What You Need To Know About Sublimation Printing On Textiles

Digital printing is taking the place of the traditional methods in different sectors of the graphics industry. If there are several reasons for this change, it is mainly motivated by profitability, the ability to customize the printing and the flexibility of these machines.

Textile printing is no exception. Traditional screen printing is giving way to digital textile printing solutions, such as sublimation printing for small-scale production or multi-color printing and photographic imaging. Digital alternatives are also ideally suited for printing customization, which is extremely popular nowadays.

What Is Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation printing is a technique that uses heat-sensitive inks. These inks turn into gas under the effect of heat and are combined with a 100% polyester support. As the ink becomes part of the material structure, the images printed on the fabric do not fade or crack, even after multiple washes.

What Do You Need?

You need various elements to create sublimated textiles, from flags to displays, sportswear and fashion, interior design elements and more.

Printer And Ink

A high-quality printer with sublimation inks is essential. These inks are composed of many coloring elements and are very concentrated, which is necessary to create beautiful images, sharp and crisp.

View the RT-640 product sheet (entry level printer)

Consult the product sheet of the XT-640 (high productivity)

Software

You must also have RIP software to control your printer and manage your print jobs. ErgoSoft is the market leader in software development for textile sublimation. Roland offers free software called “ErgoSoft Roland Edition” with its Texart printer. As soon as you purchase your Texart printer, you are sure also to have the right software for controlling your machine. It also offers perfect color management and a multicolor motor (for orange and purple inks).

 Transfer Paper (Sublimation Paper)

To create high-quality sublimation prints, you need to use a transfer paper with high ink absorption capacity and fast drying. The paper should remain flat and can not corrugate after printing. It is also important that the paper clears the ink during heating. Roland Sublimation Paper meets all of these criteria and is, therefore, the ideal paper for your sublimation prints.

Calendar

Printing is the first step in the process of thermal sublimation. For sublimation to occur, you need heat and pressure. Heat presses are available in several sizes and shapes, but the sublimation “roll-to-roll” requires the use of a grille. Roland DG offers the Texart CS-64, a fast, economical and easy-to-use professional calendar system, making it the ideal finishing partner for the Texart sublimation printer.

Sublimation occurs at a minimum temperature of 180 ° C. Depending on the textile, and we recommend a temperature between 185 and 200 ° C, thus ensuring ink transfer on the latter. This avoids shrinkage once the heat is applied. Roland DG offers a textile perfectly suited to sublimation printing.