What is a Sublimation? Amazing Guide to the Process

Many people ask the question, “What is sublimation printing and why should I choose it over screen printing?” or “What is a sublimation?”? With the use of heat, dye is transferred from one fabric to another through the process of using sublimation ink.

An image or graphic is printed on special sublimation paper that is placed on the garment, and then heat is applied, resulting in the ink becoming part of the fabric. The fabric will feel more breathable and soft to the touch as a result. Best of all, the numbers, letters, and graphics do not peel, wear off, or fade when washed.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with further information about this sublimation method that can be used to create unique pieces of clothing, accessories, and even custom drinkware which you can sell online. You will be surprised by how popular they are with customers!

what is sublimation printing process

Printing With Sublimation is a Magical Process

The sublimation printing process produces vibrant prints that are full of color and exceptionally durable. There is no doubt that the magic of this process lies in printing technology. By infusing designs directly onto the fabric, the designs become part of the fabric itself.

During sublimation, all design elements, such as the team logo, colors, and numbers, are permanently incorporated into the fabric, as opposed to other processes, such as embroidery, which are sewn onto it. Therefore, it is impossible for the colors or logos to be peeled off or faded in sublimated jerseys.

As a result of the high temperature and pressure used in sublimation, the prints are converted into gas, which forms a firmly bound bond with the molecules of the fabric, fully integrating them. They are inseparable!

What is a Sublimation Printing Process & The Definition Of Sublimation

Can you please explain what the DYE sublimation process of sublimation is or how it is defined? The process of sublimation involves a solid-to-gas transition without the need to pass through a liquid state. It is important to note that the ink that is printed on the transfer paper, as in our example, turns into gas, which then fuses into your sublimated sports clothing.

The following is an explanation of the sublimation process.

  1. The printer is loaded with sublimation dyes. In most cases, the colors are represented in CMYK color space.
  2. In the next step, the images are printed onto the transfer paper. In terms of colors and designs, there are no restrictions.
  3. The sublimation process takes place when heat is applied to the ink.
  4. There is a process of fusing ink into the pores of the fabric, and the garment panels are cut from the reels of the fabric.
  5. In order to create the amazing sublimated sportswear product, the panels are sewn together and pieced together.

This method produces a permanent, full-color image that cannot crack, peel, or wash away from print onto the substrate. During the conversion process, heat is used as an initiator, and pressure is used as a control.

It is becoming more popular for smaller batch orders and designs that require close attention to detail to use this quick and effective digital printing method. Printing by sublimation is also known as ‘all-over printing’ because it allows you to choose a design that can cover and color print the entire garment.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sublimation Printing

How does sublimation printing work? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Listed below are a few factors to consider when deciding whether this is the right printing method for you:

Sublimation Printing Advantages

A variety of advantages make sublimation printing a popular technique in the textile and promotional products industries. Sublimation printing offers the following advantages:

You Have the Option of Personalizing and Customizing It.

A major advantage of sublimation printing is the ability to customize what you are printing. As well as modifying the size and quality of the image that you are printing, you can also correct any sublimation mistakes and errors that may occur digitally on the printer.

As a result, you are able to get creative and bring your ideas to life in ways that are not possible through other methods.

The Process Can Be Completed Quickly

Anyone seeking to launch a project within a limited timeframe will find this service to be extremely convenient. By using heat press technology, it can be completed much more quickly than other methods that would require more human effort.

Heat presses must, however, be accurately calibrated, so it will be necessary to monitor the process to ensure that the designs are consistently produced at the same quality level.

High-Quality Designs

There is a significant difference in the quality of designs produced through sublimation printing compared to other forms of printing. There is generally an impressive level of vibrancy as well as a high DPI, although this depends on the printer you have purchased.

The Final Result is a Long-Lasting Design

It is important to note that the print produced by sublimation will not fade or peel, unlike other designs that are printed. As a result, the ink cools and is absorbed into the fabric rather than remaining on top of it. In sublimation works in other words, you will not need to worry about the sublimated t-shirts being damaged by repeated washings.

what is sublimation printing process collection

Sublimation Printing Disadvantages

It is important to consider a few disadvantages of sublimation before investing in a machine, as with any form of printing. The following are among them:

You Can Only Use It On Polyester or Polyester Blends

The only material that will work with sublimation printing is a light, polyester material. Additionally, you should use a light color in order to achieve the optimal color and more vivid and clear design variations.


