Dye-sublimation printing is a process of transferring special sublimation inks into a specially prepared material or surface. With apparel, the ink is infused into the material (think of a tattoo). Unlike screen printing (where the ink lays on top of the material) dye sub images will never crack, peel or completely fade away.
Sublimation ink does not bond to cotton or natural fibers, so the higher the cotton content, the more the image will fade during initial washing. For example if your shirt material is 65% polyester / 35% cotton you will lose 35% of the image quality (sharpness) in the first and second washing. In some cases this is the preferred method of achieving a "vintage" look to your project. We suggest materials of high polyester content. Due to the infusion process, the image will take on the color of the shirt material. White and light material colors- in 100% polyester- produce the sharpest, most vivid transfer results.
Lastly, sublimation inks cannot produce the color white. This means our ink must be darker than the material. If your design requires the color white, then we will suggest a white shirt / cup / sign, etc.
When printing on drinkware, signs and promotional items, the inks are heat transferred into a poly/acrylic coating on the outside of the product. The result: a bright, vibrant image that is smooth as glass and extremely durable.