Sublimation printing refers to the printing procedure in which the dye is vaporised (sublimated) onto the material. Transfer papers and foils are used in the process, as well as dyes and special inks, which are generally sublimated onto synthetic fibres.
Emulsion dyes that are water-insoluble are used. The advantages of sublimation printing is particularly that polyester materials can be printed with photo-quality, at comparatively low cost and in a very environmentally friendly manner. There is no need for bonding agents or solvents, which might be present with other printing methods in the fibres and which would have to be washed out. Furthermore, the print is very resistant to UV rays and other environmental influences.
Materials suited to sublimation printing, such as t-shirts, are frequently made of polyester or are coated with a polyester layer. Other fibres that come into question include those from polyamide, polyacrylonitrile and cellulose acetate. Natural fibres such as cotton and wool are not suitable.
»Favoured areas of use: t-shirts, sportswear, etc...