Sublimation Printing

Thursday 24 October, 2019



Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printing is the application of sublimation inks onto a surface using a heat press to provide the required combination of heat, time and pressure. This combination causes the inks to be converted from a solid to a gaseous state enabling them to penetrate the sublimatable surface so that a permanent, full colour image is formed. The colour penetrates the surface of the item so that the result is colourful, long lasting and resistant to scratching unlike some other printing methods that merely print onto the surface of the item.



Cotton fabric and garments cannot be printed on by sublimation - because dye sublimation printing is always done on polyester, polymer, or polymer coated items for the reasons mentioned above. It is possible to sublimation print a cotton fabric but the image will wash out within a few washes, it will not be a permanent image in the way that it is on a 'man made' fabric.



Also unsuitable are other items that have a polyester/polymer coating but are unable to withstand the temperatures required for dye sublimation printing.



The advantage of sublimation printing is that the results are permanent. The transferred images are not on the surface of the substrate - they become part of the substrate itself.