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The Science Behind Sublimation Printing


The Science Behind Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printing is a unique method of printing. It remains one of the most durable, lasting ways to get designs onto a material, paper, or other surfaces, making it a popular option for work uniforms and sports jerseys that get a lot of regular wear and tear. Here’s some of the science behind what makes sublimation prints so enduring.


While dye-sublimation uses the same basic colors for printing—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black—it has a different, more realistic look to it. Unlike other types of printers like inkjet, sublimation printing doesn’t place color as individual dots. This method is what leaves inkjet photos looking less cohesive. Dye-sublimation uses vaporized colors to permeate this surface of the paper or material, creating more gradation at the edges of each color pixel rather than a hard border.


The real magic of dye-sublimation happens with the heating process. A dye-sublimation printer heats both the ink and the material until the pores of the material widen, and the ink vaporizes. This switch from a solid ink to a gaseous form of ink is what gave dye-sublimation it’s name. Sublimation itself is a scientific term that refers to an element jumping from a solid to a gas state, entirely skipping the liquid stage. An example would be dry ice.

The open pores allow the vaporized ink to enter the material itself. Once the heat is removed, the pores close again, trapping the ink inside. This fusing process is what makes this printing so durable. The ink becomes part of the fabric, meaning it can outlast wear and tear and even repeated washings.

At YBA Shirts, our team specializes in this type of printing. We currently use this method to outfit one of the nation’s most significant youth sports leagues and would love to help your team or organization as well. Visit our website to learn more.

Sources: https://science.howstuffworks.com/question583.htm

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