What is dye sublimation? The term is actually used in chemistry and refers to the process where a solid substance is converted into a gas. What makes this process special is the fact that when the substance is changed, it does not go through the liquid phase.
To really understand the procedure, think about an ice cube, which is water in a solid form. In order for it to change to a liquid form, it must be subjected to heat. Heat causes the ice to melt and the water converts to a liquid. If you add more heat, the water will change again into a vapor. However, were the water to go through the sublimation process, it would go directly from the ice stage to a vapor never entering into a liquid state.
Why is this of any interest to anyone outside of the chemistry field? The fact is that this process is now being used to great effect in the printing industry. In the past, the majority of companies used liquid dyes when they were printing various products. Although these dyes are quite good, they are not as good as the dye sublimation process for creating detailed graphics.
The reason for this is the fact that images created using this method have a more blended appearance. The gas can be applied with more precision and it is easier to regulate the amount being placed. Moreover, when the product is removed from the machine, the dye is completely dry.
The use of gas also ensures that the dye is able to penetrate the fabric. The gas can get right into the particles of the material. Some dyes are only able to soak in a very small amount. In fact, with a poor quality machine, the dye will just sit on the top of the material. Another factor that people should know is that when the dye sublimation process is used, it is possible to include a special substance that offers UV protection. This substance with reduce fading and depending upon the ingredients, it will also help to make it water resistant.
Probably the best thing about the dye sublimation process is that it can be used to create all kinds of different items from lanyards to koozies.
If you are thinking about having any kind of customized item made for either promotional or personal use, you should think about getting imprinted using the dye sublimation technique. This is especially true if you want to have a detailed image or logo on the product.