Digital printing has really taken off in recent years. From fabrics for personal use to promotional items, printing businesses have successfully realized the great potential of digital technologies.

Dye sublimation is a type of digital printing technology that allows one to print colorful images on everyday items. T-shirts are the typical example of products often created from this technique. Others include mugs, coasters, and mousepads.

If you’re starting out with dye sublimation printing, here’s what you should catch up on:

Sublimation dyes and substrates

1Sublimation is a process by which solid particles convert to gaseous state, without first forming a liquid.

The printing process incorporates this physical reaction and thus named sublimation printing.

Dyes– These are used to color different fibers and materials. Dyes transfer colors to the intended material. The change is often permanent.

1Substrates– These are your base materials on which an image is transferred. It can be coated or uncoated paper, a fabric, plastic, film or foil.

Sublimation ink– Sublimation inks are a suspension made with dyes in a liquid. The dyes must be heat-sensitive to allow printing.

Sublimation process

Under heat and pressure, solid particles of the dyes change into a gaseous state. These particles bond with the polymers of your base materials, turning back to solid.

High temperature helps open the pores that are present in the polymer. This allows the gaseous dye particles to move in and bond together.

When you remove the substrate from the heat source, it cools down and the pores close up again. Now, the dye particles are settled and doesn’t move or wash away.

How is dye sublimation printing done?

Most often, inkjet printers are used for dye sublimation printing. It sprays the ink out of small nozzles over the sublimation paper. Upon heating, the dye gets transferred from paper to your substrate.

Until the dyes are heated, they have only a slight color to them. The final image will look more vibrant than what you see printed on the paper.

What makes dye sublimation so unique?

Compared to analog printing methods, dye sublimation is relatively quick and inexpensive. Both setup as well as production stages are convenient to be adopted for mass production.

It is also super easy to create personalized items and other custom products. The printing yields vibrant and colorful images that are permanently embedded into your substrate of choice.

Final images don’t fade, crack or wash away, even after several uses.

The only thing you have to invest in for great sublimation printing is quality materials. At JD Digital Technology Co., Ltd., you can find top quality dye sublimation papers of various categories. You can also order our range of dye sublimation ink to create beautiful images!