Many people are curious about the strength and durability of dye-sublimation prints, expecting them to be rather easily washed away. The truth is that, when a dye-sublimation print is performed on a material with which it works well, the dyes in the inks become chemically bonded to the polyester fibers within the fabric.
There are a few items upon which it is not possible to use sublimation printing. These include items such as garments and fabric made from cotton and items that have a polyester coating on them but are not able to withstand the extreme temperatures that are required during the dye-sublimation process. It is, however, technically possible to print a cotton fabric using the dye-sublimation printing technique, but the print will generally fade within a few washes.
Once they have chemically bonded with the fibers, the print is not able to be washed, scraped, or scratched out of the fabric. These materials can also be ironed and laundered many times without losing any of the quality they possess. The only things to watch out for when it comes to dye-sublimated prints are dry-cleaning and ultraviolet light.
Dry cleaning is too harsh of a procedure for these fabrics, and it will likely damage the print. On the other hand, ultraviolet light will eventually cause fading of print over a long period. However, if used under normal conditions, without any harsh elements or ultraviolet light, fabrics should last for many years.
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