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What is sublimation?

What is sublimation printing

1. What is Sublimation?

Many people ask“What is sublimation printing and why choose to sublimate”. Sublimation, in physics, is conversion of a substance from the solid to the gaseous state without its becoming liquid. 

Sublimation printing, also known as dye sublimation printing, is a printing technique that involves applying a heat press to a sheet of transfer paper that has been printed with special solidified inks. Once heated, these solidified inks become vaporized into a gas. The gas then permeates the fibers of polyester textiles or other hard materials such as wood, metal, plastic, etc, creating a perfect graphic. 

Sublimation is a total game-changer which provides small business more possibilities and opportunities with the lowest start-up cost. A wide selection of printable items are available, and all you need are printed sublimation paper and heat press. Not to mention how easy to finish the process with a simple press and open.

2. How Does Sublimation Work?

In general, there are 6 steps in the printing process.

  1. Set your heat press settings
  2. Arrange your shirt.
  3. Pre-press your shirt.
  4. Locate your transfer on the shirt.
  5. Close the heat press to apply.
  6. Peel the sublimation paper.
How does sublimation printing work?

 3. Printable Materials & Unprintable Materials

Theoretically, anything may be printed using sublimation as long as it is heat resistant enough and coated with a polymer (usually polyester). The surface that will be printed on must also be light or white. The colors can only be displayed in this way for greatest effect.

Sublimation printing does not work on natural textiles like cotton because the vaporized ink can pass through the garment fibers without bonding to them.

4. PROS

  • High definition printing effect
  • Perfect for small & medium qty from 1 piece!
  • Printed textile is washable and fade resistant
  • Print image on the shirt can not be felt
  • A wide selection of printable items
  • No upfront costs for film or screen set-up
  • Low investment for initial equipment

 5. What You Need

You will require a graphics, a sublimation printer, sublimation ink, sublimation paper, a heat press, accessories, and, of course, sublimation blanks. The type of heat press is a flat press, a mug press or a cup press, depending on the items you wish to sublimate.

To learn more information, please click to check our full collection of sublimation blanks and heat press product lines.

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