What Is Sublimation Printing and How Does it Work?

A thoughtful present with a memorable picture on a coffee mug, a special moment snap on a cuddling cushion, or just a simple motivational phrase on a Pen flicks your emotions. Sublimation printing is a way to get impressions on different media using Sublimation Printers. At this position, you must be pondering about What Sublimation Printing is and how it Work?. Here is all you must know about sublimation printing.

What is Sublimation Printing?

Technically defining, sublimation is a process of transferring a solid into a gaseous state, surpassing the liquid state of matter. Sublimation printing uses the same technique to imprint design on versatile materials like ceramic, polyester fabric, metal, or plastics. However, there is a range of different procedures for distinctive printings.

The basic methodology is to print the design using sublimation ink and specially featured sublimation printers on Sublimation sheets. Later on, using heat presses sublimation sheets to act as a middle medium and transfer the design on the required printing media. Here are few factors that are involved in the process of sublimation printing.

Sublimation Printers

The primary requirement of sublimation printing is a selection of compatible sublimation printers. All printers are not suitable for sublimation printing, and therefore find the one that meets your printing requirement. Some are good for fabric printings others are compatible with ceramic mugs, and some use sublimation sheets. SO, choose the one that meets your job requirement. Evaluate their cost per print, ease of use, and printing and scanning pace.

Heat Presses

All sublimation printer can not transfer the graphics on the printing media directly but needs special heat presses that transfer the print from sublimation sheet on to the printing media like t-shirts, mugs and other mediums. There is a range of heat presses available in the market, from budget-friendly to bulk handling machines. So you can prefer the one that satisfies your business requirements.

Sublimation Ink

Sublimation ink is necessary for the quality sublimation process. Sublimation printing is not possible with ordinary ink-jet printing cartridges. The sublimation ink sublimates from a solid state to an aeriform state, ricocheting the liquid state. High temperature and controlled pressure from the Sublimation printer allow HD prints on the printing media. The sublimation ink is vital for durable, quality, and precise impressions on fabric, sheets, or ceramics.

Sublimation Sheets

Polyester is a compatible fabric for sublimation printing, but transferring graphics on cotton and other material requires intermediate materials. The intermediate material is a special paper called sublimation sheets. The paper is treated with special coatings that allow it to hold dye sublimation ink. Later, using heat presses, their sublimation sheets transfer the design to the required printing media.

Sublimation Procedure

Sublimation printers use ink and sublimation sheets to transfer a desired design or graphics on the intermediate sublimation sheets. Some sublimation printers directly transfer the design on the required material like photos or ceramic mugs. But for cotton and polyester mix printing, a sublimation sheet is an essential medium.

Later, the Heat presses sublimate the sheet graphics on the final and required printing medium; ironing or hot blow dryings are also used to sublimate with heat presses. The heat opens the pores of the material and makes enough apace for the molecules of printing ink. When accommodating into the printing media, the gaseous state of the ink becomes a permanent part of fabric or ceramic. 

The sublimation prints are therefore quick and need no drying out time. Moreover, the designs are durable and crack-free as it becomes a permanent part of the material. Shirts imprinted with sublimation technique can withstand washing machine wash without fading colors or craking the designs.

Final Words

Sublimation printing allows a modern style of digital printing using HD printing materials. Besides being the quickest form of printing, it is economical and allows freedom of designs selection over versatile mediums.

Also Read:

Best Sublimation Paper

Best Sublimation Ink

Leave a Comment