Printing fabric dye sublimation

The best way of getting your full colour print into a piece of fabric is dye sublimation transfer. Images are bright, crisp and will never flake or peel off resulting in a long lasting display you will be very happy with.

Dye Sublimation is a process where you don’t even print on the fabric. A mirror image is printed on a special transfer paper with a solid dye suspended in a water based solution. When the dye is printed on the paper the image looks faded and grainy. 

Think of sublimation a bit like cooking.  We have ingredients; image printed on paper plus the fabric. We have an oven; a press capable of reaching temps of over 200c (400F). And we have time; the length of time the ingredients are heated. 

Dye sublimation graphics are mainly produced on synthetic polyester fibres. By feeding the printed paper and fabric through a hot heat press, the polyester fibres expand. At the same time, a chemical reaction is happening with the dye that changes it from a solid into a gas without going through the liquid stage. This gas moves into the open fibres of the material. When the fabric exits the heat press, the fibres close, trapping the dye and permanently changing the colour of the fabric.

Miraculously, the once faded, grainy print has come to life with vibrant colours and photographic quality. By using CMYK and Pantone colour matching, dye sublimation printers are capable of producing your brand colours as intended in a flawless fabric print. Since this is not a surface ink, it will not flake or peel off the fabric. Images remain sharp even after washing. 

Not only will it look good when it’s first printed but it will continue to look great long after. Here is an example of two flags printed different ways. The flag on the left was printed direct to fabric using surface inks. The flag on the right was dye sublimated. 

Now look at the SAME two flags 8 1/2 months later. They’ve been on the same roof beside each other every day. The direct to fabric printed flag on the left is turning orange while the dye sublimated flag on the right still looks sharp and red. 

This type of display is the first impression you make to potential customers. We’re not sure if this is important to you. If it is, click the button and get in contact with Display Up.