In 1957, Noël de Plasse, a researcher doing work for French textile company Lainie`re de Roubaix, made an appealing discovery. He found out that, under high temperature, certain solid dyes could pass instantly to the gaseous phase without first becoming a liquid. This physical process is referred to as sublimation, and what de Plasse had discovered was eventually termed Sublimation ink. Nothing much was actually carried out with dye-sublimation till the late 60s, in the event it began for use in early computer printers. Today, dye-sublimation printing has turned into a popular and versatile procedure that is predominantly used for various types of textile printing, but also rivals UV for printing on three-dimensional objects like mugs, smartphone covers, and other specialty items.
A dye-sublimation ink is made up of solid pigment or dye suspended inside a liquid vehicle. A photo is printed onto a transfer paper-also referred to as release paper-and also the paper is brought into exposure to a polyester fabric utilizing a heat press. Under heat and pressure, the solid dye sublimates and suffuses to the fabric, solidifying into the fibers. The picture physically becomes part of the substrate.
For several years, printing through a transfer medium has become the conventional dye-sub method. However, there emerged systems-called direct Sublimation paper or direct disperse-that will print directly onto a fabric without requiring a transfer sheet. It’s tempting to consider, “Aha! Now I can spend less on transfer paper,” but it’s not quite as basic as that. Both different types of dye-sub get their advantages and their disadvantages, and if you’re new to the technology, or would like to purchase a dye-sub system, it pays to know the advantages and limitations for each.
The big advantage of employing a transfer process is image quality. “You get a more detailed image, the edges really are a little sharper, text is far more crisp and sharp, and colors are definitely more vivid,” said Tim Check, Product Manager, Professional Imaging for Epson. Epson’s SureColor F Series dye-sublimation printers comprise the F6200, F7200, and F9200.
With transfer paper, during heat transfer vinyl, the ink doesn’t penetrate far to the substrate, remaining near to the surface. In contrast, direct disperse penetrates further into dexopky66 fabric, which-just like inkjet printing on plain paper-ensures that fine detail is lost and colours become less vivid.
“For me, the visible difference will always be clarity because you’re always getting a cleaner, crisper print when you’re performing a print to paper and then transferring,” said Steven Moreno, founder and principal of L.A.’s MY Prints, an electronic print shop that focuses on apparel prototyping and garments for entertainment industry costume houses, in addition to flags, banners, along with other display graphics. Most of MY Prints’ effort is dye-sub-based. “For something with fine detail we would always would like to use transfer paper.”
Another benefit of making use of a transfer process is that you may work together with just about any surface using a polyester coating: banners, mugs, flip-flops, you name it. “There are numerous applications, and that’s really the benefit of a transfer process,” said Check. “It makes it an incredibly versatile solution.”