Sublimation Transfer Printing: Why Is Color Management So Difficult?

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Sublimation Transfer Printing: Why Is Color Management So Difficult?

One of the things that seem to elude many starting out in sublimation transfer printing is reproducing colors in a predictable and reliable manner. Why color management is so difficult?

sublimation transfer printing

The problem of color mis-match in the process of digital sublimation printing is not usually the result of a defective system. Scanners, digital cameras, monitors and printers all reproduce color differently, each having different methods and ranges of color management.

dye sublimation printerFirstly, the computer monitor is displaying in RGB mode while the dye sublimation printer is printing in CMYK mode. And with sublimation, what comes out of the printer is not the final color as it will shift again during the pressing. It is a sort of like translating from one language to another. Just as there is rarely direct word-word match-up in translation, so we see the same situation for the color management.

sublimation transfer paperIt should be noted that a computer screen makes its own interpretation of color, thus what is displayed is probably not the correct color, so spending a lot of time trying to match the output of the printer to what is displayed on the monitor is probably a waste of time. It is far better to be sure that the correct color management settings are being utilized to ensure color accuracy for the final product. Many RIP software programs provide free color management tools. For more advanced color management, you can buy a RIP program which provides very precise tools for managing color and controlling production.

digital sublimation printing

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sublimation printing

Why Do We Prefer Sublimation Printing on Fabrics?

Why Do We Prefer Sublimation Printing on Fabrics?

dye sublimation printing

Here are some advantages that come with sublimation printing:
Sublimation printing is, by definition, the sublimating of dye in fabric. The way it works is like this. First, a transfer paper is printed on a digital printer that is set up with CMYK dye cartridges rather than your typical CMYK inks. CMYK, or four color process printing (4CP is the shorthand version of CMYK which stands for cyan-magenta-yellow-black) is used in surface printing of materials, including direct-to-fabric printing, but does not become part of the fabric like dye sub printing does.

Sublimation is one of the very few methods you can print full colored images onto hard surfaces.
It has a relatively low learning curve compared with screen printing.sublimation transfer paper
Almost unlimited colors to choose from. Thousands of colors can be produced with sublimation (even if you choose a 4 color printer). And it doesn’t cost extra to add additional colors to your design.
Same cost to print one item or 1000 items. So no need for minimum orders, and perfect for 1-up items and promotional items for small businesses, schools, charities, sports teams, parties, reunions, and many more!
Complete customization! The advantage of digital sublimation printing is that no plates are required, so it is ideal for customizing designs with changing elements such as names, numbers, etc.
Sublimation is quick and easy to produce, allowing for same day or same hour printing, as well as on demand printing that reduces risk and wastage.
Anyway, sublimation now is more and more popular in this world and it will be a fashion trend in textile printing.

As far as advantages, I talked about the continuous tone printing that creates brighter and smoother color variations and transitions than you’ll find with inkjet printing, and a superior overall look, in our opinion. Also, because the dye impregnates or is sublimated in the fabric, it is permanent and cannot flake off like some types of ink will, particularly garment inks used for t-shirts or inks printed on rigid substrates. So, durability and appearance are probably the best examples of the superiority of dye sublimation printing of fabric or garments.

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