In simple terms, it’s a method of printing that transfers a design into a material or fabric using ink and heat.

PROCESS

First, a design is printed onto special paper. The inks that are used turn into gas when brought under heat, then combine with the fabric and permanently print onto the fabric. The effects are permanent and less prone to fading, as the ink is embedded in the fabric or substrate rather than simply laying on top like a normal print.

The process is almost like a tattoo, but instead of for your skin, it’s for your chosen product. The heat opens up the pores of the fabric, then with the applied pressure the ink cools and returns to a solid form.

The result is a permanent, full colour image that won’t crack, peel or wash away from the substrate. The process allows the ink to go from a solid to a gas without turning to liquid, a bit like dry ice. The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled by pressure.

PROS TO SUBLIMATION

The most exciting upside when it comes to this method is purely the freedom you have with your designs, which is not always offered by other methods.

The longevity of the design is a plus point, with a design that won’t crack, peel or fade. Even after going through the washing machine countless times, your garment will never be demoted to the back of your wardrobe!

Sublimation printing is suitable for small batch orders, seam-to-seam designs and garments with a large number of design variations and applications.

CONS TO SUBLIMATION

The Cons lay mostly with the choice of materials. Sublimation printing is only suitable for garments that include polyester (100% polyester or polyester blend).

Another potential problem to watch out for is white creasing. Sublimation works by printing a design into white fabric, and if there are areas of the garment that are unreached by the design, they’ll stay white. This can be caused by accidental folding or small amounts of moisture that accumulate on the transfer paper.

Products