Sublimation Ink Vs Pigment Ink- Which One To Choose


The primary difference between sublimation ink Vs pigment ink is the way each material is used. When you are thinking about sublimation printing and how it works, it can be helpful to know how it compares to regular printing processes.

difference between sublimation ink and pigment ink

There are two great ways to do sublimation:

1. Use dye ink for sublimation

Dye ink usually gives a brighter and higher contrast than pigment-based ink for sublimation. It is, however, a bit more costly than pigment ink, but it also provides better results in terms of print quality.

2. Use pigment ink for sublimation

Pigment-based ink can provide high-quality results with less color bleeding and better color saturation than dye ink or watercolor paint.

However, it’s more expensive than the dye kind, and its vibrant colors tend to bleed a bit more than those of dye ink or watercolors. However, you can still get some very high-quality images with this kind of ink.

Comparison Between Dye And Pigment Ink For Sublimation Print

Dye ink can be used for sublimation printing on a variety of fabrics, including T-shirts and sweatshirts. Pigment ink comes in various colors, including bright neon and bright white, allowing you to print on many different materials.

Dye ink has a unique property that allows it to change color depending on the light conditions, allowing you to print on many different types of fabric at varying light levels throughout the day. By changing the light conditions every time you print, you can create a vibrant image each time you view it.

Pigment inks are used mainly for sublimation printing on paper or cloth with special applications that require heat exposure or photopolymers (such as film). Pigment inks have a very long shelf life and should remain refrigerated at all times until ready for use again.

Which One to Choose?

Using sublimation inks produces brighter colors due to being more porous than pigments, thus allowing them to create a dye reaction rather than a pigmented one.

Sublimation inks are more resistant to abrasion, and they stay vital in sunlight without fading or drying out over time. Their sole drawback is that they don’t have the same print quality as pigments for magazines with high-quality images.

These Inks are made of sublimation dyes or pigments, liquefied under pressure through heat or electricity before being deposited onto paper, fabric, wood, or other material. Sublimation inks are superior for print quality as compared with pigments and are also used for more durable fabrics. They don’t fade in sunlight or dry out over time but do not produce the same print quality.

Benefits Of Using Pigment-Based Ink For Sublimation Printing

When you see a blue sock, it is pigment ink. When you see a red sock, it is dye ink.

These are two of the most common pigments in fashion. They print beautifully on t-shirts and other products. The choice of pigment ink for sublimation printing is based on each ingredient’s properties that make the prints vibrant and attractive.

For example, if the main objective of your order is to print clothing, then dye ink will work best due to its high level of pigmentation (color). If you want to use a garment dye for sublimation printing or embroidery, pigment inks will be the better choice because they are much less prone to fading and discoloration than other inks.

But When Can I Use Dye-Based Ink?

Dye-based ink can be used to make heat transfers, as well as a great choice for your sublimation printing needs.

Dye-based ink has a very high print speed and the best resolution. It is also cheaper than pigment inks, making it a great alternative to costly pigment inks.

Dye-based inks are available in various colors and can be used for almost any product. They have no smell, so they are completely odorless. Regarding sublimation, dye-based ink has another advantage over pigment-based ones, color saturation.

 Dye does not lose its color after being sublimated. This makes it ideal for use on printing materials such as clothes or fabric that might have colors that fade over time due to exposure or other factors (such as sunlight).

Sublimation Ink Vs Inkjet Pigment ink

Water-based inks tend to be better for sublimation as they don’t require much pressure while sublimating, making them more durable.

If you need your item to appear smudged or smeared like when using a food dye, then using pigment inks may be an advantage as they do not require so much pressure but can still adhere well enough for those kinds of prints.

If you want a vibrant print that looks like the original, then pigment inks are usually your best bet as they take longer than water-based ones but have a nice vivid color that doesn’t fade over time which is one of the reasons why heat transfers work better with pigment inks.


1. Is pigment ink waterproof?

The answer is big Yes, Pigment ink is inclined to water resistance tends to resist water than dye-based ink, and it is also capable to resist from fading.

2. What is the best pigment ink for heat transfer?

Inkjet is an inkjet printer that uses heat transfer instead of a syringe to transfer the ink from the printer to the material you are printing on. This can be paper, glass, plastic, or other materials.

3. How to use sublimation inks?

The ink is applied to the substrate and then heated, typically at or above 200 degrees Celsius, for about 30 seconds.

The heated bond breaks down the insoluble polymer in the pigment and allows it to absorb into the substrate. The result is a bright, whitish-grey color that does not show as much detail as regular black.

4. Is The Dye Ink The Same As The Pigment Ink?

Both the dye ink and pigment ink hold a slight difference. The difference is that pigment ink stays on the paper after printing, whereas dye ink is absorbed instantly by the paper.

Final Thougts

As we have nicely tackled the difference and nuance of inks, you can now easily grab the best idea that best fits your need and choice alike. It does not matter whether to choose sublimation ink or pigment ink, but exercising your willpower will surely make you pick up the best one. If you still find it perplexing, then I have given a thorough detail on the best six inks in the market. For your decent choice, you may visit.

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