What is dye sublimation?
Dye sublimation is a printing method that uses ink and heat to transfer a design onto a material or fabric. Dye-sublimation printing is a computer digital printing technique that transfers full color artwork onto polyester and polymer-coated substrates. Sometimes referred to as digital sublimation, dye sublimation is often used for adorning clothing, banners and signs. However, it can also be used on non-fabric products with sublimation-friendly surfaces such as specially-coated plastics, card stocks, or paper.
The process of sublimation is one in which heat and pressure are applied to a solid dye, transforming it into a gas via an endothermic reaction without passing through the liquid phase of matter.
Dye sublimation can be used on a variety of fabrics such as canvas and treated cotton. However, it is most easily applied to polyester blended fabrics. When the dye is heated onto the fabric, the polymers in the polyester encourage the inks to bond, which fully embeds the graphics into the material.
What materials benefit the most from the process of dye sublimation?
When applied to clothing garments, ink is embedded directly into the fibers, making the design appear part of the garment, not just on the surface. Dye sublimation allows the printing of multiple, full, bright colors.
SpeedPro’s wide-format printers can process dye-sublimation of both fabric and rigid materials. New polymer-treated materials developed specifically for dye sublimation applications include brass, aluminum, glass, acrylic, fiberglass, hardboard sheet materials and plastic.
SpeedPro products which benefit from dye sublimation techniques include:
Flags: Flags are a simple way to attract attention at events, in front of your store or anywhere else you want to catch your customers’ eye. Represent your company proudly with a dye sublimated flag from SpeedPro.
Banners: Freestanding displays consist of custom graphics dye sublimation printed fabric and lightweight metal frames. The fabric works like a pillowcase and slips over the frame and zips at the bottom. Fit perfectly, these fabric graphics never wrinkle or sag.
Tablecloths/table throws: Unlike traditionally imprinted table throws, dye sublimated table throws have limitless color options for your logo or graphic. SpeedPro has many size options to fit 4-, 6- and 8-foot long tables as well as 30-, 48- and 60-inch diameter round tables. Printed table throw covers offer the widest range of customization.
Apparel/clothing: Apparel printed with dye sublimation feels lighter and has images that last longer no matter how many times they are washed or dry cleaned.
Backlit Display Fabrics: UV-resistant, long-life inks are pressed into the fabric and highlighted with LED back-lighting.
Tradeshow Countertops: Speedpro can work with you to design countertops in your choice of finish along with eye-catching graphics. Dye sublimated fabric bordered by silicone edging makes it easy and quick to assemble the counter display.
Canvas: Canvas already takes ink well, so with dye sublimation, graphics will appear even more sharp and vivid. The printing applications are nearly endless, as canvas works for both indoor and outdoor settings.
Coffee mugs: Reach for a cup of steaming joe in a dye sublimated mug with your logo or favorite design.
Ceramic tiles: Interior designers and decorators can create customized ceramic tiles for locations such as bathrooms or kitchens, in the foyers of your business, or on the go at restaurants or museums.
Rigid Products: Mouse pads, key chains, smartphone cases and more. These products are easily sublimated and are fantastic additions to the range of custom branding items for your business.
Photo Printing: Dye sublimation is perfect for delivering high quality photographic images to a wide range of products for personalized gift items such as wall mounts fridge magnets, and photo-backdrops.
Contact Speedpro Eden Prairie today to learn about the exciting difference that dye sublimation makes in printing. Our professional staff is ready to answer any technical questions you may have and work with you to create the perfect product for your business or personal use.
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