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What is Dye Sublimation printing?

๐Ÿ’ก Looking to Print Full Coloured Designs with Ink Within The Product for a Smooth Feel? Learn About Dye Sublimation Printing in 2021
๐Ÿ•’ 8 minutes read

Dye 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).

Recent Custom Sublimation Printing Apparels

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 3-5 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 sublimation printed apparels and products.

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 didnโ€™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.

Whatโ€™s important to know is that โ€“ 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.

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

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

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 โ€“ 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 youโ€™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 canโ€™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. โœ… All T-Shirts
  2. โœ… All Polo T-Shirts
  3. โœ… All Outerwear
  4. โœ… All Singlets & Tank Tops
  5. โœ… All Caps & Hats
  6. โœ… All Corporate Uniforms
  7. โœ… All Workwear
  8. โœ… All Shorts & Pants

Promotional Products

  1. โœ… All Bags
  2. โœ… All Towels
  3. โœ… All Drinkware
  4. โœ… All Lanyards
  5. โŒ All Embroidery Goods
  6. โœ… 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.

โญ Our Recent Projects of Dye Sublimation Printed Products

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โญ Customer Reviews

Still have reservations on our Dye Sublimation printing services? Let our customers' genuine feedback help you!
MeowPrint T-Shirt Printing
4.9
Based on 407 reviews
Will recommend to others
Vishakha Shree
Vishakha Shree
06:27 14 Jun 21
Great service. Friendly, detailed and super helpful. Absolutely professional and will be making more T shirts with these guys. Thank you for an easy order and a quality product.
Shem Leong
Shem Leong
09:49 09 Jun 21
Quality printing and products, great service and speedy lead time!
Dorcas Fong Xuexi
Dorcas Fong Xuexi
03:07 08 Jun 21
Meow Print was very responsive to queries and has proper records of customer orders. Re-ordering was a breeze and delivery was on time as well. Thumbs up!
Jim
Jim
02:42 08 Jun 21
Thank you for your efficiency :)
Jeswinder Kaur
Jeswinder Kaur
10:00 02 Jun 21
The experience with MeowPrint is awesome! They are very fast and efficient in replying to enquires. The quality is great too. Will engage them again.
Kelly Ng
Kelly Ng
01:24 28 May 21
Highly recommended. Communication was very good with the sales person. Instructions were very clear as well when we were designing. Our items received much earlier than expected. Very good price. Much cheaper than other suppliers. Thank you!
Supervisor HRVR
Supervisor HRVR
07:42 21 May 21
super easy and fast transaction got order within few days of confirming it. Windbreakers were of good quality also :) will definitely order from them again
Sonia Faith Gomez
Sonia Faith Gomez
04:28 20 May 21
Fast and hassle-free order. T-shirts turn out looking good at an affordable price.
Ruth โ€œPotatofluffโ€ Lim
Ruth โ€œPotatofluffโ€ Lim
11:25 16 May 21
Meowprints was very prompt with their responses and the shirts that they printed were of very good quality. Will definitely order from here again if i have to!
Nisha Rai
Nisha Rai
10:30 14 May 21
Good and prompt services, ordered with them few times - generally nice merch as well! (Masks, Jackets)
Reception Keywords
Reception Keywords
04:59 12 May 21
Excellent service! Great quality t-shirts and very affordable. MeowPrint is now my go-to store for all fabric printing.
Jerome Rotgans
Jerome Rotgans
06:18 10 May 21
Had a pleasant experience w Meowprint. They were rlly accommodating and were willing to resize their masks to better suit the age group of the buyers :) Delivery was speedy too! Rlly appreciate it.
Jasmine Cheah
Jasmine Cheah
01:58 05 May 21
3rd time working with them and the quality is always good and they are very friendly and helpful! Will be happy to do more orders again with them in the future if needed :)
Emily N
Emily N
02:12 04 May 21
