Dye- Sublimation Printing on clothing
Dye-Sublimation printing is a digital print for synthetic fabrics. It cannot be printed onto natural fibres such as cotton. The ink is blended with the molecules of the fabric and not printed on top like screen printing. It is a very durable method of printing and colours become colourfast and seldom run or fade.
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. The image is first printed to a special transfer paper. It is then fed through a high pressure roller heat-press which effectively turns the ink in the paper to a gas. The polymer molecules of the polyester or other synthetic fabrics softens under the heat. It “opens up” on a molecular level. The ink which has now turned to gas is transferred INTO the fabric structure which then closes up when combined with the ink.
It is necessary to print on the fabric first and then put the garment together.