A Brief Note On Sublimation

Sublimation is the new trendsetter in the world of the clothing industry. It has created opportunities to experiment in the apparel world. So, what exactly is Sublimation?

Sublimation is a type of printing method. In other words, a design, transferred to fabric or material using ink and heat. It allows the design to be printed from seam to seam. It allows us to play and experiment designs to the fabrics. For those of you, still wondering what does this Latin word means, in a more simple term, a design printed to the whole T-shirt from top to bottom, from seam to seam using the ink and heat method. Now moving on, let’s explain how it actually works.

The printing process of Sublimation

Sublimation is the process of printing design using the heat method. To start with, a design is printed onto the special paper. The inks that are used are bought under heat, which makes it turn into gas. Finally, they are combined to permanently print into the fabric. Since the ink is permanently fixed and inscribed into the fabric, it does not fade easily.

One can compare this process to the art of tattoo too. The only difference would be your skin replaced by the fabric you choose. 

Types of Sublimation Process

The types of Sublimation can be divided into 5 categories. They are

1. SCREEN PRINTING-Screen printing also known as Silkscreen printing, is the most common type of printing. The work is done only with a stencil and a needle. This method is best for printing high-quality design t-shirt.

2. DIRECT TO GARMENTS (DTG)- DTG is also very popular but requires skills and knowledge. The work is done using an ink and textile printer. It is a best option to print super complex designs. It is not durable and may fade easily within a year or two.

3. DYE SUBLIMATION- Dye sublimation is best suited to light fabrics and shirts. One needs deep knowledge to learn this method. The fabric best preferred is polyester and a special liquid dye is needed for this method. This method is best for t-shirts with minimum durable designs. 

4. HEAT PRESS PRINTING- Heat press printing is economical and saves time and resources. It is done by using a special paper called transfer paper. This method is like Dye sublimation, but the only difference is the process is done till the heated dye on the transfer paper softens until it gets on the beneath the cloth.

5. VINYL CUTTING – Vinyl method is used to print a large number of garments. The method used by cutting a special soft cloth into shape or designs and then transferring by heat press method. It is more durable and gives you the freedom to play with designs. This design is mostly used in slogans, small graphics, and sportswear.


The best part about this method is one gets full freedom to choose their designs.  As crazy as it sounds, one can print a whole t-shirt looking like a donut. The possibilities are endless. The designs are durable and are best suited for small batch orders.


This method is best suited only for selected garments like 100% polyester or polyester blend. Next is creasing. The work is done by printing on white fabric. So if a place is accidentally folded or if the design is unreachable to a certain place in fabric, it stays white.


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