plastic, glass, metal, clear window film, and other materials, sublimation is in a league of its own. It is based on a scientific idea that enables inks to be completely infused into the substance being printed. Brilliant, photorealistic graphics that won’t wash off are produced using sublimation.

WHAT EXACTLY IS SUBLIMATION PRINTING?

Cool science fact: Sublimation is the process of changing a substance from a solid to a gas without first converting it to a liquid. Solid inks are sublimated—rapidly heated to transform them into gas—during sublimation printing. The gas penetrates the substrate (the material being printed) and forms a molecular bond with it. In contrast to digitally printed and silk-screened graphics, which deteriorate with time, sublimated images last only as long as the substrate.

 HOW DOESSUBLIMATION  WORK?

Sublimation inks are used to print designs onto a paper or film backing. In a heat press, the backing and substrate are loaded and pressed closely against one another as heat is supplied. The solid ink changes into a gas that flows into the substrate before changing back into a solid that is now molecularly imprinted onto the substrate. What a cool thing!

A wide range of materials, including apparel, signage, trade show materials, and promotional goods like keychains and coffee mugs, are suitable for sublimation printing.

 

What Can You Use Sublimation For? When Printing with Sublimation for Business.

Several substrates, including the following, are suitable for sublimation printing:

  • Rigid Materials

Numerous polymer-treated, hard-surfaced materials, such as fiberglass, drinkware, cell phone covers, magnets, and plastic, are suitable for sublimation.

  • Symbols

Flags, vinyl banners, fabric backdrops, tablecloths, canvas, and tent fabric are a few examples of signage substrates.

  • Clothes

Any clothing made of polyester or a 60/40 polymer can be sublimation printed.

  • Ceramics

Interior decorators utilize ceramic tiles that have designs sublimated onto them as home décor.

WHEN SHOULD SUBLIMATION DYE PRINTING BE USED?

 

Dye sublimation is frequently the best option when image quality and durability are key considerations. The image will be reproduced in photo quality, and it will remain online forever. Heavy-duty products including kitchenware, drinkware, mouse pads, beds, and premium polyester clothing are some examples of common usage. All of these substrates can be used and cleaned numerous times without losing the graphics quality.

WHAT ARE SUBLIMATION PRINTING DRAWBACKS?

It costs money to do cool science. If materials, equipment, and a separate heat press are not included, sublimation printing devices can cost up to $10,000. Sublimation is not the least expensive method of printing because materials and inks are equally pricey. But it’s among the most attractive.

 

Additionally, since sublimation cannot be used on non-polyester materials, 100% cotton fabrics and any other materials that cannot be polymer coated beforehand cannot be decorated with sublimation.

What Materials Can Be Printed by Sublimation?

Let’s get right to the point: only substrates composed of polyester or coated with polyester can be sublimated. The good news is that a ton of materials are still available that can be melted as a result. Additionally, this technology can be used to print on materials for which there is no other practical printing technique.

  • On material?

We’ve already talked about how durable and vivid sublimated images are, but there are occasions when using this method makes sense from a design standpoint because it enables printing throughout the entire garment rather than just the front and back. This opens up brand-new, attractive design possibilities. Naturally, the sublimated color is amazing.

  • Regarding Plastics and Other Artificial Materials

The methods and tools used to create three-dimensional objects differ from those used to create fabrics. We utilize an oven press rather than a heat press. Images are first printed on plastic film rather than paper. The pictures are bonded with the substrate’s molecules, which is the overall result.

 

It’s vital to keep in mind that the technique generates a lot of heat (up to 400° F), which limits its ability to print on materials with lower melting points.

  • Using Acrylic

Okay, so the rule that says you can only sublimate polyester materials is not applicable to acrylic. Sublimation acrylic is a type of acrylic that has been carefully designed to enable sublimation colors to infiltrate the surface.

The Benefits of Dye Sublimation Printing

Price is not always the most crucial factor; image quality and longevity are. When your project requires a high-end appearance, sublimation is frequently the best option. Dye sublimation is the preferred method when a t-shirt design needs to maintain its sharp appearance through multiple piles of washing or a banner needs to be visible in all weather conditions.

 

In Summary

You can take care of all your branded product needs with just one call because we are a one-stop shop for any kind of promotional materials, including sublimation printing. Additionally, there is no minimum order requirement for sublimation printing, allowing you to get exactly what you need in the quantity you require.

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