Sublimation is the process of changing a substance from a solid directly to a gas. This phenomenon is used, inter alia, in in creating sublimation prints. For sublimation printing, special inks are used, which under certain thermodynamic conditions become gaseous and are able to penetrate into the fibers of the material.
Sublimation printing – what is it about
Sublimation printing allows you to create durable prints of good quality. The previously prepared pattern is printed on transfer paper, from which it is then transferred to the selected material. The transfer is made using the so-called transfer presses. Most often, patterns are printed on polyester surfaces or those with a polyester coating. Sublimation makes the printed area indistinguishable from the basic material – it looks as if it was a part of it from the very beginning. The print does not differ in texture, nor does it give the impression of a sticker. In the case of color sublimation, it is recommended to use it only on a white substrate, because then the fibers are able to accept specific inks.
The use of a colorful print on a colored material may cause the paints to mix,and the final result will not be satisfactory. Due to this, for multi-colored surfaces, it is recommended to perform sublimation only with black ink. The sublimation printing technique allows you to make very expressive prints, with sharp contours and expressive colors. In the case of sublimation, it does not matter whether an inscription, artistic graphics or a complicated pattern will be printed – sublimation printing can handle everything. In addition, all transitions and changes of shades will be made with high precision. In addition, it is worth knowing that the dyes used in the sublimation process are completely safe. They do not threaten human skin or the natural environment, and do not contribute to the development of allergic reactions.
Sublimation printing – how to recognize
At first glance, it is impossible to distinguish sublimation printing from the material on which it was printed. The pattern made with this method looks as if it was one whole with the material from the very beginning. Sublimation printing can be recognized by paying attention to the color of the material, because color prints will be clear and precisely made only on a white material that is able to properly absorb the dye. Printing is also used on colored surfaces, but for this purpose black ink is used, because it is able to properly print a colored surface. The material on which the pattern is printed also plays an important role. The fabric should contain the greatest possible amount of polyester – the higher its content, the more clear and more saturated the print will be. It happens so,because the molecules of gel dyes bind well with polyester fibers.
On what material do sublimation prints last best?
Sublimation printing is distinguished primarily by the fact that it can be used on various types of surfaces, e.g. caps, scarves, T-shirts, backpacks, pencil cases, napkins, tablecloths, lanyards, cups and plates. Moreover, the final appearance of the print depends only on the person ordering the printing. By creating a pattern that will be placed on an object of your choice, you can feel like an artist for a moment and let your imagination run wild. Inspirations can be found on various types of internet portals and social media. Even if we decide to use ready-made elements, e.g. representing the image of an idol, we can still change and improve the space around it. We can choose the colors, other small elements or inscriptions ourselves.
To be sure,that the print will be of the best quality, it is recommended to use polyester material. This fabric is dedicated to this printing method. There are also solutions that allow patterns to be applied to cotton fabrics. For this purpose, one of the two available methods can be used. The first method is to change the transfer paper. To do this, use a special cotton paper – Subli Light No Cut. The second option is based on the use of polyester powders that will allow you to transfer the selected pattern to cotton. Both of the presented methods of sublimation printing on cotton materials are durable, and their use allows for high print quality. This quality does not differ from standard prints made on polyester surfaces. When starting sublimation printing, it is also worth bearing in mind thatthat there are some obstacles that can destroy the entire process. One such obstacle is humidity – so it is important to control the humidity in the room, and also to always have dry transfer paper. Patterns made on properly selected fabrics are more expressive and more saturated with colors, therefore it is recommended to select the appropriate material before printing.