How Sublimation Printing Works? Complete Buyer Guide 2022

Sublimation shirt printing is a specific process of printing that first involves printing onto a special sheet of paper, then transferring that image onto another material (usually polyester or a polyester mix). The ink is then heated until it disintegrates into the fabric.

What is sublimation?

Those who answer sublimation is used to make objects sublime will be able to return to high school. Sublimation, in reality, is a chemical process. It is a question of transforming a body from the solid-state to the gaseous state, without going through the liquid stage.

Concretely, to help you visualize, it is like trying to transform an ice cube into vapor without first melting it into water.

Read Now: 6 Best Sublimation printer for T-Shirts

How does Sublimation work in printing?

The fact that there is no liquid also implies that there is no ink directly. It will therefore be necessary to use other printing processes than conventional printers.

First, the images will be printed on a transfer paper (the image being reversed as in a mirror). Files must be in full colour. The inks used are indeed the famous CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).

Then strong pressure at a high temperature (between 180°C and 210°C), using a calendar or a suitable press, will transform these pigments into gas and permanently impregnate them in the chosen medium.

5 reasons to choose sublimation printing:

  • Ecological process: Low level of vapour emission and low CO² content
  • Brilliant and resistant colours even after washing
  • Low sedimentation rate: prevents colour uniformity defects
  • Low production costs
  • Wide choice of materials for printing

When to use sublimation?

Sublimation printing is often used for textiles. It is particularly recommended in this area because the inks and designs are linked to the fibres of the fabric, and will therefore resist washing. Also, you can get the High Rated Products List of 10 Best Printers for Cricut

What are the benefits of dye sublimation printing?

Thermal sublimation is a growing technique. It is shaking up the market for the personalization of promotional items, particularly textiles, by offering incredible print quality. As the ink pigments are integrated directly into the support, they provide a high-end and elegant effect that is much-appreciated thanks to the shimmering and luminous colours. As a result, incomparable shine and intensity are guaranteed.

Another advantage: it is an ecological impression due to the nature of its water-based inks. The thermal sublimation printing technology is highly appreciated by organizers of fairs, shows, and all entrepreneurs, craftsmen, and traders. The only downside to note, this technique remains limited to light-coloured supports. Printing on dark substrates offers an inconspicuous result.

What are the interests of sublimation?

So, sublimation doesn’t just make objects sublime you see, we’ll come back to this thanks to its vibrant and long-lasting colors. Its low sedimentation rate also helps to prevent a possible lack of uniformity in the colours.

The precision is much better than for an inkjet print, for example, and it is possible to print the most complex drawings or photos in this way.

  • It is also an ecological process: it has a low CO2 content, for little vapour emission. Sublimation inks are often water-based, which confirms the low environmental impact.
  • It has already been specified that sublimation makes it possible to mark many different supports. All for a low production cost. Sublimation adapts to situations. It is possible to print both small formats and large stretched canvas.
  • This is why we find sublimation both in the marking of advertising objects and in furnishing fabrics. This technique makes it possible to imagine many personalized projects, as well as mass-produced ones.

Sublimation meets more and more success in the field of printing. Its main limitation is that it will be especially effective on light backgrounds. The colors obtained in this way will indeed have more difficulty in imposing themselves on dark backgrounds.



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