What is it?
It might have been a while since you last took a physics class, so before we get into the mechanics and elements of dye-sublimation printing, let’s freshen up on the science behind Dye Sublimation. Most substances exist in three forms: solid, liquid and gas, depending to what temperature they’re exposed to. If, for example, we want ice to go from solid to liquid, the only thing we need to do is to apply heat and its state will change; if we further increase the temperature, it will turn into gas. Some substances, however, have the particular characteristic of skipping a state and go directly from solid to gas, this phenomenon is called sublimation.
In dye-sublimation printing, ink is exposed to heat and turned into gas allowing the dye to permanently attach to the receiving surface providing bright colors and high resolution images. The process is especially efficient when printing onto polyester and polymer-coated substrates.
How does it work?
There are two different printing methods within the dye-sublimation process: direct or transfer.
As the name might suggest, in direct printing the artwork is transferred onto the receiving surface without undergoing any intermediate step. Thanks to a combination of heat and pressure graphics are printed onto the material of choice and the process is done. Although this method might save time and help reduce costs, the final result won’t possess the definition and quality one might hope for his or her products.
This is why at Monster Displays we opted for transfer printing.
The process is extremely simple. Using specially formulated inks, large direct print processors lay down reversed imagery onto transfer paper. The transfer paper and designated fabric are then loaded and simultaneously run through a heat press which subjects the fabric and transfer paper to extreme heat and pressure. At temperatures upwards of 400 degrees the sublimation inks transform (“sublimate”) from a solid to a gaseous state permanently imprinting the fabric. The end result are vibrant colors, high quality and detailed images – limited only by the texture of the fabric – long lasting dye, the ability to be cleaned and even be subjected to commercial washing machines, huge size capabilities and, because it’s fabric, custom sewing and finishing.
Dye-sublimation comes with many perks, some of them include image quality and others are more practical. For instance, prints are dry and ready to be handled as they exit the printer; also, given the nature of the printing process the whole printing cycle is extremely clean with no liquid ink to worry about. The best benefit of dye-sub printing is probably its vibrant color images.
Why is dye-sublimation good for tradeshow displays?
On a practical stand point, there are several benefits that make dye-sublimation the better choice when it comes to tradeshow displays. The dye is permanently imprinted onto the fabric so that your artwork can last longer and it is not as delicate as laminated prints. Fabric can be printed at very large sizes, so you can create truly seamless displays. More importantly, fabric can be folded for shipping and storage, allowing for significant savings in logistics expenditures.
From a visual standpoint, fabric makes the perfect material to create custom tradeshow displays since it easily contours to fit unique shapes and configurations. Most display styles feature velcro and zipper closures to make the set up process as smooth as possible, turning your tradeshow into a hassle-free event.
Why choose Monster Displays?
We at Monster Displays strive to remain competitive and offer the best products and service for your tradeshow needs; this is why, not so long ago, we decided to add a dye-sublimation printer to our production department. Thanks to years of passion and commitment, we felt confident to bring fabrication in house in order to provide faster production time and better quality control of materials; from artwork, to design, to printing, every step is closely supervised by our highly qualified staff.
Our state of the art printer makes us one of the few companies in Florida who can offer prints up to 100 inches wide and hundreds of feet long.We then spent several months looking for the perfect fabric that would ensure the highest quality results. Our polyester knit fabric is flame retardant, wrinkle resistant, machine washable and its ultra-white nature enhances colors making them brighter and more luminous.
This is all for today’s post, we hope you enjoyed our in depth look at dye-sublimation printing; for any questions don’t hesitate to contact us and find out if dye-sublimation prints are the perfect solution for your tradeshow needs.