April '23

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4 4 G R A P H I C S P R O • A P R I L 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S U B L I M A T I O N W hile dye-sublimation has become one of the primary ways to deco- rate clothing and textiles, the technology continues to evolve and can now be used for promotional items such as mugs, coast- ers, and decorative signage. Dye-sublimation is a very flexible tech- nology, says Tim Check, senior prod- uct manager for professional imaging at Epson. It can be used with coated porce- lain, wood, glass, metal, and more to pro- duce a wide variety of products. "Leveraging dye-sublimation equipment on these substrates can greatly expand a print shop's product offerings and can result in higher profit and ROI," Check says. e technology can produce custom products such as drink tumblers, coasters, holiday ornaments, cutting boards, per- sonalized glass wear, and wood décor. It also can be used to make custom photo panels and award plaques and create other textile-focused custom products such as tea towels, oven mitts, koozies, hats, lap- top cases, lanyards, holiday tree skirts, and stockings. Dye-sublimation has two distinct pro- cesses: direct to film and direct to fabric. In direct to film, the ink is printed onto paper and transferred to different media under heat and pressure. is is the num- ber one method for dye-sublimation, says John Ingraham, senior marketing special- ist for dye-sublimation at Canon USA. For direct-to-fabric printing, the fabric needs to be treated before the polyester-based material will accept the dye. When heat and light pressure are added to the mix, the dye migrates into the fabric. "Transfer is most common because it is relatively easy and people can use a paper printer," Ingraham says. "It's not like vinyl Vibrant colors and ease of use make it a favorite for decoration B Y PA U L A AV E N G L A D Y C H Paula Aven Gladych is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. She can be reached at pgladych@ THE VERSATILITY OF "We are already seeing 2023 is going to be a much better year for dye-sublimation as a whole, especially in the soft signage area where it was hurting before," says John Ingraham, senior marketing specialist for dye-sublimation at Canon USA. (Image courtesy Canon Solutions America) Dye-Sublimation

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