Dye Sublimation

Dye <span>Sublimation</span>

What is dye-sublimation?

Dye-sublimation is a type of specialty printing that transfers a design onto a material using ink and heat. You can often find this type of printing on clothing, banners, and other signage, however, you can also use it on other surfaces such as cardstock or paper. We also see this commonly used on various fabrics such as canvas or polyester blended fabrics. When the dye heats directly to the fabric, the polymers in the polyester fabric allow the inks to bond which submerges the graphic into the fabric.

To get technical, the sublimation process occurs when heat and pressure are applied to a solid dye. This then transforms it into a gas through an endothermic reaction without turning it into liquid.

What Materials Can You Use?

You can use dye-sublimation on a variety of materials. For example, clothing garments are a great option for this. With this type of material, the ink is embedded directly into the fibers so that the print itself will feel like it’s part of the garment with no texture on the surface. Unlike screen printing which prints on the surface and can have a feeling of texture to it.

Polyester fabric is another great material that is used for backdrops, table runners, and other display items. They’re rich in color and bold in appearance to make an impression.

Dye-sublimated Products

Tradeshow / Event Graphics:

Flags: These are a great option to get your name and logo out there. Our flag options come in a variety of sizes and shapes which gives you maximum flexibility on how you want to represent your company. These are perfect for outdoor events as well as putting on display outside of your business daily.

Table Covers: With dye-sublimation, the colors are limitless that you can choose from when it comes to your table covers. You can customize these with any images or colors that best fit your brand. We have various sizes that fit 4, 6, and 8-foot tables as well as round tables and table runners. You can also choose from table throws, fitted table covers, or stretchable as well. You can fully customize these by using dye sublimation to print your table cover.

Backdrops & Backlit Displays: The lifelong inks in dye-sublimation allow for UV resistance meaning they won’t fade in the light. Having a backdrop that is printed with vibrant graphics is one thing. However, when you add LED back-lighting, well now you have yourself a showstopper.

SEG Graphics: SEG or Silicone Edge Graphics also use the dye-sublimation process and then use silicone edging around the border, making it easy to pop into a frame. You can use these for displays or backdrops and assemble them anywhere.


Soft-Signage: This doesn’t just apply to fabric backdrops or backlit displays. Soft signage can also be incorporated in Point of Purchase (POP) Displays or other interior signage like wall dividers or photo backdrops.

Banners: Fabric banners are similar to the back wall displays or SEG as they use tension to display. These freestanding displays use dye-sublimation and then stretch around metal frames. The fabric is essentially like a pillowcase that has a zipper at the bottom and slips directly over the frame. These are perfect for displays as they won’t wrinkle because the tension keeps them smooth.

Art & Decor

Photo Printing: If you’re looking for a personalized gift item to give such as a magnet, photo banner, keychains, or another keepsake that will deliver a high-quality photographic image, dye-sublimation is ideal.

Canvas: Make an impression on a loved one’s heart with a custom printed gallery wrap including a personal photo.

Swag Items

Coffee Mugs: Giving away custom items for your potential customers or existing clients is a great way to keep top of mind. Printing coffee mugs with your logo or a personal message that they can use daily will help you to stay visible.

Apparel: Apparel should feel lightweight and breathable. With dye-sublimation, the item feels lighter and will not fade no matter how many times you wash or dry it.

If you’re ready to get started with your next dye sublimation project, give us a call at 510.974.7369 or request a consultation and we’ll help you bring your vision to life.

SF salt company custom dye sublimation printed fabric backdrop for events

SpeedPro East Bay

Studio Owner

Ed Owens