March 15 2016
Dye sublimation printing is, by definition, the sublimating of dye in fabric. The way it works is like this. First, a sublimation paper is printed on a digital printer . The inkjet printer that is set up to print dyes prints a mirror image of whatever it is that needs printed on a treated dye-accepting paper known generically as “sublimation transfer paper.”
This dye sublimation paper is now “married” to a piece of polyester or another synthetic fabrics (polyester is the most common due to its versatility in look and usage – from stretchable trade show booth fabrics to garments to outdoor flags and a whole lot more) and then it is fed through heated rollers that combine heat – about 375°F or 210°C – with pressure to expand the cells of the fabric and convert the dye to a gaseous state.
The dye is sublimated into the open pores of the polymeric synthetic material, and as it cools again, traps the sublimated dye within the cells of the fabric. Because the dye became gaseous, it does not create a dot pattern during the sublimation process like inkjet printing will on fabric or vinyl or other rigid plastic substrates, rather it creates a continuous tone print much like how photographs are developed and look.
Because almost any item can be polymer coated this process alows prints onto almost anything, such as ceramic mugs, glass, metal sheets, acrylic and other unisub items like mousmats, coasters or phone cases to name a few. Sublimation printables are constantly updating, as long as the item can be polymer coated and heat pressed it is highly likely it can be sublimated.
Because of this sublimation printing is vast becoming one of the most popular printing methods within the industry.
The advantages of sublimation printing are as follows;
1.Sublimation is one of the very few methods you can print full colored images onto hard surfaces.
2.It creates brighter and smoother color variations and transitions than you’ll find with inkjet printing, and a superior overall look
3.It is permanent and cannot flake off like some types of ink wil
4.Almost unlimited colors to choose from. Thousands of colors can be produced with sublimation (even if you choose a 4 color printer). And it doesn’t cost extra to add additional colors to your design.
5.Same cost to print one item or 1000 items. So no need for minimum orders, and perfect for 1-up items and promotional items for small businesses, schools, charities, sports teams, parties, reunions, and many more!
6.Complete customization! The advantage of digital sublimation printing is that no plates are required, so it is ideal for customizing designs with changing elements such as names, numbers, etc.
7.Sublimation is quick and easy to produce, allowing for same day or same hour printing, as well as on demand printing that reduces risk and wastage.
8.Screen printing can be a complicated learning process and become quite messy where as sublimation is an easier process to master.
As with anything there can be disadvantages, and sublimation is the same. Some of the disadvantages for sublimation printing are as follows;
1.Substrates need to be polyester coated or made of polyester fabric.
2.Substrates need to be white or light colored. You cannot print onto dark or black colored items.
3.Printers tend to clog if not used for extended periods of time. With the introduction of Ricoh printers, the clogging risk has been significantly reduced. However we still recommend doing a nozzle check once a week.
4.Sublimation inks are relatively expensive compared with OEM inks. This will need to be factored in when pricing your products.
5.Color Management issues. With the installation of the PowerDriver, color management problems have been significantly reduced. As with all printers, color management issues will vary depending on the graphic/photograph.
See more at: http://www.brosublimationpaper.com