What is sublimation
The sublimation printing process, in the digital printing sector, is the transformation that the inks undergo when, upon coming into contact with heat, they transform into gas (sublimate) and join in a stable manner to the polyester surface. We provide the service of sublimation printing in Dallas so lets explain it in details.
Sublimation printing can be indirect, in which case a special sublimation paper is printed with an inkjet printer equipped with sublimation inks. The ink received from the paper is transferred to the surface to be decorated with a press, which reaches a temperature and pressure suitable for the object to be printed.
Or we can find direct sublimation printing, but in this case only polyester-based fabrics can be processed. Here the ink is applied directly to the fabric and fixed by passing the fabric through a calender.
Sublimation printing is largely used for printing on polyester fabric, pre-treated polyester and nylon based materials, to create many applications for visual communication, interior decoration, objects, sports, fashion and ready-to-wear clothing. fashion, but with due care it is also possible to print garments with mixed fabrics where the percentage of polyester must not be less than 60-65%
How sublimation happens
Technically, sublimation occurs when the ink, thanks to the temperature and pressure given through a dedicated press, passes directly from the solid to the gaseous state, instantly, and is transferred to the fabric which absorbs the color into its fibres.
Sublimation, as we have said, is possible on polyester materials, or treated with a finish, or polyester coating, which at 170° loosens its molecular structure, allowing the dye to combine with the material permanently and to be resistant to scratches, stress or color decay. The final result allows you to have a surface or fabric without any relief or thickness, washable and which, in the case of printing on textiles, preserves the material’s own texture.
Other points in favor of sublimation printing are the incredible print quality and the decidedly extended color rendering with colors that are often difficult to obtain with other technologies.
What does it take to start a business with sublimation printing
To start a sublimation printing laboratory safely and easily, you need the right equipment which for simplicity I list below:
- Printer or plotter dedicated to sublimation
- Sublimation inks
- Print rip
- Sublimation paper
- Heat press or calender for sublimation (depending on the work you want to create)
- Cup press
What can be achieved with sublimation?
There are various areas in which sublimation allows you to have an excellent return in terms of business. Let’s see a nice overview right away:
With a sublimation printer with transfer paper and one or more presses, you can easily create your own sublimation gadgets: mugs, pillows, mouse mats, cell phone covers and much more available from many suppliers of pre-treated sublimation gadgets, therefore ready for press.
This strange term refers to the printing of light fabrics usually used for setting up sets or fairs and conferences. Not only that, with the use of dedicated structures and frames you can also create backlit prints to set up shops, stores and points of sale in general.
Thanks to this technology, interior decoration can be pushed into the creation from scratch, on-demand of curtains, tablecloths, sofas, armchairs and furniture coverings in general.
Do you know the uniforms of footballers, cyclists and basketball players? They are all made in sublimation printing.
Fashion and Sea
Clothing applications are not limited to technical clothing alone, the flexibility and color range of sublimation printing go well with the fashion need for bright colors and very high print quality. The guarantee of resistance to washing that sublimation printing can provide is difficult to achieve with other technologies.
However, fashion does not only end on the catwalk, some of our customers have shown us how extremely easy it is to create products for the sea such as personalized swimsuits and towels.
In short, the applications and related business possibilities are truly countless, and they easily open up new market niches by diversifying applications with a single printing technology. But is everything really that simple? Yes if you pay attention to some fundamental aspects.
What do you have to pay attention to?
In practice, to start a business without problems you must take the list above and opt for quality products.
First of all the printing machine , in the past the small format printing sector was not structured and for sublimation printing modified machines were often used, which over time caused many maintenance problems. Fortunately, today that chapter has closed and there are machines dedicated to small formats too
You can see all our sublimation offers on this page
Then there are the inks , the original inks, or in any case high quality inks that allow you to obtain a lively and brilliant color, great durability over time and washing and do not clog the heads of your plotter.
The Print RIP allows you to better manage your prints, with advanced color management possibilities and with less ink waste. Furthermore, the RIP allows you to repeat the job exactly with an exact color for each future print run, this translates into reliability for your customers.
Sublimation paper, which is simply the support on which the ink is deposited before being coupled to the material to be decorated. Sublimation papers differ in weight and quantity of coating and other characteristics. If you don’t know which one to choose for your products, you can rely on us for advice on the most suitable one for your work.
The heat press , this is a crucial point and choosing the right press can make a huge difference. To have a fabric or gadget sublimated to perfection, without chromatic differences on the surface, the press must have the same pressure capacity across the entire surface and maintain a uniform temperature across the entire surface.
In the vast market of heat presses, the right choice of the most suitable press or calender is inherent to your business needs, and obviously we can also follow you in this choice phase.
If you are interested in receiving further information or want to resolve any doubts regarding sublimation printing, write to us immediately.