Sublimation printing requires specialized inks that are designed to bond with the fibers of the substrate, resulting in high-quality, photo-realistic images that are resistant to fading, peeling, and cracking. There are two main types of inks that are commonly used in sublimation printing: dye-sublimation inks and pigment sublimation inks.
Dye-sublimation inks are the most commonly used type of ink in sublimation printing. These inks are specially formulated to produce vibrant colors and crisp details that are ideal for printing on a range of materials, including polyester, ceramics, and metals. Dye-sublimation inks typically use a combination of dyes and other chemical additives that allow them to sublimate and bond with the substrate at high temperatures.
Pigment sublimation inks are another type of ink that can be used in sublimation printing. These inks are made up of tiny particles of pigment that are suspended in a liquid medium. Unlike dye-sublimation inks, which bond with the fibers of the substrate, pigment sublimation inks use a chemical process to bind with the surface of the substrate. Pigment sublimation inks are typically used for printing on fabrics, such as cotton and other natural fibers.
In addition to dye-sublimation and pigment sublimation inks, there are also hybrid sublimation inks that combine the best features of both types of ink. These hybrid inks are designed to provide the color vibrancy of dye-sublimation inks with the durability and versatility of pigment sublimation inks.
Ultimately, the type of ink that is best for sublimation printing will depend on the specific needs of the project. Dye-sublimation inks are typically the most versatile and widely used, but pigment sublimation inks may be a better choice for certain applications. By understanding the differences between these types of inks, it is possible to make an informed decision and achieve the best results possible from sublimation printing.