What is Sublimation Printing?
by Mashum Mollah Enterprise 05 July 2017
Good news for budding photographers: printing technology is finally catching up to the pictures you can take. Dye sublimation printing allows for the printing of images on fabric with the same quality one would get from a photo lab. Dye sublimation printers use heat to transfer images instead of ink dots, so they allow for smoother colors and more subtle shading than traditional printers.
To put it as simple as possible, the important thing to remember is that the quality of the print job would simply be a lot higher than with other opportunities available on the market. Here’s what you need to know about this exciting technology, information that is particularly important for some businesses.
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What Is Sublimation?
High school chemistry was a long time ago, but you may remember your teacher telling you about sublimation. For those who need a refresher course, sublimation is when a solid substance turns directly into a gas without becoming a liquid first. Imagine tossing an ice cube on a hot stovetop, and you will have some idea of what the process looks like since the cube automatically transforms into vapor, not into water.
How Does Sublimation Aid Printing?
In sublimation printing, the dye used for printing images is sublimated and then injected directly into the fabric. This makes for a clean, smooth image without any of the buckling that sometimes happens when printing. The main difference between standard printing a dye sublimation printing is the gradual shading between colors. Standard printing is laid down in pixels which can result in sharp or boxy lines where colors change. Sublimation printing smooths out the transitions between colors for a much more natural print job.
This type of printing lets you print photo lab quality images on tee-shorts, tote bags, and other items. Anything made of polyester or poly-blend fabric is fair game for sublimation printing. Most people did buy a t-shirt or something similar that was printed through regular technology used in the past. Sublimation is quite different and makes the graphic simply stand out as a part of the material. It is quite realistic and you would appreciate it much more, especially since the price is not that high.
Getting a Sublimation Printer
Sublimation printers are not cheap, but they are affordable for mid-sized businesses and serious clothing designers. In fact, they are the most likely clients for the manufacturers since we do not regularly want to print fabrics at home.
This technology is still relatively new, but rapidly becoming more affordable for more print shops and other clothing manufacturers. Some of the large brands already made the switch simply because of the quality factor. Although the printed materials would cost more, even customers appreciate the results more.
Dye sublimation printers are ideal for people who design their own clothing or companies that regularly print uniforms or other items. Finding such a printer is not at all difficult since you just have to locate the closer supplier that offers such devices. Paying more as an initial investment is normally recommended for businesses since shoppers are becoming smarter every single year, more willing to invest their money into fabrics of a higher quality that would last for a longer time.