What is Sublimation Printing – Pros & Cons: Clothing Study

What is Sublimation Printing - Clothing Study

What is Sublimation Printing – Pros & Cons: Clothing Study

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If you’re trying to find a good quality print on your clothes then you ought to use Sublimation Printing. It gives a smooth hand feels compared to other printing because it gets set within the material. We have sorted out different questions on sublimation printing and during this clothing study, we will answer you about what sublimation printing is, how to do it, & what are factors ought to consider during this printing.

What is Sublimation Printing

What is Heat Transfer

Step 1 Print a design onto a transparent heat transfer paper
Step 2 Transfer that to an adhesive paper employing a heat press machine
Step 3 Place that style on fabric employing a heat press. They are often used on 100% cotton or cotton blend, metal, ceramic, wood.

What is Sublimation Printing

The process is nearly the same as heat transfer but it’s about science how it works. When paper is heated via a heat press machine, the toner of the paper turns from a solid-state to a gas state and embeds on the material. When it cools, it goes back to solid and you won’t feel any additional layer on top of the material. It gives a smooth hand feels on the fabric because it had been before printing. Also, it allows to wash more than heat transfer printing. But it’s recommended to use in 100% polyester fabric.

What is a Sublimation Printer

Sublimation Printer, also referred to as Subli printers usually work with water-insoluble disperse dyes (i.e. viscous dyes). These printers have the consistency and temperature sensitivity of the ink. Regular inkjet printers print with special water-based inks. To avoid contamination of the print heads and tubes you ought to not change from normal and special inks.

Read all the instructions given in the manual of the sublimation printer to know How to Use a Sublimation Printer for T-shirts.

Which materials are often printed with sublimation

The ideal material of sublimation print is polyester. The polyester content should be at least 80% to ensure optimum performance of sublimation printers. If other materials like cotton shirts, ceramic mugs, or metal plates are used, they have to be coated with polyester because the paint has got to penetrate sufficiently to get a clean look. In these materials, paint cannot penetrate properly. Also, materials like cotton can burn in heat.
On the other hand, Polyester helps to enter dye gas because it starts to melt at heat and open pores of the material. It’s recommended to use white or light-colored background but dyed polyester textiles can also only be printed in black.

What do I Need for Sublimation Printing

Following items are needed for Sublimation Printing

  • Sublimation printer,
  • Sublimation ink,
  • Sublimation Paper
  • Sublimation blanks, like blank t-shirt, mug, etc., and
  • Heat press machine for sublimation
  • You can use software like adobe for designing purpose

You can read our article about Best Heat Press Machine for Beginners.

How to do Sublimation Printing

The most common use of sublimation printing we can see in printing t-shirts. That’s why we are giving you the steps of sublimation printing on t-shirts. For other items, follow the same steps.

Step 1: Create a design
Step 2: Mirror that design and print Sublimation paper via Sublimation printer
Step 3: Place on your t-shirt properly
Step 4: Heat press sublimation paper onto the t-shirt by heat press machine. Read carefully the pressing time and temperature requirement of heat mentioned in the instruction of sublimation paper
Step 5: After completing, remove the transfer paper

Sublimation vs. Vinyl

Heat Transfer Vinyl is a vinyl polymer, which used to decorate fabric and other materials by attached to a heat press machine. They are usually available in solid color but can get different in different designs and patterns also. The key difference between HTV Printing & Sublimation printing is, Vinyl is placed on the garment with a heat press but in Sublimation printing, ink is turned into gas form and embeds in the material. Sublimation printing is of good quality considering hand feel and durability. So if you have the budget then for Sublimation Printing.

Can you Print Sublimation on Cotton?

We would recommend you not use cotton fabric for Sublimation Printing. Polyester can penetrate sublimation ink properly which cotton does not have. So try to avoid cotton fabrics of Sublimation printing as you are not getting the best output.

Pros of Sublimation Printing

Here are some key advantages of Sublimation printing –

  • It is one of the few methods by which you can print a full-colored image onto a hard surface
  • Easy to do
  • Add additional colors to the design without adding cost
  • No Minimum order qty is required
  • The lead time of sublimation print is low
  • Color longevity is higher than other printing methods
  • Gives a smooth hand feel on the surface

Cons of Sublimation Printing

Here are some key disadvantages of Sublimation printing –

  • Material needs to have at least 80% of Polyester or polyester coated
  • Not suitable for cotton
  • Cannot print onto the dark or black colored surface. It needs to be white or bright
  • Colors are expensive
  • Sublimation printer need to run regularly to avoid clogging

Final Words

We can come to a conclusion that, if you have a budget and material that supports Sublimation Printing then do not hesitate to go for that. It will give you a fine finish on your garment which can change the outlook of that.

In this article, we have discussed only the basic definition and process for entrepreneurs who want to start a business from home. For industrial purposes, some other steps and checkpoints need to be added to run production smoothly.

If you need to know more about Sublimation Printing then please email us or write in the below comment.

Don’t forget to read our articles about Embroidery and Quilting also.

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