There was a time when t-shirt printing wasn’t at all that easy and most businesses that offered such services had to make do with messy and time-consuming processes. However, in the last couple of decades, technology has made thing so much easier and the business of printing t-shirts with the use of dye sublimation has boomed considerably. Dye sublimation printing machines have offered businesses a better alternative. Compared to other ways of printing on t-shirts, dye sublimation printing is easier, faster, and the results are remarkably better.
What is Dye Sublimation Printing?
It is easy to wonder what it is about this process that makes it so special and effective; it is really a process worth knowing. The process of dye sublimation printing takes place with the help of dye sublimation printers that allow t-shirt printing businesses to print photo-lab quality photos right in their counter-tops. As the price of these printers go down, it becomes easier for businesses to print top quality designs on t-shirts and other items as well.
When it comes to this type of printing, the colors for the design are not laid down in individual dots; that is how inkjet printers work and as such, the quality is mediocre; the dots can be seen especially when inspected closely, and this makes for less realistic prints on t-shirts and other items.
How Does It Work?
To understand how a dye sublimation printer is better than an inkjet printer, its insides need to be inspected. If the insides of this type of printer were to be examined, a long roll of transparent film can be seen. This closely resembles sheets of yellow, blue, red, and grey colored cellophane that have been stuck to each other from one end to the next. Those films are not just for show because embedded in them are solid dyes. These dyes have colors that are similar to the basic ones used for printing such as black, yellow, cyan, and magenta.
The print head heats up and then it passes over the film which causes the solid dyes to turn to vapor. This allows the dyes to pass through the fabric or paper before they turn solid once more.
What is the Difference?
Really, the main difference between this printing process and others is all in the heat that is used. The vaporized colors go through the surface of the fabric which creates a gentle pixel gradation at the edges; as such, there are no harsh lines produced. Because the dyes infuse the fabric, prints last much longer and are not prone to fading and distortion.
These printers work best on polyester fabric since it is the kind of fabric that allows for the printed colors to appear vivid and bright. The best t-shirt colors to print on are white, pale pastels, or light creams since the designs do not show up well on dark fabrics. This is a process that is usually done by hand which means it might be difficult and pricey for bulk orders, but this process is perfect for t-shirts that have unique and colorful designs.
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