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The Difference between Direct Dye Sublimation and Dye Sublimation Transfer

  Fabric sublimation printing has two different operation processes. One is direct dye sublimation printing, the other is sublimation transfer printing. Each of them has different characteristics. Let's compare the following.

1.Direct dye sublimation printing

•Direct prints directly to a receiving fabric

•One step to fabric, then heat

•Crisp line detail not as sharp

•Requires use of special pre-coated fabric

•Limited selection,not knits nor meshes

•Dot gain.,some spread

•Resolution quality not as fine

•Inherently dries duller by comparison

•Lower costs due to single layer step

•Tension on fabric required to print

directly sublimation printer

2. Sublimation transfer printing

•Transfer prints first onto a transfer paper

•Two steps to fabric, paper first, then fabric

•Crisp line detail is sharp,due to paper sheet

•Good for textural and smooth finish fabric

•Broader selection knits and meshes included

•Dot gain minimal;prints on paper first

•Great resolution, prints to paper first

•Great color quality, colors pop

•Higher cost slightly, more labor&materials

•Tension not required, paper receiving is flat

sublimation transfer printer

   Direct dye sublimation printing is a step process and requires pre coating. The fabric is directly printed and heated to sublimate. Precoated fabrics are available only in smooth surface fabrics. A textured surface will have larger point spread. Surface resolution is not as good as transfer printing. If budget is a big problem, faster turnaround time is necessary, and direct dye sublimation is your solution.

   However, when you need fine resolution, you want a broader choice of fabrics with uncoated fabrics, then dye sublimation transfer printing is your choice. Transfer printing provides you with the highest quality output and can choose a wider range of polyester fabrics.

   The main difference is that one uses the sublimation paper and the other does not.

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