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A basic introduction to Dye Sublimation printing
Dye-sub printing is a digital printing technology using full color artwork that works with a variety of different substrates.  These days you may also hear the phrase Dye-Transfer Sublimation as the technology develops.

The process is commonly used for decorating Textiles for use in Soft Signage, Interior Decor and Soft Furnishings as well as Apparel. Dye Sublimation Printing is also widely used in the production of giftware and promotional products such as phone and tablet covers, mugs and cushions.

The process uses the science of sublimation, in which heat and pressure are applied to a solid, turning it into a gas allowing the ink to embed itself into the receiving item.

In sublimation printing, unique sublimation dyes are printed on to sheets of “transfer” paper.  After the design is printed onto sublimation transfer sheets, it is placed on a heat press along with the substrate to be sublimated.  The combination of time, pressure and temperature is selected dependent on the substrate to be printed.

The heat press then transfer the ink on the printed material into the surface of receiving item via a molecular transfer.

The end result is a nearly permanent, high resolution, full color print. Because the dyes are infused into the substrate at a molecular level, rather than applied to the outer surface in processes such as screen printing, the prints will not crack, fade or peel from the substrate under normal conditions.

Dye Sublimation is used in a variety of applications

Sportswear and general apparel
Increasingly, consumers want choice (of style, colour, fabric and cut) and customisation, creating business opportunities in short-run – and even one-off – garment printing.

Soft signage
Polyester fabrics are fast replacing PVC, vinyl and paper for exhibition graphics and retail POP/POS flags and banners.

Interior decor
Curtains, blinds, wall hangings, upholstery, cushions, beanbags, ceramic tiles – in fact any plastic, MDF or metal surface – all offer possibilities for new products, often incorporating crisp photo-personalisation.

Giftware and promotional products
Dye-sublimation is excellent for personalising a huge variety of accessories, from fashion items (bags, backpacks, purses, wallets, etc.) to gadgetry (smartphone and tablet cases, for example) plus many more.