We Should Know Something About Dye Sublimation Transfer Printing

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We Should Know Something About Dye Sublimation Transfer Printing

What is dye sublimation printing?

Dye sublimation printing, a dye-sublimation printer is a computer printer which uses heat to transfer dye onto materials such as a plastic, card, paper, or fabric. The sublimation name was first applied because the dye was considered to make the transition between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage. This understanding of the process was later shown to be incorrect. There is some liquifying of the dye. Since then, the process is sometimes known as dye-diffusion, though this has not eliminated the original name. Many consumer and professional dye-sublimation printers are designed and used for producing photographic prints, ID cards, clothing, and more.

These are not to be confused with dye sublimation heat transfer imprinting printers, which use special inks to create transfers designed to be imprinted on textiles, and in which the dyes do indeed sublimate. These are done at lower temperatures but higher pressures, particularly in all-over print processes.

Some dye-sublimation printers use CMYO (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black) colors, which differs from the more recognized CMYK colors in that the black is eliminated in favour of a clear overcoating. This overcoating (which has numerous names depending on the manufacturer) is also stored on the ribbon and is effectively a thin layer which protects the print from discoloration from UV light and the air, while also rendering the print water-resistant.

Digital printing is replacing traditional methods in different branches of the graphics industry. There are multiple reasons for this shift but the main drivers are the cost-efficiency, possibility to personalise prints and the flexibility of these machines.

This is no different in the textile printing business. Traditional screen-printing is replaced by digital textile printing solutions like sublimation printing for shorter production runs and prints that require multiple colours and photographic imagery. The digital alternatives are ideal for the personalisation of prints, which is extremely popular nowadays.

dye sublimation printing

What do you need for it?

Our specialty is to offer “one-stop sublimation printing solution”.

In the process of printing and transferring, the printer, paper, ink, transfer machine, cutting machine and even the software which can deal with pictures are all sold in our company.

Printer and ink

A high-quality printer equipped with sublimation inks is essential. ORIC, MIMAKI, MUTOH and ROLAND printers  are specifically designed for sublimation printing. The printers are available with Texart ink in four (CMYK) or six colours (CMYK, Lc, Lm). These inks have many colour-giving elements and are highly concentrated, which is necessary to create beautiful, vivid and crisp images.

sublimation printing


You also need a RIP software to control your printer and to manage your print jobs. When you invest in a Roland printer, you are sure that you also have the ideal software at your disposal to run your machine.

Transfer paper (sublimation paper)

To create high-quality sublimation prints, you need a transfer paper that has high ink absorption and dries quickly. The paper needs to stay flat and may not wave after printing. It is also important that the paper releases the ink when heating. Feiyue Paper does all that and is therefore the perfect paper for your sublimation prints.

dye sublimation printing

Calender/Roller heat transfer machine

Printing is only the first step of the dye sublimation process. For sublimation to take place, you need heat and pressure. Heat presses come in a variation of sizes and shapes, but you need a calender for roll-to-roll sublimation. Feiyue Sublistar offers different trpes of heat transfer machines. Professional calender system that is fast, affordable and easy to use, making it a perfect finishing partner for the sublimation printers.

You need a minimum temperature of 180°C for sublimation to take place. Depending on the textile, we advise a temperature of 185 to 200°C and an exposure time of about 55 seconds to simultaneously heat the ink on the transfer paper and the polymer fibres within the substrate, enabling the transfer of ink to media. Please note that you will need to adjust the temperature and/or exposure time when the results are not satisfying.

calender dye sublimation printing


When choosing a textile for sublimation printing, it is important that you take a 100% polyester fabric that is pre-shrunk. This avoids shrinking when heat is applied.

Protection paper

If you use a calender, you also need a protection paper that ensures optimal transfer of the ink onto the textile during the sublimation process and that protects the belt of your calender against ink.

“One-stop sublimation printing solution” is our specialty.

If you need any material in the heat transfer printing process, we can supply it for you.

If you have any questions, please consult our experts online, we will provide you with the best quality service.

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