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Do I need special ink for sublimation?

Sublimation printing is a great way to make bold, long-lasting designs on polyester. It uses sublimation inks. These inks are printed on transfer paper and then heated onto the fabric. When heated, the ink becomes a gas and seeps into the fabric, making a permanent bond. To get the best results, you must use sublimation inks designed for this process.

Do I need special ink for sublimation?

At Waxed Branding, we’re all about making your dye sublimation projects perfect. We offer the top-quality sublimation inksheat transfer inks, and sublimation blanks. These are all good for many sublimation printers. By using the right stuff and knowing the best methods, you can make eye-catching designs. These designs will last a long time and make your brand stand out.

Key Takeaways

  • Sublimation printing requires specialised sublimation inks to achieve optimal results
  • Sublimation inks transform from solid to gas during the heat transfer process, bonding permanently with polyester fibres
  • Using the correct type of ink is essential for successful sublimation printing
  • Waxed Branding offers top-quality sublimation supplies, including inks, heat transfer inks, and sublimation blanks
  • Investing in proper materials and following best practices ensures the creation of vibrant, durable designs in sublimation printing

What is Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation printing uses heat to transfer bright designs onto various materials. These include fabrics, plastics, and metals. It’s a way to make eye-catching prints, for example, at waxed branding.

dye sublimation technique

The Dye Sublimation Process

Dye sublimation begins with a digital design. This design is then printed on special transfer paper. The ink used has solid dye particles that change with heat.

After printing, heat and pressure are used to transfer the design. A machine called a heat press does this. The heat turns the solid dye into a gas, which bonds with the material.

Advantages of Sublimation Printing

Sublimation printing has several benefits over traditional methods. It’s great for creating vivid, lasting prints. Some perks include:

  1. Stunning, full-colour designs: Sublimation printing brings out a wide range of colours, making your products unique.
  2. Long-lasting prints: The prints don’t easily fade, crack, or peel because they bond with the material.
  3. Smooth and soft feel: The method doesn’t add a heavy layer, keeping the material’s original softness.
  4. Works on various materials: You can print on polyester, ceramics, metals, and more, giving you many options.

Although it needs special equipment, the quality makes it a worthwhile investment. By working with experts like waxed branding, companies can make standout products. These can make customers happy and loyal.

SubstrateCompatibility with Sublimation Printing
Polyester fabricsHigh
Polymer-coated ceramicsHigh
Polymer-coated metalsHigh
Polymer-coated woodHigh
100% cotton fabricsLow
Untreated glassLow

In short, sublimation printing helps businesses shine by making top-quality, personalised items. Knowing how it works and its benefits can help businesses grow and stand out.

Sublimation Ink vs Regular Ink

The ink you pick for printing matters a lot. It affects how good and durable your prints are. This is key when comparing sublimation ink to regular ink. Waxed Branding knows choosing the right ink is crucial for great prints. We’re here to guide you.

sublimation ink vs regular ink

Composition of Sublimation Ink

Sublimation ink carries disperse dyes. These dyes turn from solid to gas when heated. They stick permanently to polyester and polymer surfaces. This makes your prints look brighter and last longer.

The main parts of sublimation ink are:

  • Disperse dyes
  • Solvents
  • Flow and stability additives

How Sublimation Ink Differs from Regular Ink

Regular ink, used in your everyday printer, has pigments or dyes in a liquid. It’s made to sit on paper or media. Unlike sublimation ink, it won’t change to a gas when heated. See the table for the big differences:

Sublimation InkRegular Ink
Contains disperse dyesContains pigments or dyes
Heat-sensitive, converts from solid to gasNot heat-sensitive, remains liquid
Bonds permanently with polyester and polymer-coated surfacesAdheres to the surface of paper or other media
Produces vibrant, long-lasting printsSuitable for everyday printing needs

Using regular ink in a sublimation printer can cause many problems. It can get clogged, make poor quality prints, and not transfer designs well. To keep your sublimation printer working well, use inks that are meant for it.

Waxed Branding suggests using top-notch sublimation ink. This ensures your prints are vivid, sturdy, and last long. Knowing what sublimation ink is made of and its differences helps you choose well. Get great results every time.

Do I Need Special Ink for Sublimation?

Sublimation printing is a top choice for bright, long-lasting designs on polyester. For the best outcome, using special sublimation ink is a must. At Waxed Branding, we know the value of excellent sublimation ink for top-notch, lasting prints.

Importance of Using Sublimation Ink

Sublimation ink is vital in the printing process. It changes from solid to gas under heat, unlike regular ink. This change lets the ink bond with the polyester fibres, creating designs that last.

The right ink type is key for good sublimation prints. Sublimation ink has dyes that bind well with polyester. Without it, prints may not stick well or last.

Consequences of Using Regular Ink for Sublimation

Using regular ink to save money is a bad idea. It won’t turn into gas to stick to the fabric like sublimation ink does. This leads to poor-quality or failed prints.

Regular ink in a sublimation printer can also damage the printer. It’s not made for the high heat needed. This misuse might block the printer or even ruin it.

Ink TypeCompatibility with SublimationPotential Consequences
Sublimation InkFully compatibleVibrant, long-lasting prints
Regular InkNot compatiblePoor print qualityclogged printheads, failed transfers

In the long run, investing in sublimation ink over regular ink is wise. Good sublimation ink ensures eye-catching, lasting prints. This can make your products more appealing and your business more successful.

At Waxed Branding, we’re dedicated to offering top-notch sublimation supplies, like special inks. This commitment guarantees the success of every project.

Choosing the Right Sublimation Ink

Selecting the right sublimation ink is vital for your printing needs. It’s crucial to pick an ink that works well with your sublimation printer. This ensures your printer runs smoothly without damaging the printheads. The right ink helps your equipment last longer and gives you the best results.

