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What is Dye Sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing is the process where ink is sublimated into the fabric (100% nylon / polyester) at high temperature.

What you get is a fully all-over printed apparels with designs ink inside the fabric (smooth feel of the T-Shirt).

The ink undergoes a process from solid to gaseous state without undergoing the liquid state.

This process of sublimation allows the ink to be part of the fabric. At the end, it feels that you printed directly onto the fabric itself, as you cannot feel the ink, unlike silk screen printing or DTG Printing where you can feel the ink. 

The unique feature of sublimation printing is precisely that the ink is in the fabric. This is in contrast to other digital transfer methods such as digital heat transfer printing where the printing is done on the exterior of the fabric. This makes it a unique printing method when it comes to T-Shirt Printing in Singapore.

At Meowprint, our Sublimation printing services have a lead-time of about 3-4 weeks from the start of processing of our orders.

With only a minimum order quantity of 50 pieces, you are able to customize your all-over printed apparel.

1. How did Sublimation printing come about?

Interestingly, the origins of sublimation printing are a result of the discovery of piezoelectricity and research of inkjet printers. Noel de Plasse first invented sublimation printing in 1957.

He cleverly discovered that high temperatures could cause specific dyes to sublimate. But, this was later discovered that his dyes didn’t really sublimate and that it was more of a dye-diffusion process.

The subsequent events that took place are then subject to debate. On the one hand, it has been said that Nobutoshi Kihara, who worked for Sony, adapted dye diffusion into a proper dye-sublimation process primarily for the purposes of printing video stills.

But, at the same time, across the other side of the world, Wes Hoekstra in California was thought to have developed the first computer-driven sublimation system.

What’s important to know is that – the advance of technology and the increased demand for such high quality products have caused a increase in the prevalence of sublimation printing today.

2. What is Sublimation process?

We mentioned above a very brief idea of what sublimation printing is. If you are eager to learn more about it now, fret not, because this section will be dedicated to elaborating on the process of sublimation printing as well as the equipment and materials that you might need.

The idea of sublimation is crucial in this process. To refresh your memories from the glorious days in schools, sublimation is essentially the process where a substance transitions from the solid state into the gaseous state.

The important thing to note here is that the liquid state is leapfrogged. Conversely, the process of deposition is the opposite.

In this process, a substance transitions from the gas phase directly into a solid, again leapfrogging the liquid phase. Do keep this in mind, as this will then help you understand the later sections of this article.

sublimation process
Sublimation Printing Process

3. Process of Sublimation T-Shirt printing (Step-by-step)

Basically, successful sublimation printing can be done in this two part process :

  1. Printing the design onto a special transfer paper using sublimation inks.
  2. Using a heat press to transfer the design on the special paper (in Step 1) onto the t-shirt

As you can see from the process above, the crucial equipment used in sublimation printing is:

  1. A sublimation printer, sublimation inks and a software to control your printer.
  2. Transfer paper (or sublimation paper)
  3. A heat press machine
Sublimation printing process
Sublimation Printing Process

Printing the design onto the transfer paper

The sublimation printing process begins with a printer and unique sublimation inks.

A dye-sublimation printer uses heat to transfer dye onto various materials. Sublimation ink is unique because of its ability to convert from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid form.

  • First, the printing process starts with films that contain dyes (ink). The film typically includes 4 color pigments, cyan magenta, yellow and gray.
  • Typically, this could either take the form of a single film with 4 layers of colors, or 4 individual films for each color.
  • Then, during the printing process the pigments in these films are heated up and transferred onto the transfer paper through a piezoelectric print head. This print head is capable of printing at least 200 different shades of each color!
  • The pigments will then transition into gaseous state and leave the film.
  • The pigments will subsequently cool and solidify onto the transfer paper. This is the sublimation process!

Transferring design on the paper onto the t-shirt

Now that you have successfully printed your design onto a sublimation paper, the next step is to transfer this onto the final product – your t-shirts.

In order to do this, a heat press is required. With the application of heat and pressure for a period of time, the design can be imprinted onto the t-shirt. The period of time is dependent on the dye formulation and the type of fabric of the t-shirt.

Again, this requires the process of sublimation all over again. The high temperature from the heat press causes the dye on the paper to sublime into a vapor/gas. At the same time, the pores of the t-shirt that you’re pressing heat onto will also open up. Once pressure is released and heat is cooled, the dye will then turn back into solid form.

The result? The pores of the t-shirt will then close and the gas reverts back to a solid state. Because the pores of the t-shirt have encapsulated the ink whilst it was closing, the ink is now part of the fabric.

