The Science of Dye Sublimation Printing Explained
Dye-Sublimation is often misunderstood. A quick search on the internet using sublimation as a keyword will return 1000’s of pages which normally relate to high quality, dye sub proofing printers. These do not constitute the large format dye-sublimation printing available at Colour Box. We are not printers of mugs, t-shirts etc. We can transfer with dye-sublimation techniques onto a big range of fabrics for point-of-sale and exhibition displays, interior design, and hard surfaces for architectural purposes.
To begin to understand “dye-sublimation” we first need to understand 3 key words.
- Dye – to impregnate colour into a material
- Sublimation – a change directly from a solid to a Gaseous state without becoming a liquid
- Polymer – consisting of large molecules made up of a linked series of repeated simple molecules
The term dye sublimation can be simply defined by the sentence – solid dye particles being turned into gas using heat and pressure, which bonds with any polymers present and then changes back into a solid.
In simple terms this equates to putting sublimation ink on paper and applying heat and pressure to transfer an image onto a fabric or flat sheet of some hard material. Today you will find the dye sublimation term primarily used in the digital printing arena although historically other more traditional printing processes have been used.
Colour Box in New Zealand deliver dye sublimation technology as a process to image onto fabric, film, and metals.