Sublimation is a transfer process in which the image becomes a part of the actual item. Sublimation needs special ink, paper and substrates with a polyester coating or fabrics that are synthetic to work.
When heated to temperatures over 160C, sublimation ink turns into a gas. In fabric items, a chemical process occurs and the gas bonds to the polyester fibres. In coated products such as ceramics, metals, woods pores of the polyester coated item open up and allow the gas to enter. Then, once removed from the heat, the pores of the polyester substrate close up, trapping the ink inside. The entire image will be smooth to the touch.
The design or image from the computer is printed onto the special release paper (called sublimation transfer paper), and from there is applied to the item which is then put into a heat transfer press.
There are a number of heat presses, for flat items, curved items, round items and even a 3D Vacuum press.
When fabrics are printed with this process, the print is permanent and cannot be removed, not even with bleach.
Sublimation transfers, have photographic quality, with bright vibrant colours.
Below is an example of a sublimation transfer system. You can see the sublimation printer, Mug press, flat press, and a vinyl cutter.
We have sublimation systems to suit all needs and budgets, from under R 10,000 to over R 80,000. We have a wide range of different presses and printer combinations, and you can even design your own custom configuration according to your needs.
For more details, please view our catalogue which shows all the different systems we offer.
Please view our catalogue for the most up to date info and pricing on this system