Sublimation Printing Services Explained | The Print Authority

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Digital and offset printing are the most common types of printing services. However, did you know that more than just these two printing methods exist? One great alternative to traditional printing methods is sublimation printing, which makes printing onto items such as apparel, signage, and even glass easy. 

Sublimation printing services open up a wide range of printing possibilities. In this article we’ll explain how sublimation printing works, describe the benefits it can give your print products, and give some examples that demonstrate why it’s a great solution for a large number of industries.


How Sublimation Printing Works

If you don’t remember the word “sublimation” from high school science class, don’t worry–we’ll explain what you need to know. Sublimation printing is a completely different approach from digital and offset printing. While traditional printing techniques involve applying a layer of ink onto your desired material, sublimation printing takes a more scientific approach. Here’s what happens:

  1. Your printing company prints your design onto a special paper containing inks specific to sublimation printing. 
  2. They place the paper on your desired material and heat it with a heat press. 
  3. Once the inks become hot enough, they transform into gasses which are then absorbed by your material. (This transformation into gas is the sublimation in sublimation printing.)
  4. This absorption creates a permanent bond between the ink and the material. The sublimation printing process has been a success!

It’s important to note that sublimation printing works best on 100% polyester materials or fabrics that contain a high amount of polyester, as these bond better with the sublimation dyes. The higher the percentage of non-synthetic materials in your material, the higher the chance that the design will fade. 

As well, keep in mind that because sublimation printing uses CMYK printing, which does not use the color white, it is not possible to print white colors using sublimation printing. Therefore, if you’d like white in your design, it’s a good idea to print on a white material and let the white material show through. 

Importantly, because sublimation printing involves the dye being absorbed into the material, there is no risk that your design will crack or fade over time. If you’ve seen old printed tshirts that start to look faded or lose their printing altogether, you can rest assured that they weren’t made using sublimation printing. 

Applications Across Various Industries

Sublimation printing provides excellent quality to print materials in a wide range of industries.

Signage and Banners

When you want your signs to last, consider using sublimation printing. It works well for banners of all shapes and sizes, signage for trade shows and expos, and even outdoor signs. Since sublimation printing’s unique application method permanently bonds the dye with the material, your colors are waterproof and sturdy. No need to worry about damage from rain, snow, sleet, or hail!

Textile Industry

Sublimation printing is the perfect strategy to make your textiles look exactly how you want. Your printing partner can easily transfer your designs into crisp and clear print, and you can rest assured that your design will neither crack nor fade. You can make your design as intricate as you’d like and can rest assured that your textiles will look perfect. 

Home Décor

From window curtains to pillows and placemats to towels, sublimation printing makes home décor simple. In short: if it’s polyester, you can make it look great with sublimation printing! Your designs can include as many colors as you’d like, including every color except for white, so you can create all the products that your customers are looking for.

Promotional Products

Think about sublimation printing next time you’re ordering promotional products for your organization. Whether you’re printing apparel, towels, beer koozies, bags, or anything else made of polyester, sublimation printing is a great option. The high quality of this type of printing makes a great impression on prospects. 

Unparalleled Vibrancy in Printed Materials

Sublimation printing creates vivid and long-lasting colors that help your materials stand apart from the rest. Through its unique process in which the dye is absorbed by the material, rather than simply placed on top of it, your design won’t crack, peel, or fade over time. Sublimation printing can handle crisp lines and complex designs with ease, so don’t feel limited! 

Advantages of Opting for Sublimation Printing Services

When printing designs on fabric, you have a few printing methods to choose from. Here are some of the common alternatives and the reasons why sublimation printing might be the best choice for your project. 

One common method for apparel printing is screen printing, which involves applying ink to a fabric via layers of custom screens that have been created for each design. This technique works better than sublimation printing on natural materials such as cotton, but it takes a significant amount of time to produce and only allows you to use a few colors. Sublimation printing, on the other hand, is quicker and can use an unlimited number of colors. Since sublimation requires less time to set up and is easier to customize than screen printing, you can print a large number of designs quickly. 

Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is another common fabric printing alternative. This involves printing inks onto a fabric using a specialized printer. DTG printing is faster than sublimation printing, but it can only be used to print on small areas of fabric, whereas sublimation printing can handle seam-to-seam printing. 

If you’re wondering which print method is best for your project, feel free to ask your printing partner for advice. They can give you pointers and help you decide which process is right for you. 

Expert Sublimation Printing Services With Print Authority

If you want to make high-quality materials with professionally printed fabrics, partner with The Print Authority! We offer the sharp and clear sublimation printing services that bring your designs to life. We partner with businesses in a wide range of industries and know how to make you look great in print. 

We’d love to talk with you about your printing goals and create the innovative print solutions you need. To receive excellent materials that make a great impression, contact The Print Authority today!

Sublimation Printing Services Explained January 11th, 2024The Print Authority

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