What Is The Ghosting of Printing? – Analysis from Sticky Paper And Quick-drying Paper

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What Is The Ghosting of Printing? – Analysis from Sticky Paper And Quick-drying Paper

There are two main types of sublimation paper in the market now, the “high-speed”(in China we call it “quick-dry” or “fast-dry”), and the “Tacky” (Sticky)sublimation paper.

You could find many descriptions and instructions about the high-speed sublimation paper, but the tacky sublimation paper, you could only find the result that it is used to prevent the transfer from ghosting, especially used for elastic(stretch)textile. Because the information you could find is too little, so some clients are confused about whether choose the high-speed sublimation transfer paper ,or the tacky paper.

Today we are going to talk about the tacky sublimation paper completely, hope this article will help you a lot of knowing the advantages and disadvantages about it.

What Is The Ghosting of Printing? - Analysis from Sticky Paper And Quick-drying Paper

1.What is ghosting in sublimation transfer ?

Ghosting is a double image in sublimation transfer. After the sublimation transfer is finished, if you see a light shadow in your result, that is ghosting.

How does the ghosting comes ? There are mainly three ways :

1).You print something like a tile where the sublimation transfer paper overhangs the object a little. When you press, ink from the overhang portion transfers either to the upper or lower platen, depending on how you are pressing the item. Now you put a shirt or anything else under the press, and it comes in contact with the ink that transferred from the previous press, it will ghost onto the new item.

2). You place your dye sublimation paper on a preheated item. As soon as the sublimation transfer paper gets warm from the preheated item, it starts transferring. If you lay the sublimation paper down then move it to adjust position, it can ghost.

3).The third reason that causes ghost is lifting the press up too fast, image drops back down. When we lift the press up, it creates some vacuum, and drop the image back down, when that happens, it shifts the media, causing the ink to transfer to another areas .

The first two types of ghosting is easy to solve, you put a teflon of oil paper during the transfer, or after you preheat the t-shirt, wait until the shirt cools down and then start the transfer process. But for the third one, it is not that easy to solve. So many clients turns to Tacky Sublimation Paper.

2.What is tacky sublimation paper ?

Tacky sublimation paper is one type of sublimation paper, the difference is that it has a tackified coating. The tackified coating will be activated by heat. After the tackified coating is activated, it will adhere to the textile very firmly, so after the transfer is finished and when you lift the press up, the paper will still firmly adhere to the textile, it prevents the paper and textile from moving, the ghosting will not occur.

The tacky paper is mostly used in stretch material such as lycra, the stretch material has a elastic, it is much easier moving during the transfer. But even though you are using the stretch material , doesn’t mean you still need to us tacky sublimation paper, that depends on the heat press machine.

What Is The Ghosting of Printing? - Analysis from Sticky Paper And Quick-drying Paper

3. When do you need the Tacky Sublimation Paper ?

The third reason that causes the ghosting is because your lift the press up, the paper and textile will also go up with the heat press (electrostatic effect), so if you lift the press up too fast, it creates some vacuum , and drop the image back down, when that happens, it shifts the media, causing the ink to transfer to another area.

One thing you could notice from the above , is that the ghosting is caused when you are using the flat-bed heat press. Only in flat-bed heat press, you must lift up the press by yourself, or automatically.

But some clients are using the calendar, rotary heat press (roll to roll). This type of heat press is doing roll sublimation paper to roll textile transfer. The whole process is automatically. You only need to set up the sublimation paper and textile at the beginning . And then leave it alone to do the sublimation transfer. In the whole heat press process, the roll machine provide much control to the paper and textile.

The paper and the textile, they are firmly stick to each other from the beginning to the end. There’s no chance that they will separate in the process. So there’s no chance that the ghosting will come. In that case, normal sublimation paper could do the job very well, tacky sublimation paper is unnecessary even though the textile has elastic. (if you are using this type ,you will understand what we are talking about, if you don’t, you could watch those videos about rotary heat press transfer).

So tacky sublimation paper is only used in : First, you are doing with flat-bad heat press. Second ,the textile is stretch material, or it is easy to move.

But some clients still use tacky sublimation paper. Maybe they were told by others that in the whole market. People are using tacky sublimation paper, or there is sychology effection in their mind that tacky sublimation paper could do better job than high-speed paper. Because the tacky paper provides a 100% security to my transfer that the ghosting will not occur any more. We suggest if you are using the tacky sublimation paper. But actually in our opinion high-speed paper is enough in your job. You could make a small test with the high-speed paper, a few test need only a little investment, but if the test is succeed . It will help you save more cost and help your company become more competitive in your market.

What Is The Ghosting of Printing? - Analysis from Sticky Paper And Quick-drying Paper

4.What’s the difference of High-Speed Sublimation Paper and Tacky Sublimation Paper?

1). The price of tacky sublimation paper is higher than high-speed paper.

2) The tacky sublimation paper dries slower than high-speed paper. Our high-speed paper dries completely in 2 minutes, but the tacky sublimation paper dries in 3-4 minutes.

3) The transfer yield is different, our high-speed sublimation paper could deliver the 96.% ink to the substrate. The tacky sublimation paper is 95.7% .

Whether if you are using the high-speed paper or the tacky paper, hope this article will help you know more about them. If you are still confused of which type of paper you should use, do some test yourself. Tack a real action will help you the most !

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When We Print The Picture, Choose Color Printing or Black And White Printing?

Color printing and black and white printing are two common printing methods in our daily life. Color printing is beautiful, but expensive. Black and white printing, although printed out of quality is not very good, but better than cheap.
So what kind of print is better when we print?

color printing

When choosing a large format printer, one of the basic aspects you consider is whether to buy a printer that can print in color or a printer that prints in black & white. It may seem a straightforward choice, but even here there are issues to consider.

For example a color large format printer can print in black & white for approximately the same cost as a monochrome printer especially at lower print volumes.

Why is it important?

The choice between black & white or color has consequences for how your users will actually use the printer. Analyzing what you need based on the type of print jobs. You do will help determine which is the most cost effective.


The choice between a color and/or black & white large format printer is usually driven by how you expect to use the machine.

  • Output: if you are printing posters, photos, technical documents, drawings or presentations, you will most likely choose color.
  • Productivity: speed might force you to prefer black & white. A black & white printer generally performs faster.
  • Print robustness: if your prints or copies are used outside on a construction site for example, you need these prints to be waterproof. You don’t want to see how the rain ruins your technical drawings. Prints made on black & white large format printers will provide this. Some color printers offer a solution as well. Color printers based on color toner, pigment ink or color printers that can print on special (waterproof) media will also suffice.
  • Handling print costs: consider the following:
  • The cost of printing a black & white print on a color printer is approximately the same as on a black & white printer when your monthly print volume is low.
  • If users start printing potentially expensive color prints because a color printer is at their disposal, managing print costs will be difficult.

color digital printing


Choosing a color and/or a black & white large format printer mostly depends on what you expect your output to be, what print speed and print robustness you need. And last but not least consider, given the above, what is most cost effective for you.



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