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What Is Dye Sublimation?
Dye sublimation allows you to transfer images onto products such as mugs, t-shirts or mouse mats. This is done using special dye, which needs to be heated to transfer.
To perform this process, you will usually print your design onto special sublimation paper through an inkjet printer. Most often, an Epson printer is most appropriate for this task, as it can handle the relatively large dye sublimation particles, unlike many other printers.
The sublimation inkjet cartridges do not actually carry any ink. They store fluid inside, which carry the dye. When printed using this dye the image on paper may look nothing like intended, because the dye has very little colour to it.
Once you have the image on the paper, you can place the paper onto the item you wish to transfer to. You will usually use a special press to heat the dye to the needed temperature, although there are ways to do this using a conventional oven.
You should be aware that the dye will only bond with polymers, so the higher the polyester content in the material/product the more dye will bond. The more dye that bonds - the brighter the image. Many objects such as mugs can easily be coated with a special layer of polymer, so that the dye can bond to them. Whatever product you want to transfer the image to, needs to be able to withstand the high temperatures needed for this process. There are many suppliers that sell items specially made for this type of dye printing.
Unlike ink, dye cannot be used to lighten material, meaning you canít print onto anything black or very dark. Itís the same in that respect to hair dye. If your hair is naturally black, you need to bleach it before you can even consider adding another colour.
I hope this has got you interested enough to want to look into dye sublimation more.
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