Sublimation printing is by far the most commonly used method of modern textile printing. It is quick, reliable and environment friendly, allowing print companies to cut down on waste and speed up repeatable processes without any loss of quality. In point of fact, sublimation printing is normally more reliable for fixation than older styles of textile printing due to the science acting on the fibres during the printing process.
When a piece of fabric is printed using a sublimation printer the ink is injected into the fibres themselves, ensuring an even hue and much reducing the risk of colours running in contact with water (in the wash) or distorting. This ensures a more uniform quality of garment or finished product, allowing companies to know in advance how their promotional items, clothing or other printed fibrous materials will look.
Sublimation printing came into being in the 1990s, after the development of the dye sublimation printer revolutionised the way in which mass printing was done on fabrics. The technique is now widely used and the equipment you need to perform it is readily available to suit most budgets.
From portable sublimation printing units to full office installations, the basic technology is the same. A sublimation printer is twinned with a software package that controls its operation (and into which all print jobs are loaded). That software package also acts as a trouble shooting and advice centre for the owner of the sublimation printer, ensuring a continuous backup and access to every upgrade made to the printer’s operating system.
The type of sublimation printing unit your business uses should be dictated by the volume of sublimation printing you do. If you operate a high volume business you need a printer that can take an extended quantity of punishment without overheating or causing glitches to appear in the printed product. Your printer supplier will be able to recommend the ideal machines for your purposes – though if you need a basic guideline, you need simply to understand the terminology.
For high volume work, you need an industrial sublimation printing unit. For mind volume work you can use a wide format printer or simply a printer that is stated as “mid volume”. A low volume printer will normally be referred to as “low volume dye sub”. Beyond these basic categorisations, seek help from an impartial authority before you make your final decision.
The ubiquity of the sublimation printing market has caused a number of all in one sublimation printer, ink, paper and advice companies to spring up in the UK. Designed to act as a knowledge base and backup hub as well as a product supplier and maintenance arm, these companies empower British printers to deliver the best product to their own customers without exiting their sensible budget range.
From t shirt printing to advertising banners, sublimation printing offers a fast, modern and waste free way to get a message across.