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What is Sublimation Print?

Sublimation Print: The Art of Vibrant and Long-lasting Designs

In the world of printing, there are numerous methods available to bring designs to life on various surfaces, including sublimation print.

Having gained extreme popularity in recent years, sublimation print is our main method of printing for custom sportswear and apparel. This innovative technique offers unique advantages over traditional printing methods, delivering vibrant, long-lasting designs with exceptional precision. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of sublimation print and compare it to other printing methods.

Understanding Sublimation Print

Sublimation printing is a process where heat and pressure are used to transfer ink onto a substrate, such as fabric, metal, or ceramics. In our case, we use sublimation print to dye sportswear with a number of benefits and unique aspects. Unlike traditional methods like screen printing or direct-to-garment printing, sublimation ink is specially formulated to convert from a solid to a gas without passing through a liquid phase. The ink penetrates the surface of the material, resulting in a permanent, full-colour, high-resolution image.

You can see our sublimation process in action on YouTube by clicking here, or watching the embedded video below. Bear in mind it’s a few years old now, and was put together back in 2017!

Advantages of Sublimation Print

  • Vibrant and Long-lasting Designs: Sublimation printing produces stunning, vibrant colours that remain vivid even after multiple washes. The dye-infused ink becomes a part of the material’s fibres, ensuring the design doesn’t crack, fade, or peel over time. This makes sublimation ideal for producing high-quality, durable products like custom apparel, home decor, and promotional items.
  • Unlimited Colour Options: Unlike other printing methods that use a limited number of colour inks, sublimation printing allows for an unlimited colour range. This means you can achieve intricate designs with gradients, shadows, and subtle colour variations, providing endless creative possibilities.
  • Seamless Design Reproduction: Sublimation print enables the transfer of complex and detailed designs with remarkable accuracy. It can faithfully reproduce photographs, illustrations, and intricate patterns, capturing even the finest details. This level of precision makes sublimation ideal for personalised products and custom printing projects.
  • Versatility across Various Materials: Sublimation print can be applied to a wide range of materials, including polyester fabric, ceramic tiles, aluminium sheets, and more. The process works best on materials with a polymer coating or a high polyester content, ensuring excellent ink absorption and durability. This versatility makes sublimation suitable for creating customised products for fashion, home decor, sports apparel, and promotional items.

Comparison to Other Printing Methods

  • Screen Printing: While screen printing can produce vibrant designs, it is limited in terms of colour options and intricate details. Sublimation print surpasses screen printing in terms of colour range, design complexity, and durability. However, screen printing may still be preferred for large orders or designs that require thick ink layers.
  • Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printing: DTG printing offers the advantage of printing on a variety of fabrics, including cotton. However, sublimation print stands out with its ability to produce brighter colours, sharper details, and designs that do not crack or fade over time. Sublimation is particularly well-suited for synthetic fibres and polyester blends.
  • Heat Transfer Printing: Heat transfer printing involves applying pre-printed designs onto materials using heat and pressure. While it allows for flexibility in terms of materials, it often results in designs that can peel or crack after multiple washes. Sublimation print, on the other hand, offers superior longevity and colour vibrancy.

So why go for Sublimation Print? 

Sublimation print is a remarkable printing method that has revolutionised the world of customised products. With its ability to produce vibrant, long-lasting designs on various materials, sublimation has become a go-to choice for personalised home decor, promotional items and, of course, custom sportswear. Its unlimited colour options, seamless design reproduction, and versatility set it apart from traditional printing methods like screen printing and heat transfer printing.

Embracing sublimation opens up a world of creative possibilities for designers, businesses, and individuals alike.

For a quote on custom sublimation sportswear or branding, get in touch by calling us on 01905 425324 or by emailing us here.



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