Sublimation printing is a process of decoration that is utilized on polyester garments or other items that have a polyester coating applied prior to printing, such as coffee mugs, tiles, signs, etc. The process derives its name from the fact that the ink transitions from a solid to a gas, bypassing the liquid stage, much the same as when dry ice melts. The process utilizes special sublimation inks that are printed onto paper. The paper is then positioned on the substrate and heat and pressure are applied. The molecular structure of the polyester is such that, at high heat, the fabric opens and accepts the gas from the ink. Upon cooling, the ink is in the fabric and not on the surface. On hard coated items such as mugs, you cannot scratch the ink from the surface. That is because no ink is on the surface but resides inside the coating.
Items printed via sublimation can exhibit near photo quality even on T-shirts. The colors are bright and vivid and launder well especially when compared to other types of decorative printing. This process is especially suited to the newest forms of moisture wicking garments. Those performance fabrics cannot breathe under typical screen printing.
Remember in sublimation printing, the color is a part of the fabric and will not hinder the moisture wicking properties of the performance garment.
Digital artwork requirements can be found here.
Please contact us for any further questions, or to get your printing started today!