What is sublimation printing? A common technique for printing your graphics on sublimation clothing. When compared to the original image, there is no resolution loss when the image is printed, and the inks will survive for many years.

What does sublimation printing mean? The definition of sublimation, which also relates to sublimation printing, is a chemical process in which a solid transforms into a gas without first undergoing the liquid state.

Any desired design is possible for sublimation. Using a digital printer and sublimation inks, the design you’ve made will be transferred on unique sublimation transfer paper.

Following the transfer to your preferred garment (which must be made entirely of polyester), the sublimation paper is heated to between 177 and 200 °C using a heat press. The inks subsequently change into a gas state and permeate (sink into) the fabric’s fibers.

This is because the heat simultaneously opens the pores of the fabric and causes the sublimation inks to be released from the transfer paper. The inks penetrate the fabric through the open pores while they are gaseous.

When the heat press is turned off, the pores close, the gas solidifies, and the inks are trapped inside the materials. This results in a design that won’t crack, fade, or come off the garment.

t shirt prints

What Types Of Printers Are Appropriate For Sublimation Printing?

What is a sublimation printer? Water-insoluble dispersion dyes are typically used in sublimation printers (i.e. viscous dyes). These are also frequently referred to as “sublime” printers or sublimation printers. Special sublimation printers are needed because of the ink’s consistency and temperature sensitivity. Only special water-based inks can be utilized with standard inkjet printers. However, switching between regular and specialty inks is not advised due to residue buildup in the print heads and tubes.

How does a sublimation printer work? Sublimation In the particular printing process known as “shirt printing,” an image is first printed on a special sheet of paper before being transferred to a different material (usually polyester or a polyester mix). After that, heat is applied to the ink until it fuses with the fabric.

Benefits Of Using Sublimation Printers

sublimation prints Any motif, including intricate photo motifs, may be printed and transferred onto a variety of materials with ease, flexibility, and relatively little expense thanks to sublimation printing. High precision, which allows for the printing of intricate motifs, is another characteristic of sublimation printing. By doing this, you can avoid post-treatments and prolonged wait times after the transfer because the motif is available right away.

The link is enclosed in the substrate’s fabric rather than just being applied to it, which has a variety of benefits: One difference is that you don’t feel the pigment that has been put and is readily fragile or rubs off. However, the colors are vibrant and seldom ever fade. To avoid losing color brilliance, you may easily wash or rinse them. Additionally, they are immune to hazardous environmental factors like UV rays.

Due to this, sublimation printing is also appropriate for outdoor applications, such as printing on flags. Additionally, the ink does not seal the fabric, preserving qualities like breathability that make it perfect for sportswear and club jerseys. Since no binding agents or solvents are needed, sublimation printing is also a very eco-friendly method.

How Does Sublimation Work

In contrast, how to do sublimation printing employs heat to effectively fuse ink and fabric.

A design is first printed onto unique paper. The inks become gases when heated, and when they combine with the fabric to form an imprint, the fabric is permanently altered. The effects are durable and less prone to fading since the ink is embedded in the fabric or substrate rather than simply sitting on top like a standard print.

The procedure is very similar to getting a tattoo, however, it’s for your selected product rather than your skin. The heat causes the fabric’s pores to open, and as pressure is applied, the ink cools and solidifies once more.

t shirt prints

A permanent, full-color image that won’t peel, fracture, or wash off of the substrate is the end product. Similar to dry ice, the method enables the ink to change from a solid to a gas without becoming liquid. The conversion is initiated by heat and is controlled by pressure.

Growing in popularity for smaller batch orders and intricate patterns is this rapid and efficient digital printing technique. As you can choose a design that can practically go from seam to seam, sublimation printing service is also known as “all-over printing.”

Why Choose Sublimation Over Other Techniques?

A design can be applied to a variety of objects using a variety of techniques, including screen printing, transfer vinyl, and direct-to-garment printing.

However, sublimation is exceptional in that technique produces high-quality, vibrantly colored, and permanently transferred images/designs at a minimal material cost.

Take screen printing as an illustration. Large open spaces for the apparatus, suitable ventilation, pricey screens, and materials are required to get started.

How about printing directly on clothing? A large DTG printer, which costs at least thousands of dollars, is required to begin direct-to-garment printing. Additionally, upkeep and repairs can be highly expensive.

