What is Sublimation Ink, Its Types And How It Works? complete guide

Things to know about Sublimation Ink

Sublimation printing is one of the most mesmerizing types of printing. It is also involved when people make customized gifts for their live ones by printing images on any type of surface like mugs, pillowcases, t-shirts, or any substrate. know about Sublimation Ink.


In this printing process, the focus is on the sublimation ink. The better the ink, the more quality results you will get. So here are details of sublimation ink, its background, advantages, durability, composition, functioning, and application.


Let’s start!

Background of Sublimation Ink 


So first, I’m going to tell you about the background of sublimation ink. A company named “Imperial Chemical Industries was the first company who launch sublimation ink into the world. Simultaneously, they had the scheme to use sublimation ink in thermal transfer printing.


Thermal transfer printing works in a way that it deposits sublimation ink as an image through a thermal print head. But this complete process was unsuccessful as the image quality was 400 dpi, which is a very low-resolution image.


Earlier, the printing ribbon was costly and was not producing the desired results. Therefore the story does not over here. The sublimation experts solved this problem by introducing inkjet printing dyes.


Functioning of Sublimation Ink


Now we will explain to you how the entire sublimation process works. So basically, the heat provided to the printing ink converts the ink into a gas known as Sublimation Ink.


Normally, the normal print ink generates the print on the paper after absorbing the report. But as sublimation ink is a genuine ink, it has a unique rule.


It works in a way that sublimation paper first catches the sublimation ink, then by activating the heat press, it performs the print on the substrate.


The point to be noted here is that the heat press plays an important role in this entire process as it converts sublimation ink, which is solid, into a gas. We can never achieve the sublimation ink without a heat press.


That’s why Sublimation Ink gives the most long-lasting and smudging results.


The printing method of sublimation ink


There are two sublimation ink methods:

  1. Direct printing
  2. Transfer printing


The Direct printing method uses simple dye sublimation ink without transferring it into the fabric. That’s why it has a variety of textile screens.


In transfer printing, the image gets printed on the transfer sheets of paper. Then that sheet transfers the image to the substrate and, after providing the required heat press.


The heat press converts the ink into vapors, which helps the substrate to absorb the ink.


This entire printing process provides a bright and durable image quality. That’s why sublimation ink is very popular for printing mugs and mouse pads. Things to know about Sublimation Ink.


FYI: Dyed sublimation ink is digital computer printing. In this printing, through the usage of heat, it transferred the dye to the substrate as plastic, fabric, etc.


Composition of Sublimation Ink


Some of the main elements of sublimation ink are:

  • Binder
  • Pigment
  • Solvent

Apart from these elements, its type and brand also affect the design.


Now I’m going to tell the main purpose of the three elements and why these three elements have importance in sublimation ink

Binder: The binder can hold the stains to prevent clogged damage to the printhead.

Pigment: The pigment helps the ink in receiving the color

Solvent: With the help of the solvent, a huge amount of ink collects on the print surface.


Here the fundamental fact is the more quality elements you are using, the more high-quality ink you will produce and the high-definition results you will get. Also, sublimation ink relates to dispersed dyes, naturally organic and soluble compounds. Things to know about Sublimation Ink.


The durability of Sublimation Ink

Sublimation Ink has a dwell time that gives the knowledge of how long it will last ‌, basically noting its durability. Its main dwell time depends on two factors: the quality of the ink and the heat press machine.


The total dwell time for the heat transfer is only 20 seconds. Like other factors, heat transfer also has an ideal temperature. Things to know about Sublimation Ink.

If you use a pressure of 15 to 60 psi, transferring the image becomes very simple. Also, you can adjust these factors according to your needs.


Applications of Sublimation Ink


The uniqueness of sublimation ink lies in the fact that it has special applications. Let’s discuss ‌what kind of applications it has.


As you know that sublimation ink is lamination and coating free, so you can use sublimation ink on garments and image surfaces. But it gives long-lasting results if used for garment printing.

Also, digital marketing uses sublimation ink as it gives colorful results to the printing. And Its effects provide the best results for the electrostatic toner and electrographic.


Advantages of sublimation ink


Now I will explain to you the benefits of sublimation printing.

As you know now, sublimation ink differs from normal ink. Therefore, in sublimation, ink molecules do not sit on the fabric; their molecules only rest on the polymer threads. Because of this, it absorbs a powerful effect of color.


The main reason the sublimation ink is quite popular is that it does not demand separate areas for the process.


Also, in its production, there is the involvement of deadly chemicals. Are you getting worried about the use of toxic chemicals in the process? Then don’t worry; the dangerous chemicals used in this process lack the properties of sublimation and are not involved in the final substrate.


If they joined the final substrate, it would cause pollution, but because of the friendly nature of the sublimation ink, it blocks this type of pollution.


Final thoughts


So after reading this entire article, you now have a clear idea of the background, advantages, composition, and working of the sublimation ink.

It is favorable for colors of low resolution and works best with a white background. And at last, I would like to inform you that sublimation ink is not fair for cotton and non-porous surfaces.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the sublimation of printing t-shirts?

It is a specific process of printing a particular image on the t-shirt. It first prints on a special sheet of paper and then transfers the image to the polyester or polyester mix.

  1. What is sublimation ink?

In this printing process, the focus is on the sublimation ink. The better the ink, the more quality results you will get

  1. Can we convert the desktop printer into a sublimation printer?

Yes, you can, but there would be involvement of third-party software.

  1. How long does sublimation printing last?

It lasts for about

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