Very nice customer service and decent quality in products :) will definitely go with them again next time
Wei Gao
Wei Gao
02:30 03 May 21
Good service and fast collection, 2nd purchase
adah chooi
adah chooi
15:43 30 Apr 21
My first time ordering from MeowPrint and it won't be my last! They are very responsive and patient in dealing with my orders. My orders were ready earlier than the expected date and delivery was very prompt. Overall I'm happy with my purchase! Thank you so much for the excellent service!
Nurfarahin Ahmad
Nurfarahin Ahmad
09:11 26 Apr 21
We booked their services on an urgent basis, they managed to turnaround much earlier than expected. Service was good with printing suggestions and even logo sizing suggestions. Fast and contactable either via email or Whatsapp. T-shirts were decent. Recommended.
Leia Lee
Leia Lee
06:48 26 Apr 21
Very systematic and efficient process working with them! T-shirts are good quality, but 4.5 stars for the embroidery work. Overall, 5 stars :)
Jian Hao Lim
Jian Hao Lim
03:13 26 Apr 21
I was thoroughly impressed by the excellent customer service.They have replied to all my multiple emails not only promptly but also with patience and professionalism.On top of that,the shirts were of great quality.I would most certainly recommend this to anyone in need of a custom made shirt or product!
celeste lian
celeste lian
08:46 25 Apr 21
Good and prompt customer service, end product is good.
Chiang Celvin
Chiang Celvin
02:49 24 Apr 21
Xiao Fen is very responsive. Fast service 👍
Maslindah Sain
Maslindah Sain
10:14 21 Apr 21
Good T-shirts quality for my company. MeowPrint was patient enough to attend to our queries and accommodate to our needs. Price was reasonably cheap considering the production speed and the good services. Definitely will come back if I have any more t-shirts printing to be done.
Alvin Lung
Alvin Lung
00:29 20 Apr 21
So glad I found MeowPrint to help with my customised T-Shirt needs! The selection of shirts and colours was great; I needed it for a sports group, so the dri-fit options were ideal. Printing quality seems really good; first wash was no problem, no signs of fading. Will definitely come back for any other custom t-shirts next time :)
K
K
11:47 15 Apr 21
The team has been so wonderful to work with. From start to end, I was able to produce my custom shirts as how I expected it to be.The website provided great guidelines for me to understand my needs. Placing orders for customisation was promptly followed up by team via email and WhatsApp.The proactive communication gave me great reassurance with the transaction and the final product exceeded my expectations. Quality and work of t-shirts are fantastic, for a great price!Will definitely work with MeowPrint again for my next project. Keep up the great work!
Mar 1998
Mar 1998
10:53 15 Apr 21
Excellent customer service and communication. The product quality is good and production time was very fast. Thanks
Seny S
Seny S
03:15 15 Apr 21
Was recommended by a colleague of mine. Pleasant and smooth process from the very beginning. Price quotation was great and reasonable. Services was also fast and efficient. Overall whole process was smooth and will definitely recommend to my friends and colleagues.
Abdul Hamid
Abdul Hamid
16:31 14 Apr 21
Very professional handling of our patch printing. The final product turns out just like our expectation. Response from the team is fast too. Good experience!
Kaz Quek
Kaz Quek
07:02 12 Apr 21
wonderful service fast and reliable!
Jovan Yeo
Jovan Yeo
16:12 09 Apr 21
purchased windbreakers for my event from here. staff were very helpful and quick to respond to my queries :) reasonable price as well if you are going for bulk order. will definitely recommend!ps would advise if you are ordering windbreaker, to go for A4 printing at the back so it will look nicer!
Enya Tan
Enya Tan
13:54 04 Apr 21
Cecilia Chin
Cecilia Chin
10:07 01 Apr 21
Super efficient and delivered great quality :)
Kulvin Kaur
Kulvin Kaur
09:33 01 Apr 21
MeowPrint T-shirts are fantastic and their Dri-Fit T-shirts are of supreme quality. It does not smell after a long day wearing even after you perspire a lot. They are very comfortable and all the people who wears it have feedback to me that they love the shirts.Do consider making your T-shirts and apparels here! The customization and design was done perfectly and communication with sales person was very smooth.Thank you Xiao Fen from MeowPrint for such good service and wonderful experience!
