WHAT IS SUBLIMATION PRINTING?
Dye Sublimation is a printing technique that allows for full color, all-over apparel prints. Your artwork is printed onto a sheet of high-release paper and the paper will transferred onto your apparel using heat and pressure. Heat converts the solid dye particles into a gas — known as sublimation — and bonds them to the polyester fibers.
BLANK APPAREL SUBLIMATION PRINTING
The more economical of Tmaker Apparel’s two dye-sublimation printing processes is sublimation of pre-made, blank garments.
This process involves the use of a stock, blank t-shirt, tank-top, sweatshirt, or other pre-constructed garment. Unlike the Cut and Sew Sublimation process, which uses assembled fabric pieces. The processes are very similar, as are the results — but there are limitations to sublimation printing on blank apparel.
SUBLIMATION GARMENT PRINTING LIMITATIONS
Because the garment is pre-made, when laying it on the press, there will always be areas of the garment that pucker and do not print. This leads to blank creases as seen below. Unfortunately, these limitations are not avoidable when dye-sublimation printing on blank apparel. If you would like to use the sublimation printing process while avoiding these limitations, the Cut and Sew Sublimation process should be more to your taste.
RESULTS TO EXPECT WHEN DYE-SUBLIMATION PRINTING BLANK APPAREL
Sublimation is an amazing process that allows for vibrant, full color, all-over prints.
However, it’s not magic — our cadre of on-staff sorcerers are working to rectify that. Until then, expect imperfections from the process, especially around seams and folds.
Single-sided prints will show the bare garment color on the non-printed side. Typical sublimation apparel is only available in white. Single-sided prints will clearly show the unprinted side if you use the full print area.
Expect to have smudges, blurs and creasing near edges, seams and collars. When printing flat artwork onto a constructed garment, it’s impossible not to have some imperfections, particularly under the arm.
DESIGN WITHIN THESE LIMITATIONS
Artwork that embraces these limitations works best and enhances the look of the shirt. Patterns or graphics strategically placed in problem areas can help hide any imperfections and smudges from your customer.
SHIFTING ON PRESS
Images shift up to 2″ on press and are not able to be aligned front-to-back. Keep this in mind when designing. Color blocking or trying to line up graphics with apparel seams may produce unsatisfactory results.
CUT AND SEW SUBLIMATION
The more high-end of Tmaker’s sublimation printing services is called “cut and sew all-over sublimation.” This process is similar to the pre-made garment sublimation process. However, with cut and sew sublimation, the printing is done before the garment is assembled. This process is a bit more costly — but the quality of the final product is far superior. Additionally, cut and sew sublimation avoids many of the limitations (creasing, blurring) of blank apparel sublimation.<br>
The cut and sew sublimation process produces higher quality results and provides more options for customization to make garments unique and set them apart from the competition. The cut and sew process takes a bit longer in production than standard sublimation on pre-made blank apparel.
CUT AND SEW SUBLIMATION ADVANTAGES
The limitations of sublimation printing on blank apparel — e.g., blurring, creasing, and smudging — are completely avoided with custom cut and sew sublimation printing.
The advantages is your choice in which parts of the garment you want decorated with sublimation.
Instead of solid fabric, remember you can always opt to decorate with an embroidered area, foil screen printing. This is part of the beauty of cut and sew apparel manufacturing — the only limitation to what you can do is your budget!