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Dye sublimation


 

Direct transfer (dye sublimation) printing

Dye sublimation is the process of transferring ink from one surface to another, using heat. Dye sublimation has been in use for years, mainly for industrial textile printing, but with the introduction of  portable heat presses, it is becoming a popular way to decorate clothing (eg t-shirts), other fabrics and just about any other material that can be coated with polymer primer (eg mugs, plates, tiles, key-rings etc).
 

 
 

Direct transfers (sublimation) vs iron-on transfers...

Iron-on transfers can be used for similar application as dye sublimation, but the processes are quite different.

Iron-on transfers (t-shirt transfers ) are special adhesive sheets which are first printed on, then cut out and ironed onto the blanks (t-shirts) with heat. The transfer sheet STAYS glued to the fabric. You can use almost any printer and ink to print reasonable quality transfers, but for more permanent and professional looking prints, use an Epson printer and HT (high temperature) pigment ink combination.

Note: HT ink doesn't "burn" as readily as regular inkjet ink, colours don't change when heat is applied and the print is more permanent as well.  Contact us for more info and/or to buy HT ink, transfer paper etc (not listed here).

Dye sublimation (direct transfer) images are printed onto special paper, which is then heated and pressed against the blank for pre-set time. This causes some of the ink to vaporize, permeate the fabric and stick to it's fibres. The 'thermal transfer' sheet is then DISCARDED.  Scroll down to buy dye sublimation DS ink. 
 

 
 

Equipment required for dye sublimation. You will need a printer capable of printing with dye-sub (DS) ink and a heat press. Before buying anything, work out what exactly (and how much of) you want to sublimate. There is little point in buying a wide format printer for example and 5in1 heat press, if all you want to produce is few printed coffee mugs. You may find it easier to start small and upgrade as your project/business expands.

Printer: Must be inkjet (Epson, Brother). Any model, preferably four colour (CMYK) will do, as long as there are refillable cartridges available for it. If you can afford A3 Epson printer, they're better built and should last considerably longer.

Tip: If you only need to sublimate few things every now and again, want to save few dollars and already have a suitable (eg Epson) printer, there is no reason why you couldn't use it for regular printing as well as dye sublimation.  All you need then is a second set of refillable ink cartridges and a DS ink set).

Heat press:
What you want to sublimate will determine what type and size press you need. Basic models start from around $200 or you can spend as much as several thousand dollars on a fully automatic high volume press. Multi function (3in1 and 5in1) units take up less space and cost less than buying individual units. Work out what you NEED !

Ink: DS (dye sublimation ink is unique and you can not use "normal" inkjet ink. It will not transfer. There can be considerable differences between sublimation inks from different sources. Some inks sublimate at higher temperatures than others, which can make them unsuitable for certain heat sensitive applications.  Contact us for more info or scroll down to buy dye sublimation ink.

Paper: Good quality DS ink should transfer pretty well from plain (copy) paper and that's really all you need for many sublimation jobs. If you need even higher colour intensity and/or resolution, use sublimation paper. You will also need some heat resistant tape for attaching the transfer to your blank (masking tape works ok).

Tip: High resolution paper works almost as well as sublimation paper and is cheaper. 

Other supplies:  The range of blanks available for sublimating is huge these days and includes mugs, glasses, plates, key rings, phone cases, aluminium board, puzzles, mouse pads, bedding, bags, baseball caps, towels, t-shirts, tiles and many more.

Contact us for more information. 

 

 




Black & colour dye sublimation ink 100ml

InkTec dye sublimation (direct transfer) ink 100ml (0.1L)
For use with any model Epson or Brother inkjet printer
Premium quality, perfect ink for any sublimation project
Shelf life 18 months

Select the colours you need from the 'colour' dropdown
menu then click "add to cart" to order.

Note: LC and LM (light cyan & light magenta) ink for use
in 6 colour (photo) printers only.

Not suitable for Ricoh printers.


Price:

QTY: colour

Black & colour dye sublimation ink 1L

InkTec dye sublimation (direct transfer) ink 1000ml (1L)
For use with any model Epson or Brother inkjet printer
Premium quality, perfect ink for any sublimation project
Shelf life 18 months

Select the colours you need from the 'colour' dropdown
menu then click "add to cart" to order.

Note: LC and LM (light cyan & light magenta) ink for use
in 6 colour (photo) printers only.

Not suitable for Ricoh printers


Price:

QTY: colour

Dye sublimation paper A4

Transfer paper for dye sublimation (DT)

100 sheets x A4

Inktec brand 


Price:

QTY:
Dye sublimation paper A3

Transfer paper for dye sublimation (DT) 

100 sheets x A3

Inktec brand 


Price:

QTY:

 
 

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