What Is Quality Sublimation Printing

What Is Quality Sublimation Printing
What Is Quality Sublimation Printing

Video: What Is Quality Sublimation Printing

Video: HEAT TRANSFER Vs. SUBLIMATION | T-Shirt Printing u0026 More | Apparel Academy (Ep56) 2022, September

Sublimation printing is used in advertising, photo printing and for the manufacture of souvenirs. The resulting images are clear, it is possible to draw the smallest details.

What is quality sublimation printing
What is quality sublimation printing

Sublimation printing is a method for dyeing light synthetic materials. Thanks to her, the colors are bright, resistant to various influences. Technique refers to digital methods of image transfer.

The founder of sublimation printing is the Frenchman Noel de Plassé. In 1957, he discovered that some dyes can pass from one state to another, bypassing intermediate stages. This happens at temperatures from 190 degrees.


It is based on a process when a substance passes from a solid state to a liquid, bypassing the gas state. The dye is transferred in a heated state to thermal paper. When working with a thermal printer, the ink evaporates, and the image is applied from a tape located between the thermal paper and the heating element of the device.

Sublimation printing resembles inkjet printing in properties, but differs in that every dot is displayed on the applied surface. Due to this, pictures or inscriptions are realistic and stable.

The printing process takes place in three stages. The paint is not applied all at once. In some more recent techniques, an additional fourth layer is also used. This occurs more often when printing photographs and working on hard surfaces, which can increase the protection of the image from direct exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Dye sublimation allows you to get high quality images. You can not be afraid that such disadvantages as banding or solubility will appear. Due to the absence of drops in the image, there are no boundaries between the clean area and the colored one.

Advantages and disadvantages

One of the advantages is the ability to make fine temperature settings. Thanks to this, the required clarity and contrast of the image is adjusted, and halftones are displayed.

The advantages include:

  • ease of sublimation printing;
  • decorating any product;
  • high image quality;
  • the ability to reproduce drawings of any complexity.

The work does not take much time. due to the chemical composition of paints and temperature exposure during printing, the service life or storage of the product processed by this method increases.

The disadvantages include the high price of consumables and the devices themselves. The latter are more often used in printing houses, printing companies. The use of the device is considered the most appropriate for small and medium-sized businesses. Another disadvantage is the need to comply with a certain indoor climate when performing work. In addition, high image quality is achieved exclusively when using a light woven backing.

Types of sublimation printing

There are two main types:

  • straight;
  • indirect.

In the first case, paints are mixed inside the equipment, the drawing is applied to the finished product. Usually, the direct method is used to apply an image to fabric. It is good to make flags and curtains in this way.

Direct printing is classified as wet and dry. When wet, the work surface is treated with a polyester primer. The image is then applied using a printer. This technology is popular for large product runs. The dry method involves the use of paper and a laser printer.

Indirect is called thermal transfer. The technology involves two phases. First, a mirror image is printed on siliconized paper for sublimation, then the image is transferred using a heat press and special ink.This method is performed by inkjet, laser, offset and screen printing.

Scope of application and materials used

Originally, sublimation printing was applied to synthetic fabrics. When heated, the material "opens pores". At this point, it is easiest to apply paint. It seems to be fused into the fabric, allowing you to get a very durable image. Natural materials do not possess such a property, therefore, for a well-performed work, the composition must contain at least 50% of chemistry. A great option for T-shirts is a two-layer fabric consisting of a layer of polyamide and cotton.

The technology allows you to transfer paint to any surface:

  • wooden;
  • plastic;
  • glass;
  • ceramic;
  • metal.

Since sublimation paint interacts exclusively with polymer compounds, a special acrylic-based varnish is applied to the material before application. The highest quality prints are obtained on textiles made of polyester or polyester.

Scope of application

Most often, the method is used for advertising or decorative decoration of souvenir products. The carriers can be:

  • items of clothing;
  • fleece blankets;
  • mugs;
  • plates;
  • puzzles;
  • posters;
  • bottles and more.

For advertising purposes, special paper and large-format printing method are used, which makes it possible to obtain high-quality banners.

How to choose equipment for high quality images

Sublimation printing technology is so simple that it can be used at home. Having the skill of working with special programs, you can apply a picture to T-shirts or mugs. However, you need to be prepared for the fact that printers are impressive in size. Especially those that work with fabric. When choosing a printer, attention is paid to three parameters:

  • picture type;
  • estimated circulation of products;
  • format and size of the processed material.

The transfer of the image to the intermediate material is performed in any convenient way that does not involve heating. Because of this, the thermal inkjet printer is not used.

The resulting impression is transferred using a heat press. You can buy devices with a stationary or calender clamp. The choice depends on how often the machine is used. For large-format advertising, calender heat presses are used.

Attention is also paid to the correct choice of ink. To obtain high quality products, you will need a personal color profile. To do this, when buying, the specialist is informed on which printer and with what materials you will work.

Thus, sublimation printing is a new technology. Its popularity is increasing, as is the field of application. In stores, you can buy a variety of printers that are distinguished by their versatility or narrow focus.

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