Can You Use Sublimation Ink for Regular Printing?

Last Updated on October 22, 2022

Printing and design businesses have always relied heavily on sublimation printers that use sublimation ink. The best paper to use when printing with sublimation ink is, of course, sublimation paper. If you do not have a sublimation paper, what do you do? Are all types of paper suitable for the use of sublimation ink?

It is not possible to print with sublimation ink on regular paper. Due to the special design of the receiving paper for dye sub-printing, the gasified ink cannot be accepted for regular printing. It takes some time for dye sublimation inks to become sufficiently dark. For this reason, you must purchase two different printers if you attempt to print on normal paper or photo paper.

The dye sub ink, when exposed to the heat of the print head, transforms directly from a solid into a gas – which in physics is known as sublimation – and whatever material it is exposed to must be able to handle this gaseous state.

Sublimation Ink Vs Pigment Ink

How does Sublimation Ink Printing Differ from Regular Ink Printing

Printing images or logos on t-shirts with sublimation ink is the most common use. It does, however, undergo a process that is quite different from that of standard inks.

Using heat, the ink is pressed into a gas that attaches itself permanently to the paper or fabric. Sublimation paper and a compatible ink system are necessary for this process, which is not as complex as it sounds.

This is not the same as how regular ink would function. The safest bet is to refrain from printing anything with your printer if it does not support sublimation.

You must first print your designs onto paper using a sublimation printer in order to use sublimation ink. Heat and pressure are then used to transfer the design onto the final product from the sublimation paper.

As the name implies, dye sublimation paper primarily facilitates the transfer of dye sublimation ink onto the final product to which the design will be applied. This procedure involves using a heat press to facilitate ink transfer from the paper to the final product, which is supposed to serve only as a temporary carrier.

Chemical Composition of Sublimation Ink

Design and printing businesses that frequently use fabrics as their primary materials should invest in a good sublimation printer that uses sublimation ink rather than inkjet ink. Ink for sublimation is known as sublimation ink. What is it exactly?

Unlike dye inks, sublimation ink has a different chemical composition. Inks for sublimation differ from conventional inks in that they are specifically designed to undergo sublimation. The sublimation process involves the transformation of solids into gases without passing through the liquid state in physics.

Sublimation ink turns into gas upon transfer to textiles or surfaces similar to textiles. As a result of the transfer process, no cracks or problems occur. Sublimation paper is commonly used to facilitate the transfer process.

Why use sublimation paper for sublimation ink?

As you now understand why conventional printing paper should not be used when using sublimation ink, it is important to consider why you should use sublimation paper.

Most transfer papers are coated with wax or pigment precisely because they are intended to act as temporary carriers for ink before they are transferred to the final material. Ink will not be able to fully absorb into the paper due to the wax and pigment coating. Through this process, the ink is fully transferred to the final product’s surface during the sublimation process.

Moreover, sublimation paper offers a high color principle and low distortion, making it an excellent choice. Thus, it gives the design a more vibrant color palette with minimal distortion. Furthermore, sublimation paper is designed not to absorb ink and will allow for maximum ink transfer onto the material.

Compared to regular paper, which is not coated with a layer of film, regular paper is not capable of absorbing ink. As a result, less ink will be transferred onto the finished product’s surface.

Wrapping Up

As sublimation ink is unique, it should only be used in conjunction with sublimation printers and paper. Unlike standard printer ink, this ink has a completely different chemical composition. Sublimation ink will damage your conventional printer irreparably. To be more specific, it is advisable not to use a printer for any other purpose after adding sublimation ink to it. There is no doubt that switching inks can result in complete damage to your printer.


What happens if I print sublimation ink on regular paper?

What is the compatibility of sublimation ink with regular paper? It is possible to do so, but it will not look very good. Printing takes place on regular paper, which makes it an ineffective carrier of the ink due to the process involved.

What is the difference between sublimation ink and regular ink?

Printing with an inkjet printer involves applying liquid ink to the paper, while printing with a sublimation printer involves permeating the paper with ink vapors. For graphics to be printed on plastic substrates, sublimation printing is the most suitable method. For the printing of documents, inkjet printing is the most appropriate method.

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