Sublimation printing, also known as transfer printing, is one of the most modern printing processes and was developed towards the end of the 1960s. The process involves a solid substance being sublimated under sufficient pressure and heat. This means that the substance changes from a solid to a gaseous state, instead of becoming liquefied. So the colour used evaporates.
In order to print a product, a colour carrier is first of all printed in reverse. Synthetic fibrous materials are mainly used for sublimation printing as they are better at retaining the vaporised ink. Polyester or polymer coatings are perfect for this purpose.
Dispersion paint or special ink is usually employed, which can even be applied using an ordinary inkjet printer. The colour carrier consists of paper or a special film. In the transfer print process with a heat transfer press, this carrier film is then pressed and heated onto the material which is to be printed. Under the pressure and a heat of 170 to 230°C the vaporised special dye adsorbs in the textile fibres and consistently penetrates the composition.
Sublimation printing is particularly suitable for outdoors. Thanks to the special combination of colour and fabric it has long-term durability against UV radiation and all types of weather.
T-shirts, fabric samples, and seat covers for the garden or curtains all profit from the characteristics of sublimation printing which is also becoming increasingly important for private use due to the time-savings and low costs involved.
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