Author Topic: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?  (Read 2259 times)

Offline IntegrityShirts

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Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« on: June 04, 2013, 09:51:39 AM »
Do they exist?  Why, if we have the proper curing ovens, do you need to transfer from paper to polyester? Do they NEED the pressure as well as heat?

Direct to fabric sublimation inkjet printers exist that print and cure in one step without transfer paper.

Is there a risk of dye migration or spreading if printing dye sublimation inks through a regular screen on press?

I'd be interested to hear the history and science behind why dye sublimation is primarily done through a transfer process (nerd snort)!


Offline mk162

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 09:54:53 AM »
Several things....

sublimation inks are not the same inks as direct to garment inks.

sublimation inks could possibly go through a standard screen, but why?  They were made to avoid screen printing, they are simply cmyk inks that already exist in our industry.

The reason they are on paper is the paper is simply a vehicle for the ink to get to the shirt, direct to garment printers simply removed the paper.

Offline IntegrityShirts

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 09:59:29 AM »
Sorry, didn't meant to confuse this with DTG printers.  When I mention a direct to textile sublimation printer, it's a roll to roll printer of just polyester:

http://www.ussublimation.com/Velotex_6400.htm

With the recent resurgence of 100% polyester wicking tees, performance poly knits etc, I'd think there's a market for actual screen printed sublimation inks on light garments.

Not talking full-on cut-sew operations, just a niche market of inks that regular screen printers could offer customers that still want a breathable end result without having to heat press 400+ garments for that 5k race  8)

Offline ScreenFoo

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 10:11:34 AM »
I've often wondered this myself.  I know the shop I'm at (long before I started here,) used to do sub transfers.

They got out of it long ago and focused on just direct printing, but same thing runs through my head when I put a sheet of black plastic on a white A4....
Suppose everyone just uses a poly compatible WB?

Offline IntegrityShirts

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 10:26:27 AM »
I've often wondered this myself.  I know the shop I'm at (long before I started here,) used to do sub transfers.

They got out of it long ago and focused on just direct printing, but same thing runs through my head when I put a sheet of black plastic on a white A4....
Suppose everyone just uses a poly compatible WB?

I would love a poly compatible wb ink for light garments...

Offline BorisB

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Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 12:54:32 PM »
In oven type dryer you cannot control where dyestuff changing from solid to gas and back will land on garment. Most off it will stay where you printed it, but not all. Paper is partly vehicle and partly enclosure to prevent air/ink fumes moving around ink. Same as with calander when directly printing yardage polyester.


Boris

Offline BorisB

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Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 12:56:33 PM »
I've often wondered this myself.  I know the shop I'm at (long before I started here,) used to do sub transfers.

They got out of it long ago and focused on just direct printing, but same thing runs through my head when I put a sheet of black plastic on a white A4....
Suppose everyone just uses a poly compatible WB?

I would love a poly compatible wb ink for light garments...
Many traditional WB screen inks stick well to white polyester.

Offline Sbrem

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 04:52:15 PM »
Yes, you need the firm pressure between transfer and substrates. Also, do you think you could print gradations that look as good as an inkjet print? That being said, I've seen an 8 ft wide sublimation printer in action. The material comes off the roll, through the printer, to the transfer press, which uses rollers, no platens. The main heating roller was filled with oil to keep the temp consistent across the width. The material is pressed up against the heater roller with other rollers and the transferring begins. Pretty cool to watch...

Steve
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Offline Prosperi-Tees

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 05:32:54 PM »
If the ink you are printing is darker than the 100% poly shirt, do you need to worry about bleeding?

Offline Sbrem

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2013, 09:23:18 AM »
We haven't found any issues YET regarding black, navy or forest on light 100% poly. Though there must be some effect on a technical level, it doesn't appear visible. I don't think the light dye can compete with the dark ink enough to alter it visibly. Just my impressions though, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Steve
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Offline IntegrityShirts

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2013, 10:26:24 AM »
In oven type dryer you cannot control where dyestuff changing from solid to gas and back will land on garment. Most off it will stay where you printed it, but not all. Paper is partly vehicle and partly enclosure to prevent air/ink fumes moving around ink. Same as with calander when directly printing yardage polyester.


Boris

This, in my mind, is the best explanation of what goes on during sublimation.  I guess if there's no barrier to keep the ink seated during its transformation into a gas, it could move and not end up fusing in the right spot.  I'd guess the print would sort of look like a gaussian blur?

Offline Sbrem

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2013, 10:34:52 AM »
You can get blur if you don't remove the transfer correctly as well. It looks like the ink bled or leached into the surrounding fabric. It will happen with a coffee mug too if the clamp isn't tight all the way around, either with a mug press or wraps.

Steve
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Offline IntegrityShirts

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2013, 11:18:57 AM »
You can get blur if you don't remove the transfer correctly as well. It looks like the ink bled or leached into the surrounding fabric. It will happen with a coffee mug too if the clamp isn't tight all the way around, either with a mug press or wraps.

Steve

Ahhhhhh! Now it all makes sense. Thanks! I'm going to throw a 100% poly white tee on press with a big black watebased print (matsui).  We'll see how long the ink "sticks" lol

Offline ScreenFoo

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Re: Direct to textile sublimation screen printing inks?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2013, 11:28:23 AM »
Boris & Steve--great info.  Didn't even think about the gassing blurring the print.  That continuous roll printer sounds pretty cool.

I think I should be using WB on performance gear, but I get the feeling I'm the only one here that thinks that...