The Rudimentary Guide to Understanding Dye Sublimation Printing
Dye sublimation printers are well known for their capacity for high photographic productions on fabrics. As the technology that powers this innovation makes further progress, dye sublimation can actually be counted on for a cost-effective option for cutting edge printing available to everyone.
An all-purpose dye sublimation printer can be purchased for desktop use at a mere $900.
How Does the Dye Sublimation Process work
The process of dye sublimation begins with films that contain the dyes that will be applied. All of the primary colors must be used as well as gray. Most printers will use a film with four-layers that contain all these colors or four separate films to produce a vivid array of color crafts.
As the printing process progresses, these films will be laid in place and heated with the head causing the colors to leave the film and enter the materials. This is the part where “sublimation” comes into play.
Because the inks are transformed from solid to a gas and then reapplied as a solid, there are no liquid states. This makes one of the most precise forms of printing with no mess.
What Makes A Dye-Sub Printer So Good?
Sublimation uses inks that are sensitive to thermal influences. Under the intense heat, inks turn to a gas that can combine with polyester fabrics and become part of the materials. This allows the colors and pictures depicted to become highly resistant to multiples washings. The inks will not crack or fade over time.
What do you need for the Dye Sublimation Process to Work?
There is a specific set of materials you will need to begin producing high-quality printing for flags, banners, fashion, sportswear and many more vivid productions.
1. Printer and Ink (Film)
The first thing you will need is a top-quality printer and sufficient ink for your process. The Roland Texart RT-640 is a great option that is available in four or eight colors. The other specifications of these printers allow the user to produce especially lifelike productions in photo work.
Along with a first-rate printer, you will need the proper software support to interface with and produce your projects. ErgoSoft is arguably the best option you will find and offers an all-encompassing support for projects large and small.
“ErgoSoft Roland Edition” is offered for all clients of the Roland line of products. It conveniently includes a first-rate color management system that can introduce you to Orange and Violet as well as additional colors in the 8-color scheme.
3. Transfer paper (sublimation paper)
Transfer paper is required to absorb the image and then transfer it onto the fabric you are producing. A top-notch transfer paper will absorb the inks quickly and release them just as easily. This will create the brightest and most colorful images.
4. Heat and Pressure
The printing itself is only one step in the process. Sublimation requires very specific temperatures and pressures to be performed adequately. The lowest recommended temperature is 180°C, but depending on the specific fabric you are printing, you may need higher temperatures. The exposure times will also depend on the fabric you are using.
Getting the temperatures and pressures correct is the delicate side of the process and takes some time to get used to. New users have hit this learning curve with various degrees of success depending on their equipment and understanding of the process.
The choice of textile used in dye sublimation will play a big part in the success of the production. For best results, a 100% polyester pre-shrunk fabric is most suitable for the majority of sublimation printers.
Pre-shrunk is important to avoid the image being distorted during the printing process. Many manufacturers of dye sublimation printers also supply the best materials in a variety of presentations.
6. Protection paper
Another big player in the heating and pressure system is the protection paper. It ensures the dyes are transferred properly and protects other elements of the printer. This also ensures there will be no discoloration on following projects.
Dye Sublimation Printing is one of the best ways to create attractive images in vivid colors that won’t fade away. If you looking to purchase one of these, be sure to consider your specific use and purpose to ensure you get the best one for the task.