What is dye-sublimation
Dye-sublimation is a printing process that involves transferring dye onto various materials using heat. In this process, a design is first printed onto a special transfer paper using sublimation inks. The printed design is then transferred onto the intended material through a heat press.
During the heat transfer, the sublimation inks turn into gas and penetrate the surface of the material. As the material cools down, the ink reverts to a solid state, permanently bonding with the fabric or coating of the material. This creates vibrant, long-lasting, and high-resolution prints that are resistant to fading, cracking, or peeling.
Dye-sublimation is commonly used for printing on fabrics such as polyester, as well as on other items like mugs, phone cases, mousepads, and more. It allows for full-color printing with excellent color reproduction, sharp details, and the ability to print complex designs or photographs. Dye-sublimation printing is known for its durability, washability, and the ability to maintain the soft and breathable feel of the fabric.
Advantages of Dye Sublimation:
- Vibrant and Long-lasting Colors: Dye sublimation produces vibrant, high-resolution prints with excellent color saturation and sharpness. The colors become a part of the material, resulting in long-lasting, fade-resistant images.
- Continuous Tones and Gradations: Dye sublimation can reproduce smooth gradients and continuous tones, allowing for detailed and realistic images.
- Versatility: Dye sublimation can be used on a wide range of materials, including polyester fabrics, ceramics, metals, and more.
- Soft Touch and Breathable: Dye sublimation creates prints that are soft to the touch and maintain the breathability and texture of the original material.
- Durability: The prints produced through dye sublimation are highly durable, resistant to wear, and can withstand repeated washing without fading or peeling.
Disadvantages of Dye Sublimation:
- Limited Compatibility: Dye sublimation is mainly suitable for materials that have a high polyester content. It may not work well on natural fabrics like cotton or materials with low polyester content.
- Cost: Dye sublimation printers and inks can be more expensive compared to other printing methods, making it more suitable for larger production runs or specialized applications.
- Specialized Equipment and Expertise: Dye sublimation requires specific equipment such as heat presses and specialized inks. It also requires proper color management and heat application techniques to achieve optimal results.
- Limited Color Options on Dark Fabrics: Dye sublimation is most effective on light-colored or white materials, as the dyes are transparent. Printing on dark fabrics may result in less vibrant colors and require additional steps, such as using a white base layer.
Considering these factors will help you determine if dye sublimation is the right printing method for your specific requirements and materials.
Please note: For garment printing with heat treatment, if a vector file with CMYK / PMS code is provided, there may be a 5-10% possibility of printing chromatic aberration. However, if a non-vector file or a file without CMYK / PMS code is provided, the printing chromatic aberration may be more noticeable.