Are you looking for fabric to use for sublimation printing? You came to the right place. Here at Spandex Warehouse, we can cater to your wholesale fabric needs. In this blog post, we will be sharing everything you need to know about sublimation printing. Make sure to continue reading below to find out more information.
What is sublimation printing?
It is a popular printing method that uses sublimation paper to transfer a design or artwork on a piece of fabric by using heat with temperatures around 350-400 degrees and the right amount of pressure. The ink on the design will then turn into gas then will attach to the fibers of the fabric. It is an easy and cost-effective method of printing designs on fabrics and even other materials.
Sublimation printing is a widely used fabric printing method that produces high-quality prints. To ensure success in sublimation printing, it’s important to understand how to create designs correctly.
To avoid common mistakes, such as creased or ghosted designs, it’s crucial to follow the proper sublimation process. Before printing in bulk, consider testing a few designs on a shirt to familiarize yourself with the machine and see how the designs look on different fabrics.
Starting with a simple design and gradually progressing to more intricate designs can help you become more comfortable with the process. This will save you time, money, and prevent potential waste.
How does sublimation work?
You must create or choose your design first, and then you can print the design on a special transfer paper using the sublimation printer. After the design is printed on special paper, a heat press will be used to transfer the design onto the fabric.
The ink will turn into gas and attach to the fibers of the fabric which makes it long-lasting and a more vibrant design compared with other printing methods. The heat and the pressure of the heat press will open the fabric and allow the ink to attach to the fibers. Then, it will be allowed to cool down so the transfer paper will be taken off the fabric.
What are the supplies needed for sublimation?
There are a couple of things that you will need to start sublimation printing.
- Printer – It must be compatible with sublimation printing and can be used with sublimation ink cartridges.
- Heat press – A heat press is used to transfer the design onto the fabric.
- Transfer paper – You can use sublimation or copy paper. The transfer paper will be used to print the design and will be subjected to heat and pressure to transfer the design to the fabric.
- RIP software – Also known as Raster Imaging Processor. It can be used for converting vector files into raster files to produce high-quality designs that will then be printed on the sublimation printer. You can use this for color correction before printing out the design on the transfer paper.
What materials are compatible with sublimation printing?
- Polycotton textile
- Polyester or Polyester blend fabrics
- Polyester-coated aluminum
- Polyester-made fabric
- Polymer-coated metal
- Polymer-coated plastic
When printing on fabrics, you can use different designs, logos, or even images, unlike other printing methods that usually focus on printing one logo per fabric.
Some designs won’t do well when used for sublimation printing such as designs with block colors because there is a chance of ghosting, color mismatch, or even white streaking.
What are the materials that do not work with sublimation?
Cotton fabrics or other natural materials are not recommended for sublimation printing. These types of materials do not have pores that are needed for the ink to be absorbed into them.
Important tips when sublimation printing:
- You can use copy paper or matte paper instead of sublimation paper.
- You can coat the substrate with a polyester coating. This will produce a more vibrant and sharper print. As we have mentioned above, the ink will be absorbed into the material when you use synthetic materials such as polyester or polyester blends.
How to prevent washed-out designs during sublimation printing
When using the heat press, you must wait for a few moments to allow the heat and pressure to work for a successful transfer of the design to the fabric. You must also increase the amount of pressure on the heat press to make sure that the design will be transferred to the fabric properly.
When printing an image for sublimation, make sure to print it larger than the intended object. It’s recommended to print it around 6mm larger to account for any margin of error. Printing a small design may result in a misfit on the fabric and create excess white space. To ensure a successful print, make sure to consider the size and dimensions.
What are the pros and cons of sublimation printing?
- Can be personalized and customized
- It can be done faster
- It produces high-quality designs
- Designs are long-lasting
- It is recommended for polyester or polyester blend fabrics
- Light colors must be used so it will produce clear and vibrant prints
- A color mismatch can happen
What issues can occur during sublimation printing?
Ghosting can occur when the transfer paper shifts during the pressing process. The resulting print will have a light fade beside it that will be blurry or looks like a ghost. This can occur when not enough pressure is applied when using the heat press. It can also happen when the ink on the transfer paper is not dry. You can prevent this from happening by making sure that the ink is dry and that the right amount of pressure will be applied when using the heat press.
White creasing can occur for areas in the fabric that are not reached by the design. This can occur if there is moisture on the transfer paper or if some areas of the fabric are folded. The usual places that are affected by white marks are below the arms and along the seams of the fabric.
Find quality wholesale sublimation fabric at Spandex Warehouse in Los Angeles, California. With over 15 years of expertise in the fabric industry, we can fulfill your sublimation needs.
Get in touch by calling 213-629-7416 or emailing [email protected]. To visit our showroom, please schedule an appointment in advance. We are located at 776 Gladys Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021. Don’t wait, reach out to us today and let us cater to your wholesale sublimation fabric needs.