The final word information to sublimation printing

by | Mar 17, 2021 | car wraps, digital printing

Syndicated by One Source Media, Queens, New York

Are you looking for durable print products with premium colors and HD quality? The best displays for graphic clothing, home decor, and advertising? Use the dye sublimation design for realistic, long-lasting graphics. Here we look at what sublimation printing is related to and what you need to know about this technology, including its pros and cons.

Understand sublimation printing

Sublimation printing refers to digital printing technology. The computer-aided design is carried out directly on the fabric using distinctive transfer paper. The designs are printed on a sheet of paper.

Then they print the motif onto the fabric with the help of the hot press using the movable paper. Currently, designers love to create stylish and long-lasting designs. Because of this, they often use PC software to create cool designs. The program helps a lot in creating high quality designs that won’t fade in a wide variety of colors.

How does sublimation printing work?

Sublimation printing refers to dye sublimation on canvas. The process uses CMYO (cyan, magenta, yellow and black inkjet). Therefore, the CMYO cartridge is set to a significant overprint before printing. Once set up, the CMYO printer designs the dye on sublimation transfer paper, which is paper that accepts specially treated dye.

The next step is to transfer the print from the paper to the fabric. The paper “sticks” to the substrate, the fabric that is being printed. Polyester fabric is the most preferred in this case because of its unbeatable compatibility with textile dyes and sublimation printing technology.

Please note that while polyester is a much better choice, you can use any other polymer fabric.

Once the paper and fabric are “married”, the next step is to put the composition in a compressor. This device generally contains rollers that are heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The fabric and paper are fed through hot rollers at low speeds. As it enters the cylinders, pressure and heat enlarge the polymer fibers and convert the ink to gas.

The gas (ink gas) is then poured into the small openings in the material. At the same time, the fabric is cooled down and the openings close again. Pressure, heat and cooling transfer the dye to the openings in the material, creating a continuous color.

What you will need during the process

The following important tools are required for an efficient and successful sublimation printing process.

1. Sublimation printer

You need this specialty printer to create unique and long-lasting designs for clothing and other materials. Fortunately, unlike a few years ago, sublimation printers are now available in a variety of styles.

2. Sublimation paper

Once you have the sheet, all you need to do is customize the design on your computer and then transfer it to sublimation paper (transfer paper) using a sublimation printer. You can then use pressure and heat to transfer this design from the sheet to your canvas.

3. Computer and design program

Computer and design programs form the basis of sublimation printing. In fact, it would be best if you had a high-end PC with well-coordinated design software.

A computer and design program helps a lot with sublimation printing.

4. Cutting equipment

It can be a simple knife or a rotating blade for smaller homemade rounds. It can be an X / Y flat digital cutter or a table cutter for large business operations.

5. Hot press equipment

Heat press systems generate heat of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit during the entire sublimation process.

The printing machine causes transfer paper and ink to become gaseous and seep through the pores of the fabric.

6. Transparent ink

This ink can change from solid to gaseous without the aid of the liquid phase.

It is important to apply this type of ink as it can only permanently penetrate the polymer fibers and stain the fabric if it turns into a gas.

Material variants that can be printed with sublimation printing technology

Sublimation printing is used on several types of polymer or polymer-coated devices. The type of substance to be used is subject to strict restrictions. However, for non-textile materials, it is possible to print several types of materials including:

  • Wood
  • aluminum
  • Ceramics
  • plastic
  • vinyl
  • Glass
  • nylon


Sublimation technology is undoubtedly huge, making it one of the most widely used digital printing techniques in the printing industry.

The advantages are as follows:

  • Reduced delivery times
  • Easy printing
  • Enables the full color spectrum
  • Easy to customize
  • Allows color images
  • Profitable


Like everything, there can be imperfections and no exception in sublimation printing.

Some of the disadvantages of sublimation printing technology are:

Very expensive

The inks and machines required for sublimation printing are very expensive. Often these costs are included in the price of sublimated products.

Insufficient material that can be printed

Sublimation printing is generally not performed on any material.

You should formulate the materials to be printed to make the process more efficient.

Restriction of the colors on the printed matter

With sublimation printing, the material should be white or light. This is because sublimation uses dyes that mix with the fabric. As a result, sublimation printing may not be perfect for darker prints.

Difficulty handling colors in sublimation printers

The sublimation process gives you access to a full spectrum of colors. However, these colors and printer management are difficult to manage. To do this, you need advanced equipment (with power controls) and expertise.

White fold

If not done correctly, sublimation printing can leave white wrinkles on your fabric. So it is very important to ensure that your design reaches every point on the garment that needs to be printed.

Also, make sure that no part of your garment folds during the printing process. To avoid white wrinkles in your clothes, you also need to make sure that there is no moisture on the transfer sheet.


If you need digital printing services, sublimation printing is your best choice. Everything you need to know about sublimation printing is discussed above. Including the tools you will need, the pros and cons.

What do you think of sublimation printing? Have you done it or do you want to try it out? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook or MeWe.

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