Amazingly Vibrant Color for Signage and Promo
This capability has plenty of potential for you and your customers so if you would like to get the ball rolling, send us a quote request on the job in question and we will start working for you. Otherwise, read on about dye sublimation below!
What is it?
Dye sublimation is a technique that dates back to the 50’s. The process involves printing an image onto a transfer paper with specially formulated water based inks. Once your full color image is printed, the paper is aligned over the item being sublimated and held into place with heat resistant tape or adhesive. It is then moved to the heat press where it is set to the correct temperature, dwell time, and pressure The press is then lowered and activated. When the timer rings, it is time to take off the pressure and see the finished product!
The ink, once printed to the specialty transfer paper, is activated by the heat from the press, which is usually around 400 degrees F. The ink undergoes an endothermic reaction, where it changes from a solid state to a gas (skipping the liquid step). The gas transfers onto the item with the help of the pressure and heat. The result is a vibrant, nearly permanent high resolution print.
What can be dye sublimated?
Technically, anything could be dye sublimated, although without a proper coating, the ink will not adhere. There are virtually thousands of dye sub printable blanks to chose from, and a growing list of signage materials. Dye sub printed metal is easily one of the most vibrant reproductions of color we can create here at Voom!
Sandals, coasters, shirts, pillowcases, and cell phone cases. Dye sub is the application for your promotional item needs!
As with any application in a print shop, there are limitations, and dye sublimation is no different.
Starting with the printer, we cannot (yet) print white ink. This would be an issue if you want to get an image onto a darker substrate, for example. However, most substrates and blanks in the industry tend to be white so you still have the color to work with in your design.
The heat press is really quite versatile for being such a simple machine. With options that allow for everything from glass to textiles, we can transfer images to a multitude of items with varying shapes. Coffee mugs, tumblers, shot glasses, or anything rounded needs to be processed in our industrial oven using heat conductive wraps. Currently we are limited to a 20 x 24 image area for transfer but as demand grows, so does Voom. 🙂
Lastly, the item you are dye subbing MUST have a polyester or polymer coating in order for the ink to transfer and adhere to the item. No, you cannot just throw your cotton shirt into the press and expect perfection. Wicking shirts or other polyester based shirts are your best bet for ideal performance in apparel. Voom will help guide you in the right direction for your application, all you have to do is ask.
Are you ready to sub? Just ask Voom!
The time has come. Dye sublimation is a vivid and unique way to place your graphics on a wide variety of promotional items as well as signage. Branding will have more reach, marketing will have more engagement, your customers will expect cool things. The boundaries are only limited by imagination and a little bit of physics.
The Voom Group has officially started our new dye sublimation department, so just ask Voom. We will walk you through the steps so you can achieve the highest quality product, every time. Contact us if you would like more information on this capability or come and visit the shop to see everything in action! When in doubt, just ask Voom!