Sublimation Printing – What is it?

Digital printing is a great substitute for traditional print. Over the last few years, the graphic printing and the textile printing industries have adopted digital printing methods.The primary reasons behind the progression to digital printing are the opportunities of personalised printing, cost-efficiency, and flexibility of the machines.

The textile printing industry is replacing their traditional screen-printing technique with digital textile printing methods too. Sublimation printing is an ideal digital alternative that offers multiple colour printing, photographic imagery and personalised printing possibilities.

What is sublimation printing?

Also known as “dye- sub” and “dye sublimation print”, sublimation printing is a flexible digital printing method that helps textile designers with creativity and production output. The sublimation printing process is carried out by transferring the sublimation dyes to a medium which has a specially designed inkjet printer. After transferring the dye to the medium, they are then transferred to a heated object or cloth and pressurised through a commercial heat press.

Any garment or object with a polyester base or polyester coating can be designed with the help of sublimation printing. With pressure and heat, the dye on the medium sublimates and transforms into a gas. It is then absorbed by the polyester to reflect the design.

The finest quality of sublimation printing is that which does not fade or crack on the fabric. These prints are also very light and do not have any harsh texture. As the technique uses heat sensitive inks, the print on garments looks bright even after many washes.