The difference between Inkjet and Sublimation Printers

The comparison between inkjet and sublimation printers can be useful to further show how sublimation printers work!

One interesting fact about the sublimation printer is that the color produced by it is of a higher quality than typical inkjet printers .

For one, inkjet printers print by spraying droplets of liquid ink from the nozzles. But if you magnify this result, you can still somewhat see the primary colors.

On the other hand, sublimation printers are capable of producing images with continuous tones of colors. These colors physically blend together.

We have shared much technical details about the process of sublimation printing on t-shirts (that's our forte!) Well, if you need more visual reference, check out the video below.

4. Advantages & Disadvantages of Sublimation Printing

To help you make a better choice when deciding on the type of t-shirt printing services, we have also come up with some advantages and disadvantages of dye sublimation printing method.

Advantages

  • An all-over print effect on the t-shirts is achieved as ink is printed from seam-to-seam.
  • You can’t feel the ink as it will become part of the fabric and the end product is a soft-hand feel.
  • Long-lasting quality design as the printing becomes part of the fabric.
  • Thousands of colors to choose from!

Disadvantages

  • Type of t-shirt is restricted as only certain types of fabric are suitable for sublimation printing. eg suitable for 100% nylon / polyester material only.
  • The color of the t-shirt is restricted to white or light-coloured ones.

5. Sublimation printing can be used for the following Products from our T-Shirt Printing catalogue.

Apparels

  1. ✅ All T-Shirts
  2. ✅ All Polo T-Shirts
  3. ✅ All Outerwear
  4. ✅ All Singlets & Tank Tops
  5. ✅ All Caps & Hats
  6. ✅ All Corporate Uniforms
  7. ✅ All Workwear
  8. ✅ All Shorts & Pants

Promotional Products

  1. ✅ All Bags
  2. ✅ All Towels
  3. ✅ All Drinkware
  4. ✅ All Lanyards
  5. ❌ All Embroidery Goods
  6. ✅ All Personal Care

6. Recommendations for Sublimation printing by MeowPrint

Sublimation printing is recommended for customers who are looking to print all-over full-coloured designs.

Popular apparels would be cycling apparels & jersey printed apparels as well as retail fashion brands.

For cycling team apparel, you can match this method along with embroidery for that professional team outlook.

Many of our corporate customers opt for sublimation printing as their designs and customization of colors throughout the apparel can be very complex.

The costs is not cheap but you get one-of-a-kind corporate apparel!

If you need cotton or honeycomb material for customization, then this method is not suitable. However you can check out our custom-made services as well.

