Types of sublimation printing(2)

Types of sublimation printing(2)

dye sublimation printing

Application of sublimation print

Sublimation print is widely used on polyester, satin andsome other synthetic fibres. The sublimation dye actually penetrates the fibres and becomes part of the fabric.And nothing is felt! The high temperature during theprinting also opens the pores of the polymer and allowsthe gas to enter. When the item is removed from theheat press, the temperature drops, the pores closesublimation process produces permanent images thatwill not crack or fade. It has now becomea part of the polymer. Sublimation print cannot bewashed out or come off, unless the actual fibres orcoating is damaged. This is why sublimation can't bedone on natural materials, like 100 per cent cotton.Natural fibres and non-coated materials have no "pores"to open and so the dye just sits on top of the fabric.Further, sublimation print is done on white substrates.The reason for this is because the inks are actuallytransparent, when sublimated, and need a backgroundto show up. White is the ideal background because itdoes not clash with the colours. Indeed, the whitebackground actually enhances the colours.

dye sublimation printing

Comparison with screen printing

Dye-sublimation print on polyester material does notaffect the hand of the material and is more desirable than screen printing for home furnishing and wallpaper fabrics and the apparel industry. The colours are veryvibrant, do not wash out and the process is less messythan screen printing, which requires messy solventsand dyes.Sublimation is also very popular with sportswear manufacturers as many printed uniforms (cyclewear,soccer, basketball and lacrosse) on the market todayare done via sublimation. Unlike screen printing,where the ink lays on top of the garment, the sublimation process produces permanent images that will not crack or fade. Also, sublimation infuses theimage into the thread of the fabric so that it does notaffect the breathability of the garment. Most athletesprefer sublimated jerseys versus screen printing jerseys. Screen printing leaves a layer on top of thegarment, which affects breathability and the comfortof the athlete.Dye-sublimation is also cost efficient and very popularfor short-run customisation of fabrics. Special logos,pictures and designs can easily be created or scannedinto the computer. Transfer paper can be generatedand custom prints finished in a matter of minutes asopposed to screen printing, which requires lengthytime for preparation of the stencil and assembly ofthe mesh fabric.Conclusion:With the new generation of wide-format digitalprinters and the expanding variety of speciality mediadesigned for printing, the creative possibilities forproducing applications using dye sublimation areendless. Prior to these technological advancements,entering the dye sublimation market required aconsiderable investment of time and money, but nowit is often favoured as a less expensive alternative toother printing methods

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