Last Updated on October 21, 2022
Sublimation printing is a process that uses heat to transfer dye onto a surface. It transfers designs onto fabrics using a special printer that initially prints the design on sublimation paper. The fabric is then placed in a heat press, where the heat and pressure cause the design to become part of the fabric.
This type of printing is perfect for transferring designs onto fabrics since the colors are bright and vibrant. It’s often used for printing designs on fabric, but it can also be used for other items like mugs and phone cases.
Basics of the Sublimation Printing Process
We have to print the design first on sublimation paper and then transfer this design to fabric using a heat press. We can also apply the design to fabric through pressure and baking.
Transferring the design to the fabric will require a transfer paper (normally sublimation paper). When ink and fabric are brought together, the ink is embedded and will remain more vibrant (in contrast to other printing methods). In the oven or press, pressing a shirt or mug opens up the fabric pores, allowing the ink to cool. Afterward, the paper can be removed from the shirt (or whatever object you used) and the pressure released.
How does Sublimation Printing Work?
The dyes are vaporized into a gas form in sublimation printing and then transferred to the printed material. This process results in beautiful, high-quality prints with bright colors that won’t fade over time. If you’re looking for a unique way to print designs on fabrics or other materials, sublimation printing is worth checking out. So what is sublimation printing? And How do sublimation printers work?
Here is a detailed insight into Sublimation Printing.
1. Prepare your artwork for printing
The first step in sublimation printing is to prepare your design for use with the printer. You can use regular desktop publishing software like Illustrator or Photoshop since both of these programs are common choices for this type of printing process. Once your file is ready, you need to upload it to the printer. You can just pick any design of your choice to be printed from social media, google or any other online platform and then import it into the device.
2. Get the Design printed
The sublimation printing process begins with a digital file that contains the design that will be printed. The file is then converted into a format that a printer can use. An adhesive-coated sheet of paper is used to print the design. It is called a sublimation paper.
Once your art is ready, you can send it over to the printer, where it will be processed. Once you have your artwork ready, it needs to be converted into a format that the printer itself can read. This makes sure that the printer knows what needs to be printed on which surface.
3. Transfer your design to fabric
The sublimation paper is then placed in contact with the substrate to be printed. A heat press is used to apply pressure and heat to the paper and substrate. This causes the adhesive to melt and the dye to vaporize. The vaporized dye is then absorbed by the substrate, permanently bonding the dye to the surface.
The transfer process is done using heat to absorb the dye into the fabric, resulting in a long-lasting print. This part of the process will only take about 10 seconds but may vary depending on your design’s size and what type of fabric you’re printing it onto. After this step, your design will be printed onto the fabric! And you’ll have a new t-shirt or phone case with no fading or peeling.
4. Sublimation Dryer
The final step in sublimation printing is to place your newly printed item inside an oven-like machine called a dryer. It will take about 30 minutes for your design to be fully set. The heat from the dryer is what actually turns the dye into a solid, so this step is essential if you want your final product to have bright, vibrant colors that won’t fade over time.
That’s it! You’ve just been through the entire process of sublimation printing from start to finish. You’ll have a brand new design that’ll last throughout time and use!
FAQs in Sublimation Printing
What are the benefits of sublimation printing?
The biggest benefit is that your designs won’t fade or crack over time – they’ll stay bright and beautiful for years to come! It also means that you can print any design you like without worrying about whether or not it will fit on a specific material. Since everything gets transferred onto one surface, you don’t have to worry about patterns getting cut off in the final product. This makes sublimation printing perfect for creating unique pieces of art that show off your style.
Are there any drawbacks to sublimation printing?
The main drawback of this process is that it takes quite a bit of time to learn the ropes. It also takes even longer if your printer isn’t capable of performing high-quality transfers all by itself. Many printers require an experienced user to make sure everything turns out perfect! Of course, is a small price to pay for beautiful prints that will stay bold and colorful for years to come.
How do I make sure my art is ready for sublimation printing?
You can do a few things before any design work is done to help your designs look their best once they’re printed. First, try to use colors that are darker than your base material. This way, the color won’t fade over time – especially if there’s light involved! It also helps to use vibrant colors that contrast each other nicely. For example, using secondary colors like orange, yellow, and green can look great when printed onto dark backgrounds.
What do you need for sublimation printing?
- Inkjet printer with sublimation technology. Firstly, a sublimation printer is the most important item.
- The sublimation paper. Sublimation printers are capable of creating any color spectrum and transferring it to appropriate printing paper.
- Software for computers and RIPs.
- Mechanism for cutting.
- There are various types of heat presses.
To conclude, Sublimation Printing is an advanced printing technology that uses heat and pressure transfer to produce high-quality pictures on different materials. With the sublimation process, you can print any design without worrying about coverage or material compatibility issues.
For the past five years, I have been working as a printer service supervisor in a printing press that serves customers with tailor-made designs and prints. My job involved dealing with printers five days a week, so I decided to take up printing as a hobby.