Is Sublimation Printing Durable? Sublimation printing is durable and lasts for years if we avoid mistakes and follow the proper method. The ink is fused into the fabric, which means it is waterproof and resistant to fading. The prints are produced on high-quality, heavy-weight polyester fabric, which is also resistant to wrinkles and shrinking. The sublimation printing process is environmentally friendly, which means it is better for the environment or eco-friendly.
Top 10 Tips for Durable Or Long-lasting Sublimation Prints. No Fading!
Follow these tips to avoid mistakes as described below to get long-lasting or durable sublimation prints for years.
1. Choose the Right Equipment:
Before you start sublimation, you need a sublimation printer, sublimation ink, and transfer paper.
Now, you have a sublimation paper, but run it through an inkjet paper with regular inkjet ink in it and expect it to sublimate onto shirts, coffee cups, mousepads, tumblers .So, an inkjet printer is not going to work for you.
So you do need a sublimation printer with sublimation ink installed. You can also convert an inkjet printer into a sublimation printer by replacing it with sublimation ink and changing a few print settings.
So you want to make sure that you have all three in place, sublimation printer, sublimation ink, sublimation paper.
2. Use the Right Sublimation Blank:
Use the right sublimation blank. What does that mean? So sublimation is a chemical reaction, and it needs polyester to finish the chemical reaction.
So whether that’s a hundred percent polyester shirt, a fabric blanks made out of a 100% polyester, or something like a coffee mug or a tumbler with a polyester coating on it.
You want to ensure that you get a sublimation blank to use with your project.
Most importantly, you need to ensure that the blank you’re using has a sublimation coating.
3. Set the Right Printer Settings:
Whatever printer you have, you want to ensure that you have the correct settings.
To achieve the best sublimation print quality, turn off any fast printing modes change your paper type to some matte paper setting. And lastly, if you want to do any color correction, you need to use an ICC profile with your sublimation printer.
So best quality, turn the fast mode off and use a matte paper setting. And then, of course, don’t forget to mirror that design before printing because that’s another common issue.
4. Best Method to Achieve Bright and Vibrant Sublimation Prints:
People say that their image is not bright or vibrant.
So the first thing is when did you get your printer? So if you just got your printer and just installed the ink and your first print is not bright or vibrant, most likely, the ink is not through the printer.
Therefore, print about four copies, print the fifth one, and try again. Now, if you’ve had your printer awhile and your print is still not bright or vibrant, it’s probably your time, temperature, or pressure.
So, you need the correct time, the correct temperature, and the correct pressure.
5. How to Find the Correct Time, Temperature & Pressure for Heat Press?
Find the correct time, temperature, & pressure for a heat press with the sublimation blank.
So wherever you purchased your blank, go there and see the instructions. The instruction manual often specifies the time, temperature, and pressure for heat press.
Be sure to follow those instructions for time, temperature, and pressure for whatever blank you are using. Now, if your blank has no instructions, what do you do? You can Google like the type of blank you’re using and standard instructions and sort of go from there, but be aware that you might ruin a few blanks before you get to a point where you are good at a specific product.
Especially if you’re like doing a mug, coffee mug and you have a convection oven, and there are no instructions for a convection oven on the mugs you purchased. So the mug instructions might be for a mug press, not a convection oven. And then you’ll have to kind of play around with convection oven settings until you get it right.
6. Use Heat Resistant Tape to Prevent Ghosting:
Ghosting is a double print of whatever you’re printing. So what happens is you’re pressing, you’re sublimating your design onto that surface, and your sublimation print moves.
And it makes two copies of your sublimation print on your surface. So how do you avoid that? So you must ensure that the print setup does not move from its place. Therefore, the best way is to use heat-resistant tape to keep that in place. So use plenty of tapes to hold that sublimation print down onto your surface and make sure that it doesn’t move.
7. Tape the Extra Ink:
Your designs may be printed with extra ink at some spots or portions. So you’re pressing a design on a shirt, and you have a small blotch off to the side.
So maybe your printer got a little streak off to the side. You didn’t even notice it. You can get that extra ink on your shirt.
So what you can do is any extra ink you see on your print, you can cover it with heat-resistant tape before you press. And that way, that extra ink won’t be absorbed into your t-shirt. Instead it remains superficially and removed after washing
8. Remove moistures: Causes Small Dots on Prints:
On your sublimation blank, you may see small dots after you press, that’s most likely moisture. Moisture is the most significant spoiler. That is why most blanks you want to pre-press them.
Therefore, press the for a few seconds to remove any moisture from the fabric surface. And then add your sublimation print, tape it down, and press for the recommended time and temperature at that point.
After removing the moisture from the surface, all fabrics have some moisture, so it’s super familiar with fabrics.
But you could also see it in things like slate and things like that. So anytime you see a pre-press in the instructions for a blank, be sure to do that. And on fabric surfaces, remember the pre-press to remove any moisture.
9. Quality of the Image: Bad Quality Causes Blurry Prints:
Make sure the image quality is good. Otherwise, you may get blurry prints. If you download an image, make sure that the quality is enough to print it the size you’re going to print it. Therefore, it is better to use free sublimation designs for the best quality.
So if the quality is too low, just like a thumbnail image, and you blew it way up. That will blur your print when you transfer it onto the substrate.
So keep in mind the quality of the image first.
Besides image quality, what else can make your sublimation print blurry?
Most likely, it’s too much time or too much temperature while heat pressing the design onto the substrate.
Now, this prevents faded sublimation prints:
Again too much time, too much temperature, or even too much pressure can make your print look faded.
Moreover, the sublimation prints may also fade when you aren’t doing enough time and temperature with a heat press.
Therefore, you need to get in that right spot between too little and too much to get the optimal sublimation print.
