In 1957, Noël de Plasse, a researcher employed by French textile company Lainie`re de Roubaix, made a fascinating discovery. He discovered that, under high temperature, certain solid dyes could pass straight to the gaseous phase without first transforming into a liquid. This physical process is referred to as sublimation, and what de Plasse had discovered was eventually termed Sublimation ink. Nothing much was actually completed with dye-sublimation up until the late 60s, when it began to be used in early computer printers. Today, dye-sublimation printing has developed into a popular and versatile process that is predominantly useful for various textile printing, but in addition rivals UV for printing on three-dimensional objects like mugs, smartphone covers, and also other specialty items.
A dye-sublimation ink consists of a solid pigment or dye suspended in the liquid vehicle. A picture is printed onto a transfer paper-also known as release paper-and the paper is brought into exposure to a polyester fabric by using a heat press. Under heat and pressure, the solid dye sublimates and suffuses to the fabric, solidifying on the fibers. The photo physically becomes area of the substrate.
For years, printing by way of a transfer medium has been the conventional dye-sub method. However, there have emerged systems-called direct Sublimation paper or direct disperse-that may print directly onto a fabric without requiring a transfer sheet. It’s tempting to think, “Aha! Now I will spend less on transfer paper,” but it’s not quite as easy as that. Both varieties of dye-sub get their advantages along with their disadvantages, and when you’re a new comer to the technology, or wish to purchase a dye-sub system, it pays to know the advantages and limitations of each.
The large benefit from employing a transfer process is image quality. “You end up with a more detailed image, the sides are a little sharper, text is far more crisp and sharp, and colors tend to be more vivid,” said Tim Check, Product Manager, Professional Imaging for Epson. Epson’s SureColor F Series dye-sublimation printers comprise the F6200, F7200, and F9200.
With transfer paper, during heat transfer vinyl, the ink doesn’t penetrate far into the substrate, remaining next to the surface. On the other hand, direct disperse penetrates further into dexopky66 fabric, which-similar to inkjet printing on plain paper-ensures that fine detail is lost and colors become less vivid.
“For me, the real difference will be clarity because you’re always getting a cleaner, crisper print when you’re doing a print to paper then transferring,” said Steven Moreno, founder and principal of L.A.’s MY Prints, a digital print shop that are experts in apparel prototyping and garments for entertainment industry costume houses, as well as flags, banners, as well as other display graphics. Nearly all of MY Prints’ job is dye-sub-based. “For something with fine detail we might always wish to use transfer paper.”
An additional benefit of employing a transfer process is that you could work together with any type of surface with a polyester coating: banners, mugs, flip-flops, take your pick. “There are countless applications, and that’s really the advantage of a transfer process,” said Check. “It can make it a very versatile solution.”