What is Dye Sublimation? – Custom Printed Fabric
What is Dye Sublimation?
Scientifically, sublimation is the chemical process by which a solid turns into a gas without going through the liquid stage. It is one of the phase transitions of matter. For an everyday example, think of an ice cube: freezing and melting are more familiar phase transitions, but when ice cubes shrink in the freezer, it is an example of sublimation.
Dye sublimation printing with thermal transfer does indeed use true sublimation when transferring the image from a contact paper to the substrate. The primary takeaway is that the process uses a heat cycle to cause the ink to vaporize and create a richer and more distinct printed image than other forms of printing, especially on fabric. The dyes used in this process bond best with polymers, so the greater amounts of polyester in the material, the more the dye will bond to the fabric. Our fabrics for the custom backdrops are 100% polyester, leading to the brightest and crispest images possible.
Traditional printing lays down colors in individual dots, meaning that at close distances images can appear pixilated and less realistic. By using the art of dye sublimation, the image dye is heated directly onto the fabric, creating a vaporized glossy seal that is less vulnerable to fading and distortion over time.
Advantages over other forms of printing on fabric:
- Dye does not clump or build up.
- The ink is bonded to the fibers of the fabric, making them extremely vivid and rich.
- Images are photo-realistic, as the tones of the colors are continuous.
- The image can be printed to the edges and cover the entirety of the product.
- The image is heated onto the fabric and will not peel or fade.
All our custom printed fabric backdrops are 8.5 oz, wrinkle-resistant white backdrops ready to print any high- quality image directly onto the fabric. Each backdrop is 100% flame resistant, machine washable, and ships with an NFPA 701 & California Small Scale combination Flame Certificate. Maximum printable area ranges up to 96 inches. Ink is fast drying, vivid, washable and environmentally friendly.