If you are in the printing business or are considering joining the rat race, it is important to know every method for which you can print your work. Sublimation is a process by which a solid state is transformed into a gas state completely bypassing the liquid state. In other words, your printer will transfer the design onto a coated sublimation paper with specially designed sublimation inks, resulting in a solid ink once the design dries on the paper.
Once heated is applied to the already printed design, the gas moves from the coated paper where it began and is able to be transferred to a polyester-coated material. When the heat is removed, the ink cools and the gas becomes trapped in the polyester, making your image permanent.
Polyester, however, is the key. Without it the inks cannot be trapped and therefore the design will only remain temporarily. It is also important that you use sublimation only when you are applying a design to light-colored materials as they will not appear otherwise.
It is also important to note that not all inkjet printers are capable of performing sublimation as they cannot use sublimation inks. Therefore, if you are considering using sublimation in the future you may want to invest in one of the few printers that can complete this task.
Lastly, it is very important that when using sublimation that you have a flat and consistent surface in order to get the best results. If the heat is applied unevenly, the image will not be transferred evenly.
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