If you have ever been to a boardwalk, carnival, or amusement park you will have most likely encountered some form of dye sublimation. This technique enables designs, images, or script to be transferred onto polyester fabrics or rigid and sturdy objects. With an easy learning curve, a wide range of products, and low initial costs, it is no wonder that many people are trying their luck in the world of dye sublimation.
How does it work?
The process can be broken down into two very easy steps.
- Print your design with an inkjet printer. For this process you will have to be equipped with special sublimation paper and inks.
- Transfer the design onto the surface that will be used using a heat press to apply. This heat press can be the big industrial type or simply an iron.
This process is fairly simple and now more than ever, those who do custom design have ventured into the dye sublimation sector.
This technique offers many advantages for someone starting off into the t-shirt printing industry.
- A short learning curve that is relatively simple and easy to follow.
- As long as you have the correct inks, there is an unlimited range of colors. With the basic four inks (CMYK) you are able to obtain thousands of colors. This comes in hand for more complex designs or photos.
- It cuts down production time tremendously without intensive laboring.
- With endless amounts of items that can be used in the sublimation process, we believe that having eco-friendly ink is important. Why not be able to help save the world by getting rid of harmful chemicals and other dangerous dyes when you can look just as fabulous with eco-friendly alternatives?
However, this technique also offers a few disadvantages.
- The fabric that is being used must be at ⅔ polyester. If non-textiles are being used, only the items that have a special polyester coating can be used.
- The color may not last as long as others due to the effect of UV rays from the sun.
- Like nearly all inkjet printers, the paper can be jammed, ink can be clogged, or any other technical issue can arise. We recommended that the printer be left on at all times and be cleaned properly daily for the best results of your designs.
- Sizing can be limited. Whether it is the original resolution of the image or the dimensions of the press, size might be an issue for some individuals.
If you are new to this style of t-shirt printing, we suggest that you try it and see how you enjoy it!