Textile / Fabric Printing (also known as Dye Sublimation Printing)
Dye sublimation is a digital printing technology that uses heat transfer to apply an image to the intended substrate. Also referred to as digital sublimation, the process is commonly used for decorating apparel (clothing), signs and banners as well as other items with sublimation-friendly surfaces.
Dye sublimation features the following two-part process:
- Print graphics onto special transfer paper using sublimation inks
- Use a heat press to transfer the ink-on-paper to the substrate.
First, graphics are printed onto transfer paper. Using a heat press, the transfer paper is then placed on the substrate you’re transferring to. The heat allows the dried inks on the transfer paper to turn from a solid form into gas and penetrate the polyester fabrics.
When heated, the polymers in the polyester encourage the inks to bond, which creates permanent graphics that are fully embedded into the material.
As colors are embedded in the substrate or fabric, rather than printed on the surface, images on fabric won’t fade or crack even after multiple washes.
Why Should I Use This Method?
Dye sublimation is THE process for printing on all things polyester. That’s because the gaseous state of the ink results in a completely washable, smooth image that’s fully embedded into the material. Plus, the quality is high resolution consisting of vivid, vibrant colors.