Sublimation printing leads to the emergence of personalized items on a frequent basis. People are more interested in learning about sublimation printing and how it works. This is why experts have finally chosen to break the ice and unveil the science underlying sublimation. Many small businesses and enterprises turn to sublimation printing to create bespoke items for their customers. They sublimate various things, including ceramic mugs, tumblers, water bottles, T-shirts, mousepads, etc.
What is the Idea of Sublimation Printing?
The process of printing designs on various items or materials using ink and heat is known as sublimation. It is a cost-effective way of converting solid ink to gas without having to go through the liquid state, and it provides the benefits of customized products with ease. This speedy and effective printing technology is gaining popularity for smaller batch orders and designs that rely on details. It’s nearly like getting a tattoo, except it’s for your selected product instead of your skin. The outcome is a full-color, permanent image that will not break, peel, or wash away from the blank.
Sublimation Printing Process:
The good thing is that sublimation technology does not necessitate a lot of preparation. You only need a few items to get your sublimation printing business up and running. Heat-press machines, sublimation printers, sublimation transfer papers, sublimation blanks, parchment papers, Dye-sublimation ink, heat tape, and thermal gloves are among the supplies needed for sublimation printing. Depending on the material you intend to sublimate, one or two products may differ.
The professional sublimation transfer technique will make this developing process more accessible to you. So, Let’s get started without further ado.
How does sublimation printing work, and What is it?
As the name implies, sublimation printing begins with the transfer paper being printed with your chosen pattern or image. It may be printed using any sublimation printer. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to printing your transfer. Simply get the best sublimation printer and begin your fantastic sublimation printing journey.
Some things to remember before printing your design:
- Before printing, flip or mirror your image.
- Make sure your design’s dimensions are compatible with your sublimation blank.
Having RIP software installed can give you a substantial advantage over the competition. Raster Image Processor Software (RIP) is designed to quickly and accurately convert digital images into print-ready files. RIP software also includes color management techniques and the ability to process and print multiple files at once. As a result, you won’t have to wait for custom designs and can get the most out of your sublimation printer.
After you’ve printed your design, it’s time to start trimming. Pre-heat your heat press to 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the meantime. Then cut the transfer’s excess and modify its size to fit your fabric or blank. Use hot tape to apply the design to the blank with a better grip. Make sure there are no bumps or spaces in the transfer. Place your substrate in the heat-press or mug press (if it’s a sublimation mug) and press it for the set time and pressure. When the substrate and ink have been brought together, the ink will be embedded into the material, making it a permanent design that will not fade away or wash out. The paper can then be gently removed from the shirt or mug after the press has been released or whatever object you have used.
Although most commonly used for sublimation printing t-shirts, the method may also be used on ceramic, wood, stainless steel, and metals with a specific coating to accept the print.
Pros and Cons of sublimation printing:
Sublimation vs. Digital Printing:
- Only polyester is suitable for sublimation printing.
- Heat is used in sublimation transfer printing.
- Sublimation is used to create durable, high-quality designs.
- A design can be printed on polyester, silk, or cotton, using digital printing,
- Digital printing does not require heat to print onto the material.
- Digital printing produces graphics that aren’t entirely absorbed by the paper utilized, resulting in color breaks and is not durable.
Sublimation vs. Heat Transfer:
- Only the ink transfers to the material in sublimation printing.
- Sublimation is usually less expensive than heat transfer, and the outcome is more colorful, beautiful, and durable.
- The sublimation pattern is thoroughly infused into the fibers or material you are printing on; it will not fade or crack over time.
- During the heat transfer process, there is usually a transfer layer transferred to the material.
- Heat transfer is less expensive and can be used on wider fabrics, but the outcome will not be as vibrant and beautiful as sublimation.
- Prints from the heat transfer method are not much durable, and they can crack or fade over time.
Sublimation printing vs. Screen Printing;
- A sublimation transfer paper and heat press are used to infuse the sublimation ink into the material according to the printed design.
- Sublimation is a considered a bit more expensive than screen printing because it requires sublimation printers and a heat press to proceed.
- Dye-sublimation printing allows for more imaginative and vibrant designs.
- Sublimation can only be done on polyester or poly-coated goods.
- The range of materials printed in sublimation is substantially more extensive.
- A mesh stencil is used to press ink onto the fabric during the screen-printing process.
- Screen printing is not expensive, but it does necessitate a new stencil for each pattern and color.
- Because it’s a stencil, the graphics are usually kept simple with few colors.
- Screen printing can be done on any flat surface.
- There are a limited number of materials on which we can print using screen printing.
Sublimation printing is a one-of-the-premium option for individuals looking to produce full-color, high-quality images on garments and other materials. It is one of the most cost-effective printing methods since, if you already own a computer, you can spend it on a sublimation printer that links via wireless networking. Then you only need to buy inks and transfer paper. Sublimation is one of the most critical processes for all-over printing, and it excels at tiny lines and details. It’s ideal for small runs because of the minimal setup costs, and the printing is so near to permanent that it’s practically unbeatable.