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Frequently Q&A for Newbies to Sublimation Printing

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Update time : 2024-04-26 10:59:00

Sublimation printing is a common digital printing process in the personalized customization industry. It can be widely used in many industries such as clothing, decoration, home furnishing, and advertising. As the market demand for personalized customization and on-demand production has further increased in recent years, sublimation printing is gradually becoming more and more popular. According to Google Trends, global searches have grown by approximately 115% since 2004.

Sublimation transfer uses professional paper - sublimation paper - and then prints the design by heating. Because polyester fibers open their pores to absorb dye, it is recommended to use this technique on fabrics containing 85% polyester or higher. While operators can also use lower-content fabrics, the color will be affected and you may end up with a pattern that has a more "vintage faded" effect. In addition, sublimation printing can also be applied to hard surfaces with polyester coatings, such as keychains, puzzles, mugs, and more.

 

 

Can sublimation paper be transferred to dark fabrics?

Sublimation printing works best on white or light fabric backgrounds. While you can also use it on dark fabrics, this will affect your color results. Sublimation printing does not use white ink, and the white portions of the design remain unprinted, revealing the undertone of the fabric.

The advantage of sublimation printing over heat transfer printing (such as heat transfer vinyl) is a wider range of color options. It means you can print the background color directly onto the fabric without having to use a different color of fabric, and since it is a dye-printing method, the fabric will feel as soft as the original after being printed.

 

Is sublimation paper sensitive to air humidity?

Sublimation paper has a strong ability to absorb moisture, and exposure to humid air will cause the sublimation paper to absorb moisture like a sponge. That will result in undesirable image blur, uneven transfer, and color shifts.

 

Which side is the correct printing side of sublimation paper?

The correct printing surface is usually indicated on the packaging of sublimation paper or in the instructions for use.

In addition, you can use the following methods to identify the correct printing side of sublimation paper:

(1) Observe the gloss. The coating of sublimation paper is generally smooth and will have some gloss under the light, while the other side will be relatively dark or lackluster.

(2) Touch texture. The correct printed side may feel smooth, while the other side may be relatively rough.

(3) Water drop test. Put a drop of water on the surface of the paper. If the water droplet penetrates quickly instead of staying on the surface, the side of the dripping water may be the printing side.

 

 

Can sublimation paper be reused?

No matter which type of heat transfer paper you use, you cannot reuse it. Although some ink may remain on the sublimation paper, the amount of ink remaining is not sufficient to produce a high-quality print. Therefore, the paper cannot be used again for printing.

 

How to solve the wrinkle problem of sublimation paper transfer?

Wrinkling sublimation paper transfer issues can be caused by a variety of factors, including paper quality, environmental conditions, equipment settings, and more. Here are some possible solutions:

(1) Paper handling. Make sure the sublimation paper you use is of good quality and avoid using paper with a moisture content that is too low or too high, as this can cause the paper to curl or be too soft, causing wrinkling. At the same time, keep the paper flat and avoid curling the edges.

(2) Environmental control. Control the ambient temperature and humidity during transfer. The room temperature should be controlled at 18~22℃, and the relative humidity should be controlled at 60%~70%. This helps maintain the moisture content of the paper and reduces wrinkling caused by environmental changes.

(3) Operation skills. During the transfer process, a few heat presses should be applied periodically to evaporate the moisture from the cotton lining. Replace dry padding material promptly to reduce wrinkling caused by moisture.

(4) Avoid ghosting. Take steps to reduce ghosting, such as reducing the rise speed, using special sticky transfer paper, or adding tape to the corners of the transfer paper to increase stickiness.

(5) Machine maintenance. Regularly maintain and inspect equipment to maintain lubrication of important parts and reduce printing wrinkles caused by loose machine parts.

 

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