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Best Materials For Sublimation Printing


Best Materials For Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printing is changing the quality of team uniforms and sportswear that is available on the market. This technique transfers high-quality images onto many different fabrics, without losing any of the original resolutions. The result is durable gear, with long-lasting and vibrant colors. But as prints are transferred to fabrics using heat rollers, this particular type of printing doesn’t work on all materials.

For example, sublimation printing is not possible with cotton fibers, as the sublimation ink only binds to polyester material. It is a general rule that it is not possible to dye fabrics this way unless they are made of at least 60% polyester. Poly/cotton blends are also not ideal, because prints will quickly fade in the wash. The ink will only bind to the polyester material, so your uniforms will have a vintage look from the start. So what are the best fabrics for this particular type of printing?

100% Polyester

Synthetic fabrics work the best because in this type of dying process, the ink becomes part of the structure of the material. The dye used is not the same as traditional inkjet inks, instead of being made up of the colors CMYO – cyan, magenta, yellow, and overprint clear (which turns to black when applied to the transfer paper). The heat turns the dye into a gaseous form, which allows the fabric to open up and accept the dye into its cells. Once the fabric cools, the cells close up, and the color becomes locked into the fabric in clean, sharp, detailed colors.

Polymer Fabrics

This includes nylon, lycra, and spandex. These fabrics are able to absorb color in a similar way to polyester. They provide a great alternative which is more breathable and doesn’t stick to wet skin. Because these types of cloth are stretch fabrics, they allow more freedom of movement and make great warm-up gear, including joggers, and t-shirts.

Quality gear made with sublimation is available from YBA Shirts. Produce designs fast, and choose from a large selection of options, including hard goods. To find out more visit the YBA website.

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