We often get asked by our customers why using a dye sublimation process to print our fabrics and feather flags makes a difference to both the quality and show through of the print. So we've written a quick guide on the sublimation process...
...The dye sublimation process is different from traditional printing or some direct to fabric printing as it requires a two stage process.
1. The design or logo is firstly printed onto specialist paper or film
2. This paper or film is then used to sublimate the design onto the fabric by using heat. The heat transforms the inks into a gaseous state which then allows them to be activated and fixed onto the fabric. This ensures that the fabrics can be washed as the dye has been absorbed by the fabric rather than being transferred to the top layer of the fabric.
This technology has been around since the 1950s, but it's only been in recent years with the advent of more sophisticated printing machines and colour management systems that dye sublimation has been able to give the high quality printing results that are available today. For the best results it is recommended that knitted or woven polyester is used, as as dye sublimation works well on fabrics with a high polyester content and for the highest quality prints 100% polyester fabric is used.
At Northern Flags we continually review our processes, inks, fabrics and colour management systems to ensure that we get the best possible image reproduction and pantone match on all the flags that we print. In addition, the dye sublimation process we use ensures that the images are vibrant and there is exceptional show through on our printed flags, giving a high quality mirror image of the design on the reverse of the flags.