Question: Can you please describe how dye sublimation printing works? Which kind of printer is commonly used? Is it the same as heat transfer printing?
Answer: Wow! All excellent and related questions to the dye sub as well as heat transfer printing of fabric, one of my favorite methods to print fabric and other items, although this answer will deal mostly with polyester fabric.
First, there are two forms of sublimation paper. One uses ribbon so transfer color into a transfer paper, and also the other is the same basic printing method as digital printing except you will find differences between ink and dye. As well as the same printers works extremely well, although not interchangeably due to the differences between dyes and ink.
Inkjet printing uses, typically, what is known the “four color process” printing method. The four colors may also be known in shorthand as CMYK ink colors. CMYK represents Cyan-Magenta, Yellow, and Black, which in virtually any combination will print just about any color, not including neon colors or metallic colors, but most colors within the photo spectrum.
Because of the limitations of CMYK inks, additional colors are already included in some printers that are now referred to as 6 color digital printers, having added an easy cyan plus a light magenta to achieve some of the harder colors to produce inside the printing process. Some printers have even added orange and green cartridges as well.
Dye sublimation printing is slightly different. The dyes used are like ink, though with some differences. The ink set for dye sub printing is also a four color process (best known in shorthand as 4CP), however the shorthand version the following is CMYO, or cyan-magenta-yellow-overprint clear. Where will be the black, you could wonder? It will be hard to create a full color spectrum without black!
To spell out in which the black went, or rather better, where it comes down from in CMYO dye sublimation printing, I have to delve into most of how it operates. As mentioned previously, an ordinary 4CP laser printer is necessary to print dyes too, although the dye has to be printed over a treated paper cleverly named “transfer paper.”
A photo is printed in reverse (or mirror printed) about the ink sublimation. The paper is matched as much as a piece of fabric. The fabric can not be a natural fiber because of the process that might be explained momentarily. The fabric typically used usually is polyester because it is a versatile fiber that can be made to appear like everything from an oil canvas to a sheer fabric into a double-sided knit material which can be made right into a double-sided flag or banner.
As soon as the paper is matched for the fabric, it is actually run through heated rollers at high-pressure. The rollers are heated to merely under 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 210 degrees Celsius. Because the fabric passes through the heated rollers, two things happen. First, the pores or cells of the poly-fabric start, while simultaneously the dye on the paper is changed into a gaseous state. The gas impregnates the open cells which close while they leave the heated rollers. This produces a continuous tone print which cannot be achieved having an printing device due to the dot pattern laid down from the inkjets.
If an item for example plastic or aluminum is coated using a special polymeric coating, these items can also be printed. Besides banners and posters and flags, other considerations that happen to be commonly dexupky33 with dye sublimation heat transfer printing are clothing items including T-shirts, table covers, sportswear, ID cards, and signs.
Some benefits to heat transfer vinyl roll is the fact that image is an element of the fabric, therefore it doesn’t peel off like ink on top of fabric or other materials and will not fade for many years. The dye cannot develop on fabric like t-shirts either. Everyone had worn a printed shirt where the ink felt enjoy it was very stiff at first glance in the material, as well as over time it will quickly flake off. This will not occur with dye sublimation.
Other advantages are the colors may be more brilliant than other printing due to procedure of dye sublimation along with the continuous tones which are achieved if the dye converts into a gaseous state. Because in printing garments the fabric is printed ahead of the shirt or jacket is constructed, the picture can go to the edge of the fabric that is not achievable typically with screen printed shirts.