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Sublimation vs silkscreen Which is better?

posted on  2017-12-11 15:34:54

Sublimation is experiencing a "boom" in the industry. But how will this affect the silkscreen process? Know what circumstances prevailing one technique over the other.


large format Screen printing

As stated earlier, the silkscreen is responsible for most of the production of textile production in large format. It is an analog technology that has proven over the years that can be reliable and durable. Many customers look for quality offered; They expect a certain longevity of these products. In addition, this technology has been the norm in the industry for so long that most people are very familiar with the mechanics of production, and finding experienced staff to complete the work is relatively easy.

One of the main challenges facing the printing is the cost of production, not only in money but also in time. The equipment needed for printing is expensive and takes up a considerable amount of space. With this also it comes increased energy costs. Print this technology requires large amounts of energy to hold and operate machines and complete all the steps to create a product. Such measures include washing, drying and ironing fabric after it has been printed.

The screen printing process is very long, which creates more spending on productivity and makes the work more expensive short runs. There are eight steps to complete a print full screen, half of which are dedicated to pre-production: preparing illustrations / file, screen preparation, preparation of ink, fabric preparation, printing , ironing, washing and drying. This process is more conducive to the production of economic goods in large series. In addition, these teams are limited to a maximum screen size, which can be much less than what a large format printer can accommodate. All this can result in lost revenue opportunities.



Large format sublimation printing

Sublimation printing technology addresses many of the challenges of screen printing, which makes it a desirable for existing silkscreen printing workshops and a smart choice for those looking to enter the industry add -on option. While screenprinting still has its value in large volume orders, making profitable production through sublimation printing at speeds of industrial level, it is increasingly feasible.

In its most basic form, the dye sublimation process involves three steps create designs, printing and fixing these images to a polymer or polymer coated substrate by heat. Sublimation ink is the key to this process as it is composed of particles of solid dye which is housed within a carrier fluid. To make the actual process of sublimation happen, apply heat and pressure. When this happens, the dye particles become gas and are enclosed in substrate polymers. This results in the coloration becomes part of the substrate, instead of on top of it.

Depending on the type of printer used, Sublimation ink can be applied to substrates using either transfer paper or direct process to fabric printing. In the case of using transfer paper, the freshly printed image is applied to the substrate using a heat press. Direct prints are set using heat either on the same printer or an external press.

As digital technology, sublimation allows full color printing without preparing color separations or printing a color layer at a time. The design is prepared through graphics software using a rasterization process images (RIP) and sent directly to the printer for production.

Depending on the needs of the company, production speeds can range from 50 m 2 / hour, more than 4000 m 2 / hour. Development of inks has also improved production processes. The inks are designed to deliver both the vibrancy of color in the textile market need, as a fast time to perform high speed drying.

Most people in the industry will probably argue that the short-term efficiency is the biggest promoter of large format sublimation printing . Its simplified three-step process streamlines production and requires less equipment, a smaller footprint and fewer operators, which translates into cost savings. Printers can run unchanged consecutive jobs screen, and perform both sampling and production on the same computer. This reduces production costs considerably and makes short-term orders are not only cheap but profitable.



Sublimation Value Added

Sublimation printing can play the leading role in any textile manufacturer, or can complement an existing screen printing business with the options available in a price range and throughput speeds. In addition to addressing many of the challenges that come with screen printing, sublimation printing also offers an additional value that can have a big impact on business:

1.Product diversification and new mercados.- Sublimation enables print shops to add a range of new products to their business, allowing them to open new revenue streams and reach more markets. Such products include: indoor and outdoor furniture, ceilings and walls; the fashion industry and clothing; flags and banners; signaling in textiles and rigid substrates; sportswear and special fabrics.

2.Opportunities with a margin alto.- products boutique high - margin are one of the main applications for sublimation printing. Designs can be considerably larger and there is a greater variety of design libraries available. Production economics very short term allows easy adaptation to changing fashion season.

3.Production and Control Inventario.- Sublimation printing eliminates the need for a printed inventory, resulting in reduced waste, unsold goods and counterfeiting. Manufacturers can produce at will, offering easy customization and what is known as manufacturing purchasing activated (PAM). In the Internet age, production flexibility is a great advantage.

4.Technology Verde.- Sublimation printing requires less ink usage compared to silkscreen, besides not leave chemical residues on the screen. The inks used are also made from water, which makes them less harmful to the environment and the people involved in production. The pre-treatment of tissue is not necessary with the sublimation and removal of washing and drying the production process means less waste water from cleaning.


Digital printing technology is rapidly changing the scope of the industry large format printing. Current reports indicate that screenprinting accounts for 98% of 25 to 30 billion meters of total annual volume of textile goods. Although digital printing is responsible for the remaining 2% is expected that number to increase to 15% over the next 5 years. Since this anticipated growth and trends are moving from mass production to mass customization, market potential and profitability of large format sublimation printing had never looked better.


If you have other opinions,wecome to contact us.we can offer you the best quality sublimation paper,transfer paper.