Zhenshun Lim
Zhenshun Lim
10:24 30 Mar 21
Bloggy 45555
Bloggy 45555
01:55 30 Mar 21
Prompt replies and efficient service, received my orders in only 3 days upon confirmation! Process was also smooth and easy to understand, thank you :)
Joleen Chew
Joleen Chew
04:03 22 Mar 21
Recently ordered customised apron with MeowPrint for my school arts CCA. They work fast and very responsive to enquiries and other matters. The product is really good and the quality is great. I will definitely order again.
Eamon DV
Eamon DV
02:29 19 Mar 21
Great customer service and communication. Would recommend to order early to secure stock for shirts tho.
Edward Tan
Edward Tan
01:22 19 Mar 21
We ordered cotton t-shirts in bulk. The whole process was efficient and the staff were extremely helpful and patient. The shirts are of good quality too, and we are very happy with our purchase!
CF Staff
CF Staff
07:13 18 Mar 21
We have just received our 1st order of T-shirts from MeowPrint. The quality, color were good and sizes matching as indicated. Overall great experience and will order from them again. Thanks MeowPrint!
AIicia Koh
AIicia Koh
07:09 13 Mar 21
4.3 (2021) KWEK JIA YI FAITH
4.3 (2021) KWEK JIA YI FAITH
15:39 12 Mar 21
Fast and efficient of services from the time of placing the order to the time of collection. Instructions from the emails were clear and concise.The bulk was well packaging and the products were good. Whole process was smooth and will recommend to my colleagues should they need.
Lim Noi
Lim Noi
01:50 12 Mar 21
Fast replies and jackets are good quality. Printing felt pretty good and the delivery speed was about 1 week. Transaction was smooth and supplier was clear in instructions and answers.
WANG SIJIE _
WANG SIJIE _
09:45 08 Mar 21
This was our 3rd bulk order with MeowPrint. As with our previous orders, their responses via email were fast with clear and concise communications. Production and delivery of bulk shirt order was also earlier than expected. Highly recommended!
Verve Admin
Verve Admin
17:09 05 Mar 21
Amazing service, fast replies. The shirts are good qualitiy and printing is easy and cheap, recommended!
S2-C LICOBERTO HANEWA HALIM
S2-C LICOBERTO HANEWA HALIM
06:23 05 Mar 21
Good quality work and good service from friendly staff.
Hou Liang
Hou Liang
05:50 05 Mar 21
Thank you for your prompt service! It was easy to navigate your website to get estimated price quotes and you gave prompt replies to all of my enquiries :) Production time was also fast enough, excellent service
ws Law
ws Law
09:57 03 Mar 21
Ng Yu Tyan
Ng Yu Tyan
09:40 02 Mar 21
Great service and quality t shirts at an affordable price!
Chong Yan Fong
Chong Yan Fong
04:26 02 Mar 21
Easy instructions from the team, fast delivery and quality is good! Would definitely return to order more :)
Henry Lim
Henry Lim
01:18 02 Mar 21
Xiao has assisted me through the stresses of a few projects on very short delivery schedules. This one during CNY!! But she kept her cool and delivered beautifully printed Jackets in time! Great Job Xiao!! Thanks!!! See you on the next high stress job!! hehehehe....
Michael
Michael
05:43 26 Feb 21

๐Ÿ‘‹ 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.

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๐Ÿ‘‹ Get In Touch!

โ˜Ž๏ธ 9177 8460 (Janice)
๐Ÿ“ง sales@meowprint.sg

๐Ÿ•˜ Opening Hours

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

๐Ÿข Showroom Visiting Hours

Mon / Wed / Fri: 10am - 5pm

๐Ÿ“ 8 Boon Lay Way, #07-15, 609964
๐Ÿšถ Visits strictly via Appointment only.

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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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โ˜Ž๏ธ 9177 8460 (Janice)
๐Ÿ“ง sales@meowprint.sg

๐Ÿ•˜ Opening Hours

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

๐Ÿข Showroom Visiting Hours

Mon / Wed / Fri: 10am - 5pm

๐Ÿ“ 8 Boon Lay Way, #07-15, 609964
๐Ÿšถ Visits strictly via Appointment only.

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