Sublimation ~ About / FAQ

What is sublimation?

When sublimation dye is heated, it turns into a colored gas, penetrates the surface of the substrate it is dying and then becomes a solid particle again in the product surface without ever turning into a liquid state. If you run your finger across the surface of sublimation you will feel nothing.



What kind of materials can be sublimated?

Synthetic polyester based substrates.  This includes polyester textiles, lycra and rigid polyester films.  Almost any other substrate that has a polyester treatment can be sublimated.  Nylon can be sublimated as well. Please keep in mind that inkjet sublimation can't be done on natural materials, like 100% cotton. Natural fibers and non-coated materials have no "pores" to open and so the dye just sits on top of the fabric.


What items can be sublimated?

Some of the item include polyester T-shirts, colored mesh ball caps with polyester front, mouse pads, jackets, beverage insulators, polyester calendars, clock faces, doll clothes, polyester patches, ceramic plates, mugs and tiles, FR plastic, coated MDF hard board (coasters, clipboards, etc.) and many other items.



Can sublimation be done on colored substrates?

99% of inkjet sublimation is done on white substrates. The reason for this is because the inks are actually transparent, when sublimated, and need a background to show up 100% accurately. White is the ideal background because it does not clash with the colors. Indeed, the white background actually enhances the colors.