What is Dye Sublimation Printing?

Last Updated on July 4, 2022 by Fredrick Miller

If you’re curious about the most asked question What is Dye Sublimation Printing?, it means that you’d like to have personalized items but you don’t always have the time or resources for decorating them yourself.

Printing these items with dye-sublimation allows you to put your own designs or photographs on cup mugs, t-shirts and other objects in various colors.

It’s also reasonable to print on a small volume of homemade products. This form of product printing is famous and appreciated for its low cost. For example, another point worth noting is that dye sublimation prints are long lasting and don’t fade away quickly.

In this article, we will describe everything about dye sublimation.

Stay tuned and keep on reading this article.

Also Check: How Does Sublimation Printing Work?

What is Dye Sublimation Printing and how does it work?

What is Dye Sublimation Printing

Dye sublimation is a digital printing technology that uses heat to transfer images on different items. It’s also called digital sublimation, primarily used to decorate other products such as apparel and mugs. Signs and banners.

In the dye sublimation process, the printer heats the ink and makes it sublimate, which means that the liquid state is skipped and directly transferred into the gaseous state.

Process of Dye Sublimation

To understand the dye-sublimation printing process deeply, we need to know its operation and how it works.

Dye sublimation process completes in two parts.

Step 1:

To begin, unique designs and graphics are transferred to paper sheets through liquid gel ink. An inkjet printer is then used to place this ink onto the transfer paper that is needed for the next step.

Step 2:

In the second step, the transfer papers are passed through heat. The ink changes from solid to gas form, which allows it to bond with the paper.

When heat is combined with the pressure, the pigment penetrates the product, resulting in a permanent color bond. The dye returns to solid form when the heat is removed.  

Ink for Dye Sublimation

The chemical process used in dye sublimation is crucial, and you will need to use a special type of ink known as dye-sub inks. This type of ink is highly nuanced and needs to be handled with both care and precision for optimal results.

These dyes go directly from solid-state to gaseous state in high temperatures and quickly bond to polyester fabrics.

The results of this processes are outstanding. The color gamut’s are vibrant and dyes are heavily pigmented and permanently bonded to the product.

Products for Dye Sublimation

All polyester materials are perfect for dye sublimation printing, and it can be used to apply a print onto other products that are mentioned below.

  • Upholstery
  • Window Treatments
  • Tapestries
  • Pillows
  • Jerseys and related sports gear
  • Dresses
  • Scarves
  • Ties
  • Bathing Suits
  • Handbag
  • Backlit graphics
  • Cell phone cases
  • Mousepads
  • Coffee mugs
  • Luggage tags
  • Clipboards
  • License plates

Dye Sublimation & Traditional Inkjet Printer

The dye sublimation printer is different from the traditional inkjet printer. Here are three ways to differentiate a dye-sublimation printer from a conventional inkjet printer.

Operation:

As dye sublimation printing process is already described above. On the other hand, inkjet printer controls the ink droplets spray onto media from its cartridge nozzle. The cartridges are moved from side to side and produce images or text.

Efficiency:

Inkjet printers are better efficient than dye-sublimation printers. In the dye sublimation process, the ink gets wasted as the primary color panels don’t wholly transfer on the page, while inkjet printers only use the required ink.

Image Quality:

The image quality of the dye sublimation is better than inkjet printers. In the dye sublimation process, colors are correctly blended and produce high-quality images, while traditional inkjet printer is less unified.

Types of Dye Sublimation Printers:

As the dye sublimation is growing, with this tremendous growth, there is a large variety of sublimation printers available in the market. Here are a few printers that the experts recommend

Mimaki TS55:

It would not be incorrect to say that this printer is the leader in sublimation printing. It is 74 inches wide and produces high-quality images.

HP Stitch:

HP printer is also one of the best when it comes to dye sublimation. You will get both options of printing directly to the fabric and transfer paper.

Epson SureColor F9470:

Epson doesn’t need any introduction in world of dye sublimation. In this printer, airflow is managed with air guard controls, and you can even do the production of the print head malfunctions.

Mutoh RJ-900:

This is a 42 inches printer that is best for roll-to-roll prints and perfect for flags and apparel.

Additional Equipment Required:

Dye sublimation process has many steps involved which can be confusing at times. But those steps can be made easy with the help of the following items.

Heat Press:

Heat press is as important as the printer. Heat presses are available in different colors, styles, and sizes, such as

Cutting and Sewing:

You may need these items depending on the design you intend to make. The cutting and sewing items are available in different ranges, and you can pick any according to the demand of your design.

 Advantages and Disadvantages of Dye Sublimation:

Every process has some advantages and disadvantages and so the dye sublimation also has.

Advantages:

  • For fabric printing, dye sublimation is the best option because of its long-lasting bond.
  • Finished products are more durable as compared to inkjet printers.
  • Fabrics are visibly appealing and have a superior look and smoother finish.

Disadvantages:

  • Dye sublimation process is slower than the inkjet printer because it involves many steps that delay the process.
  • Sublimation is expensive than the inkjet printing. 

FAQs:

What is the most significant disadvantage of dye sublimation printing?

The most significant disadvantage of dye sublimation printing is that it’s a slower process than inkjet printing.

Is sublimation worth the investment?

It is definitely worth the investment because with sublimation, you print several products and sell them to different markets. The benefits are far more than the investment.

Can I print the sublimation at home?

Yes, of course, you can print sublimation at home as it’s an easy process and doesn’t require much knowledge and experience.

Conclusion:

Dye sublimation printing is one of the best methods for printing different products as it’s cost-effective, can be started on a low scale, and prints are permanent. With the help of sublimation printing, you can create many unique and beautiful products.

We have provided all the significant information about dye sublimation in the article above. If you are also interested in this process and want to produce exclusive designs, we hope the information provided will be very beneficial.

Leave a Comment