Dye Sublimation printing technology is the method of applying an image to specially coated ceramics, metals and polyester cloth, using three main ingredients: sublimation ink, heat and pressure.Sublimation ink is unique in its ability to convert from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid form. (Just like dry ice.) The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled with pressure and time. Hard items such as ceramic, fibre board, metals, etc. require a special coating to accept the sublimation inks. You must purchase the mugs, tiles, metals, etc. with the coating already on them, it is not something you can coat yourself. When you apply to 100% polyester (e.g mouse mats) you do not need any coating, it is applied directly to the 100% polyester fabric.
Something you should note that true dye sublimation cannot be done on natural materials, like 100% cotton. Natural fibers and non-coated materials have no "pores" to open.The reason why we do think so are as following.Dye sublimation is a process that uses a special heat sensitive dye to print graphics and text onto paper. This is called a transfer.
The reason for this is that sublimation is always done on a polyester, polymer, or polymer coated item. At high temperatures, the solid dye converts into a gas without ever becoming a liquid. The same high temperature opens the pores of the polymer and allows the gas to enter. When the temperature drops, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state. It has now become a part of the polymer.
The paper is then placed on a sublimatible item and both are placed into a heat press for about 20~45 seconds at 180-230 degrees. When the cycle (sublimation) is completed, the image on the paper has transferred to the item and has actually become a part of the surface. If you run your finger across the surface of a sublimated plate you will feel nothing.Dye Sublimation Inks have the characteristics of dyes. It is different with digital printer inks. The brilliance and clearness of an image has been influenced by sublimation of the ink. Sublimation's ink can be realize the customer's needs that get more brilliance and clearness colour by even sublimation of all colour on the wide range of the temperature about from 160°C to 180°C compared with existing dye sublimation ink.