Understanding how sublimation printing works
If you've ever wondered what this strange-looking word actually means — then wonder no more.
No, it isn't an underwater warship or on-screen translations that help you understand a foreign film; it's a high-tech printing process used mostly for print on demand apparel. Today we're going to pick it apart — we'll cover what it is, how it works, discuss the pros and cons, when to use it — and when not to.
What is sublimation?
Let's start with the broad strokes. What exactly is sublimation?
In simple terms, it's a method of printing that transfers a design into a material or fabric using ink and heat.
In the world of apparel, it's a game changer in that it allows whole garment prints — designs that go seam-to-seam.
The sublimation printing process
So how does sublimation work? Well, sublimation printing uses heat to essentially bring ink and fabric together as one.
First, a design is printed onto special paper. The inks that are used turn into gas when brought under heat, then combine with the fabric and permanently print onto the fabric. The effects are permanent and less prone to fading, as the ink is embedded in the fabric or substrate rather than simply laying on top like a normal print.
The process is almost like a tattoo, but instead of for your skin, it's for your chosen product. The heat opens up the pores of the fabric, then with the applied pressure the ink cools and returns to a solid form.
The result is a permanent, full colour image that won't crack, peel or wash away from the substrate. The process allows the ink to go from a solid to a gas without turning to liquid, a bit like dry ice. The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled by pressure.
This quick and effective digital print method is growing in popularity for smaller batch orders and those designs that rely on the details. Sublimation printing is also known as ‘all over printing' as it allows you to choose a design that can literally go from seam to seam.
The sublimation printer of Po-try can be carefully designed to provide reliability and high quality. It is known for its fastest printer speed in the market. With the expansion of the three ink configurations, it provides the ability to achieve specific enterprises, making it unique products, and will provide color schemes for high end dye fabric factories.
Po-try is a global technical leader. Its efficient, compact and accurate innovation philosophy enriched life and helped create a better world. The company focuses on solving social problems through family and office printing, business and industrial printing, manufacturing, visual and lifestyle innovation. Our goal is to achieve carbon peaks and carbon neutrality by 2050.