Ghosting occurs as a result of the transfer paper shifting during the pressing process. A light-colored fade will appear beside the print (which appears as a ghost) or the picture will be blurry.

As a result, this issue will occur if the appropriate amount of pressure is not applied or if the ink on the sublimation paper is not completely dry during the process.

The best way to prevent this from occurring is to make sure that the ink on the white fabric is dry and that the fabric is being pressed with the appropriate amount of pressure.

White Creasing

White creasing is another issue associated with sublimation printing. Whenever the design does not reach all parts of an area, it results in white creases. This can happen if the transfer special paper has moisture on it or if the garment accidental folding.

White marks are most commonly found under the arms and along seams. In this manner, the t-shirt becomes unsellable as a result of being of lower quality.

There’s a Chance of Color Mismatch

When you create your design on your computer, it is displayed in RGB mode, whereas when it is printed, it is in CMYK mode. It is important to note that the colors will not appear exactly the same on the screen once they have been printed.

If you wish to improve this, it is recommended that the printer’s settings are adjusted correctly or that RIP software is used.

In order to determine if any of the colors have been spotted, RIP software is an excellent tool. With all forms of printing, however, you must keep in mind that, even though the image will be of high quality, it will not have the same vibrancy as that of a screen image.

Color Mismatch sublimation printing

Frequently Asked Questions

What products are suitable for sublimation printing?
For best results, sublimation should be used on white or lighter-color fabrics, which are usually polyester or a poly blend. You can also use sublimation on polyester mix polymer-coated products such as coasters, mugs, mouse pads, phone cases, towels, basketball jerseys, and glasses.

Why do we use sublimation printing?
There is no better way to print full color on a polyester blend than through sublimation printing. The effect achieved by other processes, such as screenprinting, heat transfer vinyl (HTV), or embroidery, is not the same and is more expensive, takes longer, or does not produce the same results. Furthermore, sublimation printing is an environmentally friendly method of printing, and it’s good for beginners.

What’s sublimation printing?
It is a popular printing technique used to transfer images onto fabrics or materials known as sublimation printing or dye sublimation printing. Sublimation is the process of going directly from a solid form to a gas state due to a chemical reaction.

Is sublimation print permanently print?

Yes, of course. As a result of the sublimation printing process, images and designs are produced with beautiful and permanent colors that are embedded in the substrate or fabric instead of being printed on the surface alone.

Is there a difference between sublimation printing and regular printing?
It is important to note that in sublimation printing, the inks permeate and become part of the print material. However, the heat transfer process simply adds an additional layer to the print media.

Is it possible to print on cotton with sublimation?
Unfortunately, no. Sublimation cannot be performed on 100% cotton. In order to achieve the best results, sublimation must be performed on 100% polyester. Printing on cotton shirts is possible, but the process is different from sublimation.

Is sublimation printing eco-friendly?
Yes, of course. In terms of sports apparel, garment printing, and production, sublimation is the most environmentally friendly and sustainable process available. A full sublimation shirt printing process does not produce any waste and does not require the use of water.

What is the quality of sublimation printing?
A sublimation printer can print on fabrics and materials and produces vibrant colors of high quality. As compared to other printing methods, sublimation printing provides the most design options for garments.

Is sublimation printing fade-resistant? Does sublimation printing last?
There are no fades, peels, or fading effects when sublimated garments are washed or exposed to the sun. It is possible to transfer high-quality photo prints and vector graphic designs to polyester fabrics or garments using sublimation technology in just a few minutes.

Final Thoughts

In summary, sublimation is an important process with many applications, including printing, dyeing, preservation, and others. It is important for researchers and practitioners to gain a thorough understanding of the science behind sublimation and its advantages and limitations in order to make informed decisions regarding its use. It is expected that sublimation will continue to gain new applications as technology advances and push the boundaries of what is possible as it advances.

Enis Sh
Enis Sh

As an innovative IT Tech entrepreneur I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Stay ahead of the curve with up-to-the-minute tech news and reviews, while diving into the realm of computer hardware geekery.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Tech Advice Zone