7. Recent Projects of Sublimation Printed Apparels

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⭐ Customer Reviews

Still have reservations on our Sublimation Printing Services? Let our customers' genuine feedback help you!
MeowPrint T-Shirt Printing
4.9
Based on 352 reviews
Marirose Feril
Marirose Feril
08:18 21 Jan 21
Was looking around for a customized tote bag and they have attended to my needs with good recommendations on the size and various type of printing. RJ had helped to resize my artwork accordingly. Happy with their quick around so we are in time for our giveaways.
Vlux Lighting
Vlux Lighting
04:12 18 Jan 21
Fantastic and speedy customer service. The delivery was fast too. Thanks xiao fen for processing my orders.
Esther Lim
Esther Lim
00:56 15 Jan 21
MeowPrint replies fast and helps with your order. They are not only clear but also patient when it comes to various stages. Really good service!
Arrick Ang
Arrick Ang
17:31 14 Jan 21
Great customer service, always prompt in whatsapp replies and kept to the tight deadline, just in time for my store's grand opening! Thank you team!
deanna lee
deanna lee
07:26 14 Jan 21
MeowPrint provided excellent and fast service for my personalised notebook orders. The products arrived on time and in good condition. The staff was also patient with my queries and requests. Thanks MeowPrint!
Iqbal Firdaus
Iqbal Firdaus
03:10 13 Jan 21
Belle Ang
Belle Ang
16:07 05 Jan 21
Honestly I just shirt "Custom Polo Shirt Printing Singapore" and this was the first suggestive page.Enter and explored their wide variety of shirts they offered.Sent them an email and things just went smoothly.No screw ups , no time wasted. Pay half before confirmation, pay remaining after confirmation.Got what I wanted within a week.I appreciate the swiftness and will order from them again in the future.
Ithiphat Suthin
Ithiphat Suthin
13:15 28 Dec 20
Good customer service. Very fast and supportive email response. Good quality products. I'll order and suggest for my friends. Thank you!
Kat Lam
Kat Lam
07:55 28 Dec 20
Thank you Meow Print for your great and prompt service. Appreciate that you rushed the order before Christmas. The quality of the masks is great and the embroidery is meticulously done. Love it!
Grace Heng
Grace Heng
09:00 25 Dec 20
fast and reliable. recommended.
Jerry Choo
Jerry Choo
00:33 24 Dec 20
MeowPrint T-Shirt is super professional and has standard protocols. They know what they are doing and delivery of work was super fast and efficient.Thanks a lot @ Janice!
Jolie Lim
Jolie Lim
11:50 17 Dec 20
Prompt customer service and good quality shirts.
Hilda Tan
Hilda Tan
03:32 17 Dec 20
Good quality masks, fast communication and speedy delivery!
Faith Lee
Faith Lee
17:54 16 Dec 20
The shirts we ordered on Monday needed to be done by the same week Friday. Despite the rush, they still managed to finish printing our shirt and send it to us on Friday. Furthermore, the person (xiao fen) was very polite and understanding to the situation and accommodate with us accordingly to speed up the process. Thanks a lot Meowprint and team!
Zisheng Chia
Zisheng Chia
06:23 11 Dec 20
It was a great experience buying from Meowprint. The communication process is seamless, and there are a variety of products to choose from!
Tan Jie Ni
Tan Jie Ni
06:05 10 Dec 20
Brandon Man
Brandon Man
00:27 10 Dec 20
Quick replies. Prompt delivery. The services were top notched and the company is really satisfied with the end product.
sheik adam
sheik adam
06:14 02 Dec 20
Juliana Ong
Juliana Ong
10:59 01 Dec 20
Bo Jing
Bo Jing
04:53 26 Nov 20
Replies are quick and printing turned out really nice as well! Second order from them!
Jesslyn [Asgard]
Jesslyn [Asgard]
09:29 25 Nov 20
Love how efficient and prompt these guys are at Meowprint! Solid service!
Lim Yao Peng
Lim Yao Peng
00:25 24 Nov 20
They are very kind with us and they have a lot of patience when they are helping us to search for product details and materials too.Very good, will recommend to friend and possibly next round! :D
Kang Tianqi
Kang Tianqi
04:07 23 Nov 20
Team is extremely friendly and got the orders done quickly!
Charlotte Lee
Charlotte Lee
10:00 20 Nov 20
The experience with MeowPrint was amazing. Communication was seamless through email with Janice (shoutout to her). They went through everything in detail before execution. The quality of the T-shirt is wonderful at an affordable price. I would recommend others to try them out!
Kangwei
Kangwei
10:17 18 Nov 20
Our company has been ordering from Meowprint for our company's corporate polo tees. This is our second order with them. Amelia has been wonderful in her customer service. Very helpful and friendly lady. Response in replies and time from order to collection is fast too. Just received our latest order last week. Everything was great! Will be back again for our third order when we need more company polo tees. Thanks!
Serene Lim
Serene Lim
08:25 17 Nov 20
Ordered tote bags for a school activity. Very good thick quality and fast delivery too. Was also accommodating to my requests. Recommended!
Nadiah Ml
Nadiah Ml
23:58 16 Nov 20
Ordered 25 tshirts and it came within the week!Design is good and will be back again.
Seriously Awesome
Seriously Awesome
06:05 13 Nov 20
Fast and prompt response during working days, nice quality of clothes. Design looks the same as the one suggested.
zi heng
zi heng
06:46 11 Nov 20
Fast response and friendly customer service. Would engage them to print our uniform again when require. Already recommend to my friends.
Fiona Pang
Fiona Pang
00:57 09 Nov 20
