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Dye-Sublimated Fabric Printing FAQ

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What is Dye-Sublimated Fabric Printing?

Dye-sublimation is a special printing process capable of creating amazingly vivid and sharp full color fabric prints. Specially formulated inks are first printed, in reverse, on to sublimation transfer paper. The paper prints are then pressed together with the target fabric using high heat (around 400°F) and pressure in a specially designed sublimation heat press. During this pressing process, the inks 'sublimate' from the paper directly into the fibers of the fabric. As soon as the transfer is complete, the image is completely impregnated into the fabric and can be washed, dried, and ironed without losing quality.

What kinds of fabrics can be printed?

The dye-sublimation process works well with most polyester based fabrics that contain at least 80% polyester. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different polyester knitted and woven fabrics available that can be used to create all kinds of different effects and appearances. Common types of polyester materials used for dye-sublimation include heavy knits, stretch knits, poplins, sheers, meshes, flag fabrics, poly silks, poly linens, canvases, gaming suedes and more.

How are custom printed dye-sublimated fabric prints used?

Custom printed dye-sublimated fabric can be used almost anywhere you would use any other type of fabric. Dye-sublimated fabric is commonly used for apparel and fashion, home décor, displays and exhibits, architectural installations, promotional graphics, decorative signage and many other purposes.

Are the prints durable?

Yes! During the sublimation process, the dyes in the inks become chemically bonded with the polyester fibers of the fabric, making a print that can't be scratched, scraped or washed from the fabric. Most dye-sub prints, depending on the specific fabric, can be laundered and ironed many times without losing print quality. Dye-sub printed fabric should not be dry-cleaned. Like any dye-based print, dye-sublimated fabric is sensitive to exposure to ultraviolet light. Long-term exposure to unfiltered sunlight will cause fading of the print. Prints used under normal indoor conditions will last for years. Polyester fabrics are also very durable and versatile compared to many textiles, and are available in a very large variety of knitted and woven styles to suit just about any application.

What is the resolution of the prints?

We have invested in modern, state-of-the-art equipment capable of printing at more than 1400 dots-per-inch (DPI). Because of the pattern of fibers inherent in any fabric, the truth is that there is virtually no visible difference between a 400 dpi fabric print and a 1400 dpi fabric print! All of our fabric is printed to the highest level of quality and definition we can achieve and is guaranteed to satisfy.

Are the fabric prints fire-retardant?

Yes, we print on fabrics that are tested and certified to be flame resistant. Ask your salesperson or project manager to send you the 'flame certificate' for your particular fabric prints.

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