Dye Sublimation is a process for decorating polyester fabrics and materials. It is accomplished by printing a special ink onto transfer paper, applying that paper to a substrate and then applying heat and pressure to the material. The result is a soft-hand print and excellent color reproduction.
This technique works best on white or light colored polyester fabric with a minimum polyester content of 50%.
As you can see from the samples, the colors can be made very vibrant or more subdued, based on the look you are trying to achieve. It is important to know that with garment decoration there will be imperfections in the print, created by the wrinkles in the garments, making each piece a unique piece of art.
PRINTING THE PAPER
The production department prints out a sheet of paper that has the front and back imprint for your garment. Since the paper isn't reusable, each garment in the order has a separate sheet printed for it.
Once the sheets are printed they are placed on the garment and put under the heat press. The heat and pressure from the press change the ink on the paper into a gas and bonds with the polyester fibers in the garment. Garments with a higher percentage of polyester will result in a much better print. After pressing, the paper is removed from the garment leaving a vibrant print with a very soft hand feel.
CHARACTER MARKS (IMPERFECTIONS)
Although we try as best as possible, most garments will not lay perfectly flat when we prep them. As a result, any wrinkles on the garment won't have ink applied to them. These areas will remain the original color of the garment. This is a standard part of the sublimation process. Think of your garments as being individually unique products.
Colored garments can be sublimated. However, there are a few things to consider here:As of right now there is no way to apply white sublimated ink to a colored garment.Anything white will become garment color.When you apply a print to a colored garment all of the ink colors get altered by the garment's base color. For example: sublimated yellow ink onto a blue garment will result in a green print.