10. Incorrect Print Settings or Nozzle Clog May Cause Banding Across the Image:
There are a couple of reasons that cause banding across your image.
So the first thing you should always look at is those print settings that we talked about above.
Ensure that those are correct because things like the matte paper setting and the best quality can add banding to your image.
But if all that’s correct, then printer clog is likely one of the primary causes of banding. So you have a clog somewhere in your nozzles for your sublimation printer.
So you will need to clear that. You can try printing a few images, doing a test press, and see if that helps. The last result would be to run a print head cleaning.
Moreover, you need not run printhead cleanings all the time, thinking that’s going to fix all your issues because that will cost you more money in the long run with printer maintenance.
So do a printhead cleaning as a last resort. But sometimes, it’s necessary to remove that clog and get on with your printing and get the best quality sublimation print that you can get.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) & Related Questions
How long does a sublimation print last?
Sublimation print can last as long as 25 years. All it depends on is the type of substrate. The print will likely last longer on substrates such as ceramic mugs, tumblers, tiles, etc. In contrast, it may not last too long on t-shirts because of repeated washability.
What are the disadvantages of sublimation printing?
The problem with sublimation printing is that the ink may be too thick or thin, depending on the technique. That means that it is difficult to maintain a consistent level of ink thickness, which can result in a patchy print.
How durable is sublimation printing on shirts?
With the advancement of technology, the ink used in sublimation printing is now formulated to last much longer than it used to. Most ink used in sublimation printing is guaranteed to last at least three years. That means your image on the t-shirt will be around for a long time.
Does sublimation printing peel off?
No, the sublimation printing will not peel off. Sublimation printing uses heat to transfer dye onto the surface of the fabric. As the dye is heated, it is sublimated into the fabric, changing from a solid to a gas. It means that the dye is not a surface coating and will not peel off.
Is sublimation printing better than vinyl?
Sublimation printing does not peel or flake, unlike vinyl, and it has a much more vivid image. It also offers a more durable image than vinyl. We can use this process to print clothing, fabrics, and other posters and banners.
Is sublimation better than vinyl?
Traditional vinyl printing is a process that uses ink to transfer to a surface. Vinyl printing is used for low-quality images, text, and graphics on products such as t-shirts, mugs, or posters. In comparison, Sublimation printing is typically used for high-quality images, text, and graphics on products such as t-shirts, mugs, or posters.
Is sublimation better than heat transfer?
The only thing that matters is what is best for your project. Sublimation printing is a printing process where ink is transferred onto a surface (usually paper) by applying heat. We often use it in the printing of graphics onto t-shirts. Heat transfer is a printing process where ink is transferred onto a surface (usually paper) by applying heat.
Why is my sublimation print faded?
The incorrect temperature of the print often causes the problem with faded sublimation prints. If the temperature is too high, the ink can run together and lose its quality. An excellent way to ensure that the print is not too hot is to set the temperature to at least 220 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also experiment with different settings to find the best one for your product.
Is sublimation a good business?
Sublimation is a good business because it offers to design on a great variety of products and can print a large number of products in a short amount of time. It is comparatively budget-friendly than other printing methods.
Does Epson have sublimation ink?
Epson offers a wide range of sublimation ink. The sublimation ink cartridges come in 5 different colors: black, cyan, magenta, yellow, and light cyan. The sublimation ink cartridges are compatible with the Epson eco tank, workforce, stylus, and large format printers.
Does sublimation washout?
Sublimation print will not wash the garment, so avoid excessive rubbing and cleaning. The sublimation process embeds the ink into the fabric, not rub off or fade over time. Wash your shirt with cold water to minimize the chance of the ink coming off on other clothes.
How long does sublimation ink last on shirts?
The sublimation ink will last as long as the shirt. Ink will stay on the shirt as long as the shirt is not damaged by excessive washing or rubbing.
How many times can we use a sublimation transfer?
We cannot use sublimation transfer paper more than once because some ink remains on the transfer, which we cannot use it for the second time.
What is a good sublimation printer for t-shirts?
A good sublimation printer for t-shirts is the Epson Expression ET-2550. This printer offers a 2-year warranty and is compatible with Windows and Mac. It can print on various materials, including paper, cardboard, and fabric. It also has a large printing area and can print on various materials.
Does sublimation ink go bad?
Since the ink is a liquid that’s been heated and then cooled, it’s not going to go wrong. Water and temperature changes may affect it, but it won’t go wrong.
Can you do sublimation on dark shirts?
Yes, you can sublimate on dark shirts. You can bleach the print area before applying heat press with the transfer. Or you can sublimate onto heat transfer and then press onto the shirt.
Are our sublimation shirts good?
Sublimation shirts are made of high-quality materials that are comfortable to wear. These shirts are more durable than regular shirts and don’t require ironing. The shirts are perfect for both men and women and can be customized with any image. Sublimation shirts are the perfect way to represent your favorite sports team or school.
Why does my sublimation fade after washing?
It’s not just the laundry that fades the colors on your favorite t-shirt. Sublimation is a process that uses heat to transfer ink onto fabric. The ink becomes part of the fabric, fading over time with this process. It’s essential to wash your t-shirt inside out to prevent fading.
Which is better, sublimation or screen printing?
Sublimation printing means printing on a product with a design by transferring the ink from a ribbon to the product. Screen printing is when a design is printed on the product by pressing ink through a mesh screen. Sublimation is a process that is better for both small or large quantities, while screen printing is profitable for bulk orders. However, screen printing is a cheaper option for printing in large quantities.
As discussed above, getting your sublimation prints last longer, you must avoid common sublimation mistakes with their solutions.
Hope you get the sublimation design right the next time you print.