Dye Sublimation – Best Process for Quality and Longevity

As we know that technology constantly improves, it is no surprise that digital printing is replacing traditional methods in different divisions of the graphics industry. There are a number of reasons for this shift, but the main drivers are the cost-efficiency, possibility to personalise prints and the flexibility of these machines. Personalised prints are becoming […]

As we know that technology constantly improves, it is no surprise that digital printing is replacing traditional methods in different divisions of the graphics industry. There are a number of reasons for this shift, but the main drivers are the cost-efficiency, possibility to personalise prints and the flexibility of these machines. Personalised prints are becoming very popular nowadays, which is why the digital alternatives have become an ideal solution over traditional printing methods. You can get personalised coffee mugs, keyrings, t-shirts and much more. They also make great gifts for loved ones whether it is a birthday gift, Christmas gift or any other type of gift from Dye Sublimation.

We can’t argue that every project is different, and when it comes to making a decision on which type of printing process to choose, designers must take into consideration the quality of the end product and volume they desire. Not only is quality a factor for the final decision, but budget and timeframe also needs to be taken into consideration. Two main forms of commercial printing are digital and traditional printing, both, of course, have their pros and cons. However, you can’t disagree that digital printing is much more efficient and can print out larger volumes of items in less amount of time compared to traditional methods.

Digital printing is the process of directly printing onto one of many surfaces after starting from a digitally-based image. Typically, digital printing involves a number of minor edition jobs from digital sources such as computer publishing. These are then printed through high volume or large format inkjet and laser printers. Digital printing is usually more expensive on a per-page basis than traditional offset printing methods. This is also no different in the textile printing business where traditional screen-printing has been replaced by digital textile printing solutions such as dye sublimation printing.

Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation printing. You may not have heard of this process before but it is the process of applying a heat sensitive ink to the object which, as a result, dyes the object. This type of printing allows for shorter production runs and prints that need multiple colours and photographic imagery. Dye sublimation printing is a relatively superior method of printing. It uses an advanced scientific method to produce higher quality images than any other type of printing systems.

How sublimation works on fabric

Dye sublimation is an excellent and attractive printing option for textiles as well as printing on hard surface products. The standard process requires the ink to be turned into a solid gas which then becomes absorbed into the object being printed. With fabric, the transfer sublimation paper is used as a go-between. The transfer paper is a special type of paper that is able to accept dyes. Cyan, magenta, yellow, overprint clear (CMYO) dye cartridges are used. These specific type of cartridges also allows the dye to become a part of the fabric, as opposed to just covering the fabric.

The transfer paper is then applied to the fabric and heat is applied which is usually done by feeding the fabric through heated roller that also applies pressure to the fabric. Through this process, the fabric’s cells expand and the dye is converted into a gaseous state and is absorbed. Once the fabric cools down, the cells then close up and the ink is trapped, resulting in making the print permanent. Pretty fascinating stuff!

Dye sublimation is actually a very simple and easy process. All you need to do is:

  • Prepare: design your artwork on a computer
  • Print: print out the artwork onto dye sublimation paper using dye sublimation ink
  • Use a heat press to transfer the image onto your object

What can you print with dye sublimation?

You may ask, what objects can you actually print using this type of method? You can use the dye sublimation printing method on anything that is flat, white or has light colours and is either polyester coated or made of polyester fabric. You can even print on mugs if you have a mug press or a mug wrap with an oven. Some items that can be printed with dye sublimation are:

  • Ceramic mugs
  • Coasters
  • Name badges
  • Polyester shirts
  • Mousepads
  • Plaques
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Magnets

There are many more items that you can print on with dye sublimation. This process is perfect for fabric and many businesses use sublimation printing for fabric banners. There are also many advantages that come with this form of printing.

Why choose sublimation?

One of the main advantages of dye sublimation is that it doesn’t rely on the traditional printing technique of laying down colours as individual dots. Traditional methods of printing sometimes leave the image less realistic. The unique dye sublimation printing applies ink to the page results in a high-quality image.

For fabrics, dye sublimation is commonly seen as a better option than inkjet printing. It creates a finished product that is far more durable than a product simply printed with an inkjet printer. When printing onto fabrics, the ink becomes part of the structure of the material. This ensures that the images on the fabric won’t fade or crack, regardless after multiple washes. It also more visually appealing where the process involves a continuous tone output in printing. It creates a brighter and smoother colour transition. With a more superior look and sleeker finish, it’s a no-brainer why dye sublimation has become a popular printing method.

Another advantage of this sublimation is that the designs can be fully customisable. No matter what your design is. Use an existing image or completely design your artwork from scratch. With this method, you have the ability to personalise your designs to your own liking!

Some other advantages of this method of printing are:

  • One of the very few methods that can print full coloured images onto hard surfaces
  • Cost-effective and can print in large volumes
  • Thousands of colours can be produced with sublimation printing

With advantages comes the disadvantages. Even though sublimation is a great method of printing, it does have its downfalls. However, there are actually few disadvantages to dye sublimation printing fabrics. The biggest issue with this method is that the process is slower than inkjet printing (however, still faster than traditional printing methods). This is because there are more processes that require additional labour which not only slows the process but also can cause the price to be a little higher when compared to other processes.

Overall when you weigh out the advantages over the disadvantages, dye sublimation is still a superior method. With a greater result on the end product, quality is definitely a benefit. With a high quality and durable end product, you will be more than happy with a print that is permanently embedded ensuring longevity.

Dyenamic Sublimation

If you’re looking for customised sport designed shirts, Dyenamic Sublimation has the perfect solution for you. We are the industry leading supplier and manufacturer of
custom jerseys in Australia. We specialise in offering custom solutions to bring your designs to life and we offer a wide range of materials for almost every sporting type!

Here is a list of some of the custom garments we offer:

  • AFL
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Fishing
  • Soccer
  • Corporate
  • Netball
  • Sailing
  • And much more!

We use dye sublimation printing to ensure quality and long lasting prints. Whether you want to customise a design or have our team of in-house designers to bring your idea to life, we will be more than happy to help! Our printers are more than capable of printing any colour you want!

Our process

All our garments go through a rigorous size stage process in order to achieve the impeccable finish we are known for. Whatever your custom design needs are, our team will cater to your specific requirements. We take orders of all shapes and sizes. Our process includes:

1. Art preparation
2. Printing
3. Cutting
4. Heat press
5. Sewing
6. Final touches

Once our designers have finished the desired artwork and it has been approved, we move onto the next process of printing the artwork onto dye sublimating paper sourced from Switzerland. Our state of the art printers is manufactured in Italy with super high speed compared to traditional, old dye sublimating printers. We print your order accurately and efficiently to meet the deadline. After printing the artwork, we cut your order to the right shape and size which then moves onto the heat press stage. The printed sublimation paper and fabric panels come together where the print is them embedded into the material of the jerseys. After sewing the garments together and adding the final touches, your custom made jersey order it ready to go! Not only does Dyenamic Sublimation offer custom dye sublimation printing, but we also offer embroidery services.

All in all, dye sublimation is an efficient and cost-effective method that guarantees high-quality printing. It is no wonder why it has become an attractive printing method now more commonly used in more and more businesses. With all the advantages over traditional forms of printing, it’s obvious why dye sublimation has become popular among digital decorators!