Let’s talk Sublimation and Debunk the Myths
As with any other industry, there will be myths, rumors will spread, and people will be naturally curious as to what is true and what is false. Let’s answer the sublimation questions right here, right now!
Sublimation printing, also known as dye sublimation printing, is a printing method for transferring images onto suitable materials. Sublimation images are printed onto special transfer paper via a digital printer using sublimation ink. The designs are then pressed onto the substrate (shirt, mug, license tag, etc.) using a heat press and high heat temperates of anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees. The heat turns the solids of the ink and transfer material into gas thus permeating the fibers of the material. In addition to releasing the gas from the sublimation ink, the heat also opens the pores of the garment you are sublimating onto. As soon as the heat is removed from the transfer paper and the garment, the ink returns to its solid state, the pores close, and the ink is trapped inside the substrate. Now that you know what it is, let’s get those burning questions answered and debunk the myths!
What is Sublimation Printing?
MYTH: You can only sublimate onto 100% polyester garments.
FALSE: Many people still believe this oldie, and it is simply not true. Fabrics with polyester do provide a brighter,
more vivid image; however, there is now a special chemical you can pre-treat 100% cotton with and sublimate
onto it as well. Triblend fabrics such as the very popular Bella + Canvas Triblend tee are fantastic to use for
sublimation. Mugs, water bottles, ceramic tiles, license tags, and many other products take sublimation very well.
MYTH: The design fades quickly.
FALSE: If laundered properly - washed inside out in cool/cold water, line-dried or tumble dry with ow heat - the image
will not fade. This same concept applies to any garment you purchase regardless of the design technique used.
MYTH: The image peels and/or cracks.
FALSE: As stated above, sublimation ink is a solid that turns into a gas when pressed with high-temperature heat.
When the heat is removed, the gas has turned solid and is permanently a design on the garment. It will never
peel or crack as compared to vinyl.
RUMOR: You can only print designs with white on white shirts.
TRUTH: This is true because there is no such thing as white ink in sublimation. If you sublimate a brown rabbit
with a white tail onto a pink shirt, the tail will be pink (the color of the shirt). This can make for some really interesting
designs! But, if you want the white bunny tail, you need to stick with a white shirt.
MYTH: You cannot customize a sublimation design.
FACT: This is 100% false. Sublimation images are designed in a number of different software platforms including
one for the iPad. You can design anything you like!
Summing it Up
Now that we have cleared that up, share with us any designs you would like to see on a tee. We may just make it happen!
Toodles for now!