Sublimation Printing: Brief Guide On This Printing Technique

There are so many printing techniques that are available to us, and sublimation printing is one of them. Dye-sublimation printing is another name of the sublimation printing technique. In this method, a printing image is transferred over a substrate. In this type of printing technique, sublimation ink is used to form a print over the transfer paper. After that, the transfer paper is used to transfer ink over the substrate.

Why is Sublimation Printing Better than Others?

In the case of the ink-jet transfer printing technique, the ink is printed over the top of the substrate. On the other hand, in other printing techniques, the printing ink is passed through three states of matter — solid, liquid, and gas. But, when we talk about the sublimation printing technique, then printing ink does not pass through the liquid state.

In the sublimation printing technique, the printing ink integrated with the substrate when the ink in gaseous form. Finally, the substrate will have sold printed pattern because the sublimation ink does not pass through the liquid state. This technique is perfect for printing all over print shirts because it can produce good quality colors.

Sublimation Printing Process

The sublimation printing process is comprised of various stages. All the stages of the sublimation printing process are described below:

  • Heat Press

You have to place the transfer paper over the substrate, and both of them will go through a heat press. Approximately 375 degrees Fahrenheit temperature is required to transfer the image. When heat press is applied, then sublimation ink will move into a gaseous state.

The gaseous form of ink can seep through the substrate. The heat produced by the heat press also helps in opening the pores of the substrate so that gaseous ink can integrate with it.

  • Ink Solidifies

Now, remove the transfer paper and substrate. You will observe that ink over the sublimation transfer paper is completely transferred over the substrate. Also, when you remove the substrate from the heat press, then gaseous ink will immediately be solidified and form an attractive print. The pores of the substrate will close with sublimation ink inside them.

If the sublimation printing technique is implemented precisely, then the printed image will never fade away. The sublimation printing technique always resulted in good quality prints.

There is another alternative for the dye-sublimation printing technique in which the ink is directly applied over a polymer-coated substrate. This combination is exposed to a very high temperature so that ink forms a bond with the substrate.

  • Design Image On Transfer Paper

The first stage is designing the image that you want to print over the substrate. Once the design is ready, then you have to print this image on a transfer paper with the help of sublimation ink and printer. Now, use the transfer paper to print the image over the substrate. Custom sublimated t-shirts technique help in printing image over the entire substrate.

Suitable Material for Sublimation Printing 

If you are going to choose the sublimation printing technique, then it is very important to know the right material on which you can apply this technique. Some of the materials that can be used for sublimation printing are listed below:

  • Polymer & Polyester
  • PVC & Polyester-coated aluminum sheet
  • Polycotton textile
  • Ceramic tile & Polymer-coated plastic
  • Polyester-made fabric or Polymer-coated metal

Best Sublimation Printers

There are different companies who are selling sublimation printers. Some of the top brands are Mitsubishi, Kodak, Sony, and many more. You can choose any one of them as per your budget limits and needs. The top brands offer good quality printers that are designed specifically for high-quality sublimation printing.

The latest technology sublimation printed also incorporated with various enticing features that can fulfill your specific printing needs.

Dye Sublimation Ink

The dye sublimation ink is pigments that are mixed with liquid solvents. Therefore, the sublimation ink looks like liquid when they are packed. When you take them out from packed form, then they transform in powder. The dye sublimation ink can produce good-quality and brilliant images.

Is Sublimation Printing Technique Is Eco-friendly?

Sublimation printing methods are absolutely eco-friendly. There is no harm to our environment when we use sublimation printing methods to print beautiful images. Less waste is produced by this printing technique as compare to others.

  • The sublimation printing technique does not need water as it utilizes heat transfer technology.
  • The sublimation ink is safe for the environment and for us. This type of ink does not pose any threat to our health and also does not produce harmful effects on the environment.
  • The sublimation ink is not just safe, but it is sustainable as well. A small amount of ink can produce good colored imaged.
  • You can use the same sublimation print enormous times. This printing process is known as the “exhaust printing” method.
  • The sublimation paper can be reused for artwork after the sublimation printing process is over.

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