Difference Between DTG, Screen Printing, And Sublimation

DTG vs Sublimation

Sublimation dyes enter the surface to recolor it from the inside out as opposed to the inks used in the DTG process, which apply color to the substrate’s surface from the top down. As a result, the chemistry of the two processes is very different, with DTG relying on surface adhesion and sublimation on molecular bonding.

Read More About DTG vs. Screen Printing

Sublimation vs Screen Printing

Screen printing is usually ideal if you’re producing a lot of goods. On the other hand, dye sublimation takes more time but results in colors that are more vivid and brighter than those from screen printing. With screen printing, you may print on almost any kind of fabric or item of clothing.

Read More About Sublimation Vs. Screen Printing

Sublimation Supplies

sublimation printsA supplementary printer, sublimation ink, heat press, sublimation paper, and designs are all you need. If you own such items, you can begin using sublimation right immediately.

Ready for Sublimation Printer

You can use a printer made specifically for sublimation, like this one, or you can modify an inkjet printer, like this one, to accept sublimation ink.

Ink for sublimation

It is crucial to remember that sublimation ink is required to sublimate. For example, you cannot use the ink that comes with the inkjet printer; in fact, you must ensure that no ink from the inkjet printer is used in the printer that you intend to use for sublimation.

Paper for Sublimation

Yet another crucial. The unique coating on this particular paper makes it possible for the sublimation printing process to function.

Heat Press

You will press and warm your patterns using this to help with the transfer. Make sure you get a heat press with a heat plate big enough to handle the designs you wish to execute because there are many various sizes available.

Linen Roller

T-shirts and other items sometimes have various types of dust and lint on them. Making ensuring your design is as clear and high-quality as possible can be accomplished with a simple, 3-second lint roll.

A Shirt’s Sublimation Process

What is a sublimation shirt? To ensure that you are well aware of how to sublimate your initial plans with.

sublimation prints

  • Using a program like Photoshop, Procreate, or Silhouette Studio, you can create or download designs.
  • Using your sublimation printer and sublimation inks, print the design (be sure to mirror it!) onto sublimation blank paper.
  • Follow the instructions on your heat press to preheat it. For t-shirts, mine is 365° F.
  • Prepare the butcher paper. What is t-shirt sublimation, you will also need a piece of butcher paper between the shirt and the heat plate to prevent ink from transferring to the shirt’s back. You will need one on the bottom of the press, one between the object and the heat plate, and one between the item and the heat plate.
  • Apply the printed sublimation design to the desired area of the shirt using the heat press’s butcher paper, then press with medium pressure for 45 to 55 seconds.
  • Carefully remove the butcher paper and sublimation pattern by lifting the press.
  • You can remove the garment from the heat press once it has had a chance to cool slightly.

That’s all!

What Are 3 Examples Of Sublimation?

Without going through the liquid state, sublimation is the process by which a solid transforms into a gas. Inverse sublimation refers to the opposite process, which is the immediate change from a gaseous to a solid state. Sublimation examples include ammonium chloride, solid iodine, and dry ice.

  • Which Is The Best Example of Sublimation?

The ultimate example of sublimation is dry ice, which is carbon dioxide that has been frozen. Dry ice directly transforms from its solid state to a gaseous state, which is visible as fog, when it is exposed to air.

sublimation prints

What Is The Importance Of Sublimation?

  1. Dye-sublimation printers have taken the place of inkjet printers. Because the prints dry more quickly, they are usable as soon as they come out of the printer. These printers require few moving components and are simple to maintain. There are numerous uses in the textile industry as well; dye sublimation is used to print synthetic materials like polyester. Banner, flag, and t-shirt manufacturers all benefit from the employment of the sublimation method. The attachment of the dye to the synthetic fibers has the advantage of making printing colors exceptionally vivid.
  2. Recovery of substances that are dispersed or suspended in liquids or solids like dry ice can benefit from sublimation. By allowing the suspending matrix to sublimate away, it is possible to recover the chemicals, at least in their raw form.
  3. In forensic sciences, sublimation has useful uses. Chemists utilize sublimation as a purification technique for volatile substances. The process of freeze-drying, which is used in the frozen food sector, is significant use of sublimation. When we lower the pressure around the substance, the frozen water sublimates from the solid phase to the gas phase.
  4. Chemists utilize the sublimation process to clean up their chemicals. Usually, a solid is heated under a vacuum in sublimation equipment. A non-volatile residue of impurities is left behind as the solid volatilizes and condenses as a refined chemical on a cooled surface (cold finger) at this lower pressure.