Let’s Talk About Sublimation Printing

Let’s Talk About Sublimation Printing

If you're looking for high-quality printed products that are durable and feature vibrant colours, you should consider sublimation printing. Sublimation printing is a popular method of printing used to transfer a design from sublimation paper onto material by using pressure and heat. 

Through this method, the design is printed as a mirror image onto special transfer paper. This is done using unique dye-sub inks. These inks are water-based and have less of an impact on the environment compared to harsher chemical inks. 

After this process, the transfer is lined up with the fabric, where heat and pressure are applied. This is usually done between 350 – 400 degrees. These actions cause the inks to change from their current solid form into a gas. The inks then permanently bond to the fibres of the material. The end product is a high-definition print with a great level of detail.

What is needed for sublimation printing?

The following equipment and tools are required for the process:

  • A sublimation printer
  • Sublimation paper
  • Raster Image Processor (RIP) software and a computer
  • A cutting mechanism
  • A type of heat press

What is sublimation printing used for?

Sublimation printing is mostly used to print clothing; however, it can also be used on hard media such as mugs, pens, and tins. 

It can be used to print on the following materials: 

  • Polycotton textile
  • Polymer
  • Polyester
  • Polyester-made fabric
  • Ceramic
  • Polyester-coated aluminium
  • Polymer-coated metal
  • Polymer-coated plastic
  • PVC

What are the benefits of sublimation printing?

If you're after the best-looking printed products, sublimation printing is for you. With this method, images don’t easily crack, peel, or fade after several uses and the visuals are printed to last. It is best suited for products that are used constantly. A good example is clothing and bedding, which have to be washed regularly without distorting the appearance.

With dye sublimation, you can also get creative with what you want to print on. You can even print on products such as puzzles or keychains. It comes in very handy for crafting and business presentations. Sublimation printing is excellent for finer details, and one of the best methods for all-over printing. It may be more costly than other methods such as heat transfer printing, but it produces better quality, making it great for small runs. The printing is so close to permanent, the method is simply unbeatable.