What's Dye Sublimation Printing?
Many people think that this printing technique prints images into a substrate using the principles of sublimation. Dye sublimation printing is the process by which a solid transforms directly into a gas. Therefore, the specific sublimation inks used for the printing process are transformed from a solid into a gaseous state with enough heat from a heat press.
The inks can penetrate the surface of the substrate when they are gaseous by exerting pressure using a heat press. The printed design is created when it instantly transforms back to its solid state and joins with the substrate.
Though, it might not be the case. Some industry insiders argue that it’s dye diffusion rather than dye sublimation. It involves heating dyes to cause them to disperse into a substrate. However, since it was originally used, the phrase has acquired popularity, and the moniker has persisted.
Heat transfer and direct-to-film printing are somewhat comparable to dye sublimation (or dye-sub, for short).
Consider DTF prints as an example. Once the pattern has been transferred, you may feel the texture of the print by running your hand over it. The majority of printing techniques, such screen printing and direct-to-garment printing, apply ink to the substrate. The layer where the designs are printed is still noticeable.
Try to feel around the printed area with dye sublimation, but you won’t feel any obvious layers on the surface. In a sense, the substrate has become embedded with the inks!
What’s the Dye Sublimation Printing Process Like?
To print on the chosen substrate, you must first develop the design. Any graphic design program, including Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or Corel Draw, can be used for this. A raster image processor, or RIP, program helps convert the image into a set of instructions that the sublimation printer may utilize after the design is complete.
In order to ensure that the substrate is nice and flat and that the design won’t get smudged or incorrectly printed, heat press the garment for about 5 to 10 seconds before you begin. Since the inks will be sublimated into the substrate, no preparation of the substrate is required. This also cuts down on the overall production time at the same time.
Your design will be printed by dye sublimation printing printers onto unique transfer paper. The item can then be placed over the area on which the design should be printed, a sheet of protective paper can be placed over it to prevent staining or damage to the substrate during printing, and the design can then be transferred using a heat press.
The inks become gas under the heat press, which enables them to absorb into the substrate. The heat “opens” the pores of the substrate, while the pressure cools the ink and returns it to its solid state. The inks will have firmly bonded to the fabric by the time it cools.
Dye Sublimation Inks
Another name for dye sublimation ink is “disperse dyes.” They are printed on sublimation transfer papers using a unique aqueous (water-based) ink. The inks are released from the paper when heat and pressure are applied; the inks sublimate from liquid to gas and are then absorbed molecularly into the substrate. If done correctly, your prints are waterproof and stain-resistant.
Depending on the type of ink, the inks are “heat activated” at temperatures between 370 and 400 oF. The ink could activate even at 340oF, which could result in long-lasting stains on your equipment. When purchasing your inks, be sure to carefully read the storage directions.
The greatest results will be obtained by printing inks on white or light-colored clothing because dye sublimation is an additive color process. This is due to the fact that non-white clothing’s color will “bleed” into the pattern, drastically altering its overall color palette and vibrancy.
The fact that these inks are odorless and environmentally safe is crucial. You use a lot less ink to print out your ideas, which reduces the amount of ink that must be used for cleaning or printing, as well.
Additionally, the colors used in the inks don’t include any hazardous chemicals, heavy metals, solvents, or other elements that could endanger human health or harm the environment. However, having a printing space with good ventilation and following excellent OSH standards can guarantee that you and your team are fit and well at work.
Except for the process of applying designs to the garment, dye sublimation printing doesn’t take very long. The benefit is that the clothing won’t require any weeding or preparation. Regular quality inspections will guarantee that each print is executed properly, that there are no problems with ink bleeding or white creases, and that the fibers of the garment have fully absorbed the inks.
Nevertheless, you’ll need to understand how to modify your labor costs and calculate a “optimal” profit margin.
Sales Time – Your company won’t succeed without clients. You’ll need to promote your business and its products to potential customers while figuring out how to keep the ones you already have.
Accounting time is the amount of time spent reconciling your business finances, including time spent creating bids or sales orders, speaking with vendors, or even haggling with clients.
How will you deliver your customers’ orders? Shipping & Handling What factors should you take into account when preparing to send orders?
Do you need to clean the printers on a regular basis? What can you do to maintain them effectively while not wasting your production time?
If you have a team of individuals assisting you with day-to-day operations, you’ll need to be realistic in your estimates of labor expenditures. You must take into account both their wages and other costs, such as utility bills.