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Sublimation printing is a printing technique that is widely used for promotional products such as T-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, phone cases, screen cloths, etc. This technique provides a vibrant, durable and high quality printing that is attached directly to the polymer coating of the product. The sublimation printing process includes the following steps:
Preparation of the design: First, the design you want to transfer to the product must be prepared. The design is usually created on a computer and converted to a format compatible with a dye sublimation printer.
Preparing the printer and sublimation inks: The printer is prepared for sublimation printing by installing special colors called sublimation inks. These colors are specially designed for the sublimation process, as they transform from a solid state to a gaseous state when heated without transitioning to a liquid state.
Transferring the design to paper: The design is printed on special sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. This paper has a special coating that allows colors to transfer to the product during the sublimation process.
Product preparation: The product to which you want to transfer the design must be prepared. This includes ensuring that the surface of the product is clean and smooth, and preparation for color transfer.
Sublimation process: The printed paper is placed on the product with the printed side facing the material of the product. A heat source such as a hot press is then applied. The heat source heats the paper and inks, causing the inks to transfer to the product and sublimate, i.e. they pass from the solid state directly to the gaseous state.
Cooling and finishing: After sublimation, the product is cooled so that the colors properly harden on the material. The printed paper is then removed, revealing a vibrant printed design. The product can be further processed, for example by washing or ironing, to ensure the durability of the print.