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what is sublimation


It’s a method of printing that transfers a design into the material by using dye, heat and pressure. Sublimation printing uses the high heat to essentially bring the dye and fabric together as one.

The dyes that are used turns into a gas vapor when heated, then the gas vapors of the dye combines with the fabric. This application is permanent. The dye is embedded into the fabric or substrate rather than simply laying on top like other prints.

The process is almost like a tattoo, but instead of for your skin, it’s for your chosen product. The heat opens up the pores of the fabric, then with the applied pressure the dye cools and returns to a solid form.

the pros

The most exciting upside when it comes to this method is purely the freedom you have with your designs, which is not always offered by other methods.

The longevity of the design is a plus point, with a design that won’t crack, peel or fade. Even after going through the washing machine countless times, your garment will never be demoted to the back of your wardrobe!

It offers an unlimited range of colours. You can obtain thousands of different colours by using four-colour ink (CMYK). There is no additional cost when adding a new colour to your design. That’s why it’s a fantastic option to print very detailed designs and photos.

the cons

Sublimation printing is only suitable for garments that include polyester (Dri-fit, 100% polyester, or polyester blend). Polyester is a fabric that expands due to heat and takes in the colour through the method of sublimation.

Sublimation inks are essentially a dye, it would be physically impossible to dye a dark garment a lighter colour, hence no white in sublimation inks. 

Sublimation works best by printing a design into white or light colored fabrics, Thus, white is considered the color for sublimation, but you can print on light-colored garments, provided you don't need the color white within the image or design.


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