The dye sublimation process is very clever process, which utilizes the chemical phase transition process called sublimation, whereby a substance is changed directly from a sold phase into a gaseous phase without going through the usual intermediate liquid stage.
This process is used to make fake smoke via dry ice, to freeze dry instant coffee, and also to digitally print onto polyester fabrics and other substrates/items with a polymer coating or surface.
It works by printing dye sublimation inks (dye particles in a water based solution) via inkjet print heads, onto a holding paper we call dye sublimation paper, and then heat pressing this onto the polyester fabric.
This can be done one a small format basis with an A4 sublimation printing setup for example, with a small format flat heat press and a mug press, which in an inexpensive setup which many small businesses use to produce items such as printed mugs, mouse mats, wooden coasters, and various other personalised printed gift items.
It can also be done on bigger scale using wide format digital sublimation printers and large format rotary heat presses, also known as calendar presses. The sublimation paper is then printed at the required width for the fabric, and then the paper goes through the rotary press, turning the roll of blank fabric (or the meterage required) from a blank fabric to a fully printed polyester fabric.
Polyester is the perfect fabric to print and use for certain processes, due to to the pleasant handle and lightweight feel, which makes it a popular fabric for ladies blouses and sports/performance clothing. Having said that, there is a very wide range of polyester fabric available, some of which is very distinctly polyester, however some polyesters are now made which don’t feel like polyester at all.
There are canvas style polyester fabrics, cotton feel polyesters, and even 100% cotton which has been treated to make it printable via dye sublimation. So dye sublimation for digitally printing polyester is now a very popular process for a wide range of uses.
If you have further questions about digital polyester printing, or digital fabric printing in general, see the Meshtex Printing Services website, or give us a call on 01625 876949.
Meshtex has been involved in the textiles industry since 1972, supplying colour separation services and rotary screen engraving to the fashion, furnishings and wallpaper industries. In 2005, we started to produce printed fabric homeware products and kitchenware products as a … Continue readingDigital Printing on Polyester Fabrics
The dye sublimation process is very clever process, which utilizes the chemical phase transition process called sublimation, whereby a substance is changed directly from a sold phase into a gaseous phase without going through the usual intermediate liquid stage. This … Continue reading