Dye Sublimation Printing VS Direct Textile Print
Making a choice between transfer-based and direct-to-fabric dye-sub isn't as easy as it may seem. It may sound desirable to be able to eliminate the expense and waste of having to use transfer paper, but there are other tradeoffs in going direct-to-fabric. A big one is the resultant image.
With direct-to-fabric dye-sublimation printing, the inks penetrate deeper into the fabric than those used in transfer printing – which only makes sense, since you’re jetting the ink directly onto the fabric rather than let a gas permeate into the polyester fibers. The result is often less vibrant color and “softer” text and images, plus more show-through on the reverse side of the fabric. As a result, the top application for direct-to-fabric right now is flags and other types of outdoor display graphics.
A lot of development is going into direct-to-fabric dye-sublimation and new ink sets and machines will whittle away many of its limitations. This is one of those areas where the landscape will likely look very different in a year's time, if not sooner.
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