A Closer Look at Digital Sublimation Printing

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A Closer Look at Digital Sublimation Printing

Digital sublimation printing fills a market gap for short-run printing of mugs, shirts, gift items, and promotional goods. Today we are going to have a closer look at this technology.

digital sublimation printing


Before the development of modified computer printers using sublimation dyes and toners in the mid-1980s, sublimation transfer printings were done on commercial printing presses. Because of the expense, it was not cost-effective to print small quantities. Desk-top sublimation printers now allow companies and individuals to print as little as one transfer, at low cost, opening up a new market segment for personalized items.



sublimation transfer printing Getting into the sublimation business is easier and cheaper than ever. A computer with a graphic design program, photo scanner, sublimation printer, and a heat press are all the newcomer needs. Supplies include sublimation paper, extra sublimation ink or toner, and a few product samples to show prospective clients. An increase in supply companies allows larger orders to be delivered in days, eliminating the need to stock large amounts of product.


sublimation printing With the popularity of sublimation printing on the rise, manufacturers have risen to the task of developing new sublimation-friendly supplies. While 100 percent polyester shirts used to be a rarity, they are now available from most large supply houses. Aside from the time-tested coffee mug, newer items include Neckties, aprons, magnets, ornaments, decorative plaques, lighters, picture frames, ID tags, flags, banners, key fobs, and a host of other items–all treated or manufactured to accept sublimation.

Industrial Use

Digital sublimation printing has been used on an industrial scale for some time now, mainly for the decoration of bulk fabric to be sewn into clothing, tablecloths, curtains and bed linens. The ability of sublimation to print complex multi-color designs easily and cheaply has made it a preferred fabric-decorating method for specialty designs and products in instances in which large quantities (and the associated high printing costs) are not desired.

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