From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia....
Dye-sublimation printing is a digital printing technology using full color artwork that works with polyester and polymer-coated substrates. Also referred to as digital sublimation, the process is commonly used for decorating apparel, signs and banners, as well as novelty items such as cell phone covers, plaques, coffee mugs, and other items with sublimation-friendly surfaces. The process uses the science of sublimation, in which heat and pressure are applied to a solid, turning it into a gas through an endothermic reaction without passing through the liquid phase.
In sublimation printing, unique sublimation dyes are transferred to sheets of “transfer” paper via liquid gel ink through a piezoelectric print head. The ink is deposited on these high-release inkjet papers, which are used for the next step of the sublimation printing process. After the digital design is printed onto sublimation transfer sheets, it is placed on a heat press along with the substrate to be sublimated.
In order to transfer the image from the paper to the substrate, it requires a heat press process that is a combination of time, temperature and pressure. The heat press applies this special combination, which can change depending on the substrate, to “transfer” the sublimation dyes at the molecular level into the substrate. The most common dyes used for sublimation activate at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a range of 380 to 420 degrees Fahrenheit is normally recommended for optimal color.
The end result of the sublimation process is a nearly permanent, high resolution, full color print. Because the dyes are infused into the substrate at the molecular level, rather than applied at a topical level (such as with screen printing and direct to garment printing), the prints will not crack, fade or peel from the substrate under normal conditions.
NB: Manufacturers void printer warranties when Sublimation Ink is used. The Sublimation ink supplied with the printer below, is non Epson ink, sourced from a Specialist 3rd Party Sublimation Ink Manufacturer. Neither Epson nor Discspeed, will honour the warranty on a printer when sublimation ink is used.
Dye Sublimation Papers A4, 100 pack 100gsm = R145.00
Dye Sublimation Papers A3, 200 pack 100gsm = R395.00
Transfer Paper for Inkjet LIGHT Fabrics 10 pack = R110.00
Transfer Paper for Inkjet DARK Fabrics 10 pack = R189.00
36 mugs per box.
R17.25 ea Vat incl
Black 100ml = R165
Cyan 100ml = R165
Magenta 100ml = R165
Yellow 100ml = R165
Colour correction .icc file
is supplied with our inks
Heat Transfer Paper vs. Sublimation Printing
So, you’re entering the wonderful world of T-shirt making and personalized garments—that’s exciting! You may be asking yourself which garment decoration method is better: heat transfer paper or sublimation printing? The answer is that both are great! However, the method you go with depends on your needs and what you’re looking to do. Plus, each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dig into the details to help you decide which is the right fit for you and your business.
The Basics of Heat Transfer Paper
So, what is heat transfer paper exactly? Heat transfer paper is a specialty paper that transfers printed designs to shirts and other garments when heat is applied. The process involves printing a design onto a sheet of heat transfer paper using an inkjet or laser printer. Then, you place the printed sheet on your T-shirt and press it using a heat press (in certain cases, a home iron will work, but heat presses provide the best results). After you’ve pressed it, you peel away the paper, and your image adheres nicely onto the fabric. Great – you now have a custom T-shirt! That was easy, right?
Garment decoration via heat transfer paper is super easy and carries one of, if not the lowest, start-up costs in the industry. In fact, many decorators get their start using nothing more than the printer they already have at home! A few other important notes about heat transfer paper is that most papers work on both cotton and polyester fabrics - while you’ll learn that sublimation only works on polyesters. In addition, heat transfer papers are designed to work for either dark or light-colored garments while sublimation is exclusively for white or light-colored garments.
Ok, How About Sublimation
The sublimation process is quite similar to that of heat transfer paper. Like heat transfer paper, the process involves printing a design onto a sheet of specialty paper—sublimation paper in this case—and pressing it to a garment with a heat press. The difference lies in the science behind sublimation. Ready to get science-y?
Sublimation ink, when heated, turns from a solid to a gas that embeds itself into the polyester fabric. When it cools, it goes back to a solid and becomes a permanent part of the fabric. This means that your transferred design adds no additional layer on top, so there’s no difference in feeling between the printed image and the rest of the fabric. This also means that the transfer is incredibly durable, and under normal conditions, the images you produce will last as long as the product itself.
Bonus! Sublimation not only works on polyester fabrics – it also works on a wide variety of hard surfaces with a poly-coating. This opens up an entirely new world of items you can customize - coasters, jewelry, mugs, puzzles and much more.
Durability and Feel
Sublimation uses a process where the ink becomes part of the fabric rather than adding a layer on top. This results in a transfer that is unmatched in both durability and feel. On the other hand, heat transfer paper adds a layer on top of the garment. This additional layer can be physically felt and is less durable than sublimation and can become faded and cracked over time with numerous wash cycles.
It is important to note that heat transfer papers are not created equally, and you will find some that offer a softer feel and greater durability than other transfer papers.
Types of Garments You Can Decorate
With sublimation, you’re more limited in the types of fabrics you can decorate compared to heat transfer paper. First, sublimation only works with polyester fabrics. No 100% cotton! This is because sublimation ink only binds to polyester material. You can get away with sublimating on some poly-cotton blends, but the transfer will not be as bright and vibrant as when you use 100% polyester. Because sublimation adds no extra layer on top of the fabric, the material also needs to be white or very light-colored for your transfer to show.
On the other hand, with heat transfer paper, you can decorate on light and dark-colored cotton, polyester and cotton-poly blends.