It was a straightforward and fuss-free experience.The turnaround time for the order is pretty quick and the staff is very helpful with all the enquiries, from the design, colours, mock-up to the actual embroidery designs. Highly recommend
WeiQi Chen
WeiQi Chen
08:25 06 Nov 20
MeowPrint is easy to work with. they even show a initial actual real sample before mass produce. Very please surely!!!
BRT Mktg
BRT Mktg
05:48 06 Nov 20
Quick,efficient and hassle free way to get my customized face mask for event. Would recommend them to anyone who is looking for such services. Keep up the excellent job.
Muhd Arifin Bin Yussup
Muhd Arifin Bin Yussup
04:55 06 Nov 20
The response was prompt and support was good. One minor hiccup was that after agreement, they realize shortage of certain colour and size polo-T and we have no choice but to accommodate. I feel this can be coordinated better within their organisation.
Wee Liang Lien
Wee Liang Lien
03:32 06 Nov 20
I bought some tote bags for my business and they are perfect. Clients love the bags. MeowPrint service is excellent, I went to their showroom (remember to book an appoitment), I chose the bags, asked for the quotation, and less than 5 days later I received everything. For sure, I will keep them as my prefer supplier!
Maria Rauzi
Maria Rauzi
03:15 06 Nov 20
Fast, efficient and hassle free! Fast replies also and were able to answer any questions I had regarding the product. Highly recommended!
Nursabrina Rafiqah Binte Abdul Rashid
Nursabrina Rafiqah Binte Abdul Rashid
01:19 22 Oct 20
Printed T-shirts with MeowPrint for many times! Good quality, cheap and awesome service! :)
Adeline Han
Adeline Han
14:00 19 Oct 20
Bought 110 masks from them. Customisation was easy and support was there without much delay. It was a joy doing business with you!
Jun Kaih Wong
Jun Kaih Wong
15:29 13 Oct 20
The experience with MeowPrint was great! Their sales representative was very friendly, from enquiry to order placement all process was smooth, . And most importantly, the final products are great too! Thanks and we'll come back again for sure!
darren.t
darren.t
01:38 12 Oct 20
Placed an order for tote bags with customized printing. The process is easy and they will ensure that the picture file sent in is clear enough to print. Due to administrative processes, they are patient and willing to accommodate to certain requests made. Communication is clear and fuss -free through WhatsApp. I am impressed with the turnout of the product. Thank you!
Evon Ng
Evon Ng
08:49 09 Oct 20
Everything went 👍🏻70pcs of Polo T-shirt + 3”x3” embroidered logo.Thought the discussion took me a long time but they are very patient and willing to wait for our final logo!Thanks Janice for all your assistance from the very beginning.
Brendan Sim
Brendan Sim
03:18 09 Oct 20
Glad that I engaged the service provide by MeowPrint T-Shirt Printing! I have zero understanding on fabric material and had a dateline for my project on customized mask, but thanks to MeowPrint's team for the extreme help to pick the right material, size, and type for my reusable mask project. Really appreciate their effort to make my project dream come through!
Sherry Sherqueshaa C
Sherry Sherqueshaa C
09:47 08 Oct 20
A good quality of material & affordable price for customised mask.. Highly recommended!
Aliyah Asri0806
Aliyah Asri0806
00:17 08 Oct 20
Very friendly staff. And they will try their very best to accommodate my request. And we love their material.
Khairunnisa Jumain
Khairunnisa Jumain
02:05 02 Oct 20
Custom printed reusuable masks with MeowPrint. Service staff and communication is prompt and helpful. Delivery is timely. Most importantly, quality of mask is good with reasonable price. Value for money choice.
Dennis Lim
Dennis Lim
10:21 11 Sep 20
great service and good quality, very happy with the final result!
Greg Thom
Greg Thom
14:52 09 Sep 20
Great working with MeowPrint! Would definitely purchase t-shirts from them again.
Admin Codefolio
Admin Codefolio
08:37 09 Sep 20
Super easy to coordinate and order with MeowPrints! Will order again with them! :-)
NG WEE LYNN SHERYLL _
NG WEE LYNN SHERYLL _
03:56 09 Sep 20
Speedy service and they were as accommodating as possible to all the request for customization. Products were of good quality! Highly recommend
Abigail Lim
Abigail Lim
09:53 04 Sep 20
Appreciate the service provided by the team, particularly Janice, to ensure that the customized masks reached on time for Teacher's Day, despite a relatively late order.
su_ 123
su_ 123
04:44 01 Sep 20

👋 Ready To Customise T-Shirts & Apparels? 

We believe that T-Shirt Printing should be easy and hassle-free. Custom t-shirts represent the identity of a group of individuals, be it for an event or a corporate team. That is why our passionate crew are here to provide the best experience for you.

👋 Get In Touch!

☎️ 9177 8449 (Xiao Fen)
📧 sales@meowprint.sg

🕘 Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays: Closed

🏢 Showroom Visiting Hours

Mon / Wed / Fri: 10am - 5pm

📍 8 Boon Lay Way, #07-15, 609964
🚶 Visits strictly via Appointment only.

Meowprint T Shirt Printing Singapore

We are a custom T-Shirts & Apparels customisation provider in Singapore. We aim to provide the best quality, affordable prices, fast leadtime & the best customer experience for everyone.

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☎️ 9177 8449 (Xiao Fen)
📧 sales@meowprint.sg

🕘 Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
Sat, Sun & PH: Closed

🏢 Showroom Visiting Hours

Mon / Wed / Fri: 10am - 5pm

📍 8 Boon Lay Way, #07-15, 609964
🚶 Visits strictly via Appointment only.

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