Dye Sublimation and what it is
I have writen this guide to try and help people understand better the process known as Dye sublimation.
It is basically speaking a process where a solid turns to a gas without the transition of liquid.
When printed onto Sublimation paper, Sublimation ink allows for very high quality printing using a heat press, substrates that are polymer based or coated or polyester material.
Given the correct amount of heat, pressure and time you will be left with beautifully printed items, that dont fade or wash out.
Ie, when pressing a mug which has been polymer coated you can run your finger over the image and you wont be able to feel it, this is because the ink has turned to gas when heated, the pores of the polymer coating have open and the gas fills the pores, when cooled the pores close trapping the image behind it, hence it becomes part of the coating.
I get asked all the time about sublimation paper (I sell it), can I use normal ink on this paper to produce heat transfers. NO !!, you need to use Sublimation inks , Artanium UV+ inks designed for sublimation printing, normal dye inks will not work.
When printing to items that are not polymer coated or polyester based the results will be far lower than that of ones that are.
IE: if you print onto a 50/50 poly/cotton mix shirt the result will be one of very faded poor quality print, you should use a polyester micro weave cotton shirt designed for sublimation printing for great results.
The short of it all is a simple (ish) process which consists 5 stages.
Print transfer (using sublimation ink and paper)
Heat tape tanfser to substrate (mug etc)
place in heat press for desired time (mugs 180c for approx 3-3.5 mins)
remove item and transfer
What you should be left with is a beautiful item with crisp images and bright colours.
I know this guide probably dosent cover everything but it really designed to help all those who dont know what Dye Sublimation is.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this guide and if you have any questions or comment please contact me and I will do my utmost to answer them or include any imformation given in this guide.