Introduction of specific dye sublimation printing process

Dye sublimation is quite unlike regular fine art giclee printing. With most kinds of printing, the variables one has to manage are limited to ensuring a color-calibrated workflow with calibrated monitors, printers, and proper paper profiles. There is a finesse involved, for sure: which is why prints from a professional studio will always be of higher quality and fidelity than prints made on a home printer. However, with dye sublimation, multiple other steps are involved that, despite correctly calibrated equipment, can introduce all manner of challenges.

The steps of dye sublimation are as follows:
1. An image is printed through a specialized RIP (raster image processing software) onto a coated dye sublimation transfer paper using dye sublimation inks.
2. The paper print is left to dry completely, and often set under the platen of a heat press – but not pressed – to ensure it is completely moisture free.
3. The print is taped or adhered to a substrate, like metal, wood, glass, tile or fabric. The tape must be heat-resistant to at least 450ºF.
4. A heat press is heated to 400º (depending on the substrate), and the printed paper and substrate are placed into the press.
5. And this is where the magic happens! In the heat press, the dye ink molecules are under extreme heat and pressure, which makes them “sublime”. This is where the term “sublimate” comes from.
6. The ink molecules by pass the liquid state of matter and move directly from a solid on the paper to a gas.
7. The coating on the substrate – a special kind of polyester – also goes through a shift in its state of matter, but not to a gas: it “glassifies”, meaning it transitions almost to a liquid but still holds its structure as a solid.
8. The sublimation ink gas molecules have nowhere to go but into the glassified polyester coating on the substrate, due to the extreme pressure in the heat press.
9. Once the allotted time is up, the substrate is removed, and the print is peeled away. The dye ink has been transferred integrally into – literally in between the molecules – the polyester coating!
10. The printed image is now permanently embedded into the coating on the substrate. 
More info:
Company Name: Fei Yue Paper Industrial Co.,LTD
Tel: 86-025-86628894
Whatsapp: +86 18252072197
Address: Central Road 323, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China