You may have heard the term ‘sublimation’ aka dye-sub, or dye sublimation printing, but no matter what you call it, sublimation printing is a versatile, digital printing method that opens up a world of opportunities for garment creation and originality.

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Sublimation dyes are printed onto a transfer medium with a specially prepared inkjet printer. Thereafter, those dyes are then transferred from the medium to an object or garment under the heat and pressure delivered by a commercial heat press.

Sublimation only works on garments made of polyester. When the heat and pressure are applied, the dye on the transfer medium sublimates, or becomes a gas, and is then absorbed into the polyester itself; the print is actually a part of the garment. One of the huge benefits of sublimation is that it doesn’t fade easily, wear down, or have any texture or weight.

What does this all mean to you?

  • There’s a minimum run of 10+ garments of the same design.
  • The nature of sublimation means that prints are never heavy or thick.
  • Durability. There is no cracking or peeling in a sublimated print, they last as long as the garment.
  • Not only could you turn your white garment any colour; you could also cover its surface with any image you like!
  • This process only works on some polyester garments. Think modern performance fabrics.
  • This style of customisation is often ideal for clubs and large teams.

When you weigh all the facts and if you want a small number of full-colour printed garments, or if you are a fan of light-feeling prints and performance fabrics, sublimation may fit your needs perfectly. If you absolutely want a cotton garment or have a large order with a small number of colours in your designs then you should think about sticking with screen printing instead.

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