The original printers were an electrostatic technology using toners but now are generally large format inkjet printers using specially formulated inks. The dye sublimation inks are a disperse dye suspended in a liquid solvent, like water. The images are initially printed on coated heat-resistant transfer paper as a reverse image of the final design, which is then transferred onto polyester fabric in a heat press operating at a temperature around 180 to 210 C (375 F).
Under high temperature and pressure, the dye turns into a gas and permeates the fabric and then solidifies into its fibers. The fabric is permanently dyed so it can be washed without damaging the quality of the image. This process means designs don't peal or crack after a number of times through the wash cycle.
Want more information or assistance in deciding which printing method is best for you? Drop us an email today!