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Club Ink Blog

What is Dye-Sublimation Printing?

Sep 17th, 2014

Dye-sublimation printing is a unique coloration process that is used to print on synthetic fabrics like polyester. It is often used to create personalized clothing, table covers, banners, sportswear, flags, curtains, and more.

Dye Sublimation Printing

Dye-sublimation printing is completed using a large format inkjet printer with a special type of ink that consists of pigment and a solvent (water for instance). This ink is then used to print a reverse image of the intended design onto coated heat-resistant transfer paper. When the transfer paper is put into a heat press at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, the dye turns into a gas and permanently dyes the fabric or textile at hand with a high definition image or pattern.

Why would I use dye-sublimation printing?

These are just a few of the reasons why so many people use dye-sublimation printing:

  • Images and patterns are permanent with no risk of peeling or fading like with silk screens
  • Dye does not build up on the fabric allowing for smooth and crisp imagery
  • Colours can be very vibrant because of the bonding process between the dye and the transparent fibers of the synthetic fabric.
  • An almost “photographic” effect can be achieved with continuous tones, without the use of special techniques
  • The image can be printed all over the entire item

All that being said, dye sublimation isn’t the right option for everyone. Here are a couple of disadvantages:

  • The printer speed is low, making it not ideal for people who might need to do a rush printing job
  • Any creases in the apparel during printing leave blank spots behind, so it’s important that you pay attention to detail.

What types of items does dye-sublimation work best on?

Interested in dye sublimation and looking for a reason to use it? Here are a few perfect use-cases for this fascinating technique.

  • A wall-mounted or upright pop-up banner for tradeshows, or banners meant to be used as sails, car covers and even tents (great for your next promotional event!)
  • Customized flags adorned with company logo, country’s colours, family crest, or a unique just-for-fun design
  • Household items such as window blinds, curtains, table cloths, chair covers, even light shades and napkins
  • Custom branded clothing like sports jerseys and event promotional t-shirts

Here’s just one example of some beautiful uniforms we created just for the one-year anniversary of the Shangri-la! This is one instance where we can confidently say the possibilities are endless!

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