When picking sublimation ink, think about how bright the colours are and if they will fade. Quality inks make colours pop and last longer, keeping your prints looking great for years. By choosing inks that don’t fade easily, your designs will catch people’s eyes and stay vibrant for a long time.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Sublimation Ink

Understanding which sublimation ink to choose involves several key points like your printer’s make. You should also pay attention to how vivid and accurate the colours will be. It’s important to think about the ink’s durability, how quickly it dries, and the quality of the transfer.

Consider the cost versus the value of the ink. By looking at these aspects closely, you can make sure your sublimation prints are top-notch. This will impress your clients and boost your business.

Popular Sublimation Ink Brands

Several sublimation ink brands are well-known for quality and performance. Brands like Sawgrass SubliJet, Epson UltraChrome DS, and J-Teck J-Next are favourites among professionals. They provide many ink colours, precise colour matching, and endurance against fading. This means your prints will be vibrant and keep their quality over time.

Ink BrandCompatibilityColour VibrancyFade Resistance
Sawgrass SubliJetSawgrass printersExcellentHigh
Epson UltraChrome DSEpson SureColor F-SeriesVery GoodHigh
J-Teck J-Nextwide range of printersVery GoodHigh

While sublimation inks might cost more than regular inks, the quality of your prints will be much better. This can make your customers happier and make your business more successful. By selecting the best sublimation ink, you can ensure your prints stand out and help you win in the world of sublimation printing.

Sublimation Printers and Ink Compatibility

Starting sublimation printing? Make sure your printer works with sublimation inks. Some printers, like the Sawgrass VJ 628 and SG500, are made just for this. They come with printheads and ink systems that work well with sublimation inks. Yet, some people change regular printers, like some Epson EcoTank models, to use sublimation inks.

If you convert your printer, cleaning the printer parts is a must. This keeps the ink system clean and working. Because sublimation inks are different, you might need to try a few methods to get things right. Make sure you use the right ICC colour profile. It helps to get the colours in your prints just how you want them.

Sublimation ink can last a long time, from a few months to a year. This is if you use and store it right. But, it can cost more than regular ink, from $0.12 to $0.29 per millilitre. So, be ready for slightly higher costs when using sublimation ink.

“At waxed branding, we know how important the right gear and inks are for sublimation printing. Our experts help clients deal with converting printers and finding the right inks. We aim for the best printing results.”

When picking a sublimation printer, look at these:

  • Check the printer’s maximum print size. Smaller printers go up to 8.5 inches wide. Bigger, and more expensive, printers go up to 13 inches wide.
  • Make sure the printer can use sublimation inks. Epson tank-style printers are good for this. But HP printers won’t work because of how they heat the ink.
  • It’s better to choose an inkjet printer that uses ink tanks. This can help lower printing costs.
Sublimation Ink BrandCompatible PrintersPrice per ml
Printers JackEpson EcoTank, Sawgrass$0.18
LuckyInkEpson EcoTank, Sawgrass$0.21
XcinkjetEpson EcoTank, Sawgrass$0.15
SeogolEpson EcoTank$0.19
OsinkjetEpson EcoTank, Sawgrass$0.23
KoalaEpson EcoTank, Sawgrass$0.17

Understanding which printers and inks work together is key. With the right tools and care, your sublimation prints can be amazing. This can help your business make customers happy and move forward.

Tips for Successful Sublimation Printing

To get the best sublimation prints, follow these important tips. Regularly clean your printer and nozzles to avoid clogs. Use quality paper like A-SUB to transfer ink well. Always keep your paper dry.

Proper Printer Maintenance

Keep your sublimation printer in top condition for great prints. Clean the printheads and nozzles often. Epson has printers like the ET-2720 for sublimation. Taking care of your printer helps it last longer.

Selecting the Right Sublimation Paper

The right sublimation paper is key for bright, clear prints. Choose a high-quality paper that fits your printer, like A-SUB. Keep your paper away from moisture to maintain print quality.

Optimising Print Settings for Sublimation

Setting your printer right is crucial for good sublimation prints. Use the right ICC profiles for accurate colours. Pick well-known inks like those from Printers Jack. Adjusting print quality and saturation also helps.


What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing is a type of digital printing. It uses heat to transfer dye onto materials like fabric, plastic, or metal. This method involves printing onto special paper with sublimation inks.

Then, the paper is heat-pressed onto the item at a high temperature. This makes the dye turn into a gas and stick to the item.

Can I do sublimation without a sublimation printer?

No, you can’t do sublimation printing without the right printer. It needs special inks and a printer that can handle them. Using a normal printer won’t work for sublimation.

What happens if you put regular ink in a sublimation printer?

If you use regular ink in a sublimation printer, it won’t work well. It can cause printheads to clog and the prints won’t look good. Regular ink can’t turn into a gas like sublimation ink can when it’s heated.

Is sublimation expensive?

The price of sublimation printing can change based on what you use. Setting up a sublimation printer can cost more than standard printers. Yet, the quality and durability of the prints can make it worth the cost.

Is sublimation ink more expensive than regular ink?

Yes, sublimation ink is usually pricier than the ink for regular printers. Sublimation ink is made to change from a solid to a gas. This unique feature lets it bond with specific types of materials.

Do I need special ink for sublimation?

Yes, you must use special sublimation ink for sublimation prints. This ink turns into a gas when heated, making it ideal for polyester. Using any other ink could ruin your prints and your printer.

How long does sublimation ink last in a printer?

Sublimation ink can last for months to a year in a printer with the right care. It depends on how often you use it and how you store it. Always stick to the manufacturer’s advice to keep your ink in top shape.

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