What is dye-sublimation printing?

Dye sublimation is a print process whereby a dye is infused into (not onto) the surface of a polyester based material.

Not necessarily – it depends on the size of item you would like to create. If you only need to print small items, you can use an A4 printer & small heat press, making the working space as little as 1 square metre or less. If you need to print larger items, you will need a larger working space.

Not necessarily – it depends on the type of printer you buy. Some printers have automatic functions to keep inks circulating & nozzles clean which allow periods of down-time (a.ka. periods of little to no use).

The answer is yes – in the majority of cases. However there are some printers which are able to have multiple ink types installed in the same printer.

The main questions to ask yourself are: how large are the items you would like to print? what are they made of? how fast would you like (or need) to print? Following this the best route is to contact a member of our team to guide you towards the most suitable print process, ink type, & machine model(s).

This depends on the type & model of printer you are using. Small format (A4 & A3) size printers require a lower specification. Larger size printers (1 metre+) require a higher specification. This is due to the amount of compute processing required.

RIP (raster image processing) & in some cases additional software is required for the larger printer models (& can in most cases be installed to optimise smaller models).

With the right guidance, it is not difficult. Without guidance, it can be very difficult. This is due to the extremely high number of variables accumulating, all of which have an affect on the final printed item.

A printer designed for dye sublimation (or after-market converted to dye sublimation). It will have dye sublimation inks installed, & will print on to dye sublimation transfer paper, or directly to polyester materials.

It is recommended to use an “OEM” (original equipment manufacturer) dye sublimation printer, rather than a printer converted to dye sublimation inks. This is to ensure a high quality reliable result, & also to ensure your printer is covered under warranty & includes full technical support.

Please contact our machinery sales team for the latest dye sublimation printer bundles – paper, ink, extended warranty & discounted prices

Yes. If you use any other type of ink, the dye sublimation print process will not work.

Dye sublimation ink is solid dye-stuff suspended in a water based carrier solution.

All dye sublimation inks are similar, but the devil is in the detail. The raw materials will be sourced from different places which affects colour, the refinement of the dye-stuff will differ which affects printhead clogging, the viscosity will be different which affects print quality & printhead compatibility etc etc.

Sublimation paper is a special type of paper that can accept water based dye sublimation ink & transfer it to polyester based materials under heat & pressure

No. There are big differences. The basic variables to consider are – GSM which means the weight of the paper in grammes per square metre, whether the paper is Coated or Uncoated, what is the type of coating (ie. Is it a standard sublimation coating or is a thermal adhesive/tacky coating), what is the physical structure and characteristic of the base paper, and of course the commercial considerations such as certification, supply & price.

Yes a suitable heat press is necessary to provide the heat and pressure to activate and transfer the inks into the fabric

An ICC profile is the software’s interpretation of an artwork colour values to an equivalent print colour output. A good ICC profile in combination with a well produced artwork file, good quality print media, high quality machinery, & suitable heat transfer settings will produce the most accurate colour result

There are many reasons for this. The inks on the paper are not correct until sublimated. But any colour difference on the final sublimated fabric can be caused by artwork, ICC profile, printer, paper, ink, heat press, fabric & we highly recommend training & support from a qualified professional sublimation solution provider.

Any polyester fabric can be printed by dye sublimation, results may vary wildly of course. In additional many other items are made suitable for dye sublimation with a PET based coating applied. A few examples are fabric, towels, blankets, garments, upholstery, curtains, cushions, bedding, flags, mats, carpets, as well as hard materials for example ceramic, plastic, metal, glass, & stone.

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