What Is Sublimation Ink? (Its Types And How It Works?)

Sublimation is responsible for designing and printing. It has an emerging range from home to the market. But the main reason for this is only the sublimation ink. So here we will take a look at what is sublimation ink, its significance, working, application, and advantages.

The sublimation ink frequently prints colourful designs on t-shirts and fabrics. At the same time, it has a powder nature dissolved in a liquid to obtain the liquid state. Due to this, it is used as ink, not powder. If it is not dissolved into the liquid, it will never be the liquid, and we can never use it for our needs:

Background Of Sublimation Ink

Sublimation ink has a broad background that I am mentioning here. The first company which has introduced sublimation ink to the world is “Imperial Chemical Industries”. At the same time, they have made a plan to use the sublimation ink in thermal transfer printing.

The thermal transfer printing deposits the sublimation ink as an image through the thermal printhead. This method hasn’t been successful because of the low resolution of 400 dpi. Also, the printing ribbon was expensive and didn’t yield the desired results.

After it, sublimation experts solved the issue by inkjet printing dyes. Rather if your question is how to remove sublimation ink then check our article in the above line and clear your ideas right now.

Working Of Sublimation Ink

The printing ink changes from solid to gas due to heat, known as sublimation ink. Mostly inks create the prints on the paper after absorption from the report. But sublimation ink has a distinct rule because it is genuine ink. First of all, a sublimation paper catches the sublimation ink.

Then it is printed on a substrate by activating a heat press. Note that the leading cause for changing the sublimation ink (Solid) into the (Gas) is the heat press. Without the heat press, sublimation ink can never be attained. The sublimation ink also results in durable and smudging prints.

how sublimation ink works

Printing Methods Of Sublimation Ink

The printing methods of sublimation ink are two which are as follows:

  • Direct Printing
  • Transfer Printing

The first method uses the most straightforward dye sublimation ink without transferring it to the fabric. Due to this, it is known as a direct printing technique and has a range of textile screens. While in the second method, the transfer paper sheet receives the image prints.

After it, the image is transferred towards the substrate and the necessary heat press is given. The heat press changes the ink into vapours to enter the substrate. That’s why the printed image has vibrant and durable colours. So sublimation ink is well-known for the printing of mousepads and mugs.


The main items for the composition of sublimation ink are the binder, pigment, and solvent. Besides it, brand and type also affect its design. The binder holds the stains so that they will not be damaged from the clogging of the printhead. At the same time, the ink receives the colour from the pigment.

Sometimes, a massive amount of ink collects on the print surface because of the solvent. Thus all these components form an excellent quality ink. While the sublimation ink also has relations with the dispersed dyes (Naturally organic and soluble compounds).

Dwell Time

Sublimation ink has a dwell time that highlights how long its prints may be. At the same time, its dwell time is dependent on its quality and heat press machine. The dwell time of heat transfer is just 20 seconds. But with these factors, its dwell time becomes very high. Heat Transfer also has an ideal temperature like the other factors.

Transferring the images becomes simple if you use a pressure of 15 to 60 psi. Remember that these parameters can also be adjusted according to the needs. Thus check the top rating sublimation inks and their dwell times from here.


Sublimation ink is a unique ink with specific applications from the other inks.
Most of us use it on apparel and image surfaces because it is free from coating and lamination. Thus if you adapt it to garment printing, you will attain long-lasting results.

Sublimation ink is also used in digital printing because of its colourants. Moreover, its effects become fantastic in the electrostatic toner and electrographic. So what is sublimation ink an easy process?


Unlike the other ink, sublimation ink’s molecules don’t sit on the fabric. They only prefer the place of the polymer threads. Due to this, we absorb the vivid colour effect. I like the sublimation inks because they never demand a separate area for the process. At the same time, some deadly chemicals are also involved in its production.

But these dangerous chemicals lack sublimation characteristics and do not join the final substrate. If they enter the final substrate, then we have to bear pollution. But thanks to the sublimation, ink pollution has been blocked because of its friendly results.


Q: How long does sublimation ink last?

The sublimation ink stays on the shirt for six months.

Q: Can you turn a desktop printer into a sublimation printer?

Yes, the desktop printer can be converted into a sublimation printer, but third-party software is essential here.

Q: What are the main applications of sublimation ink?

The main applications of sublimation ink are the printing of t-shirts and clothing.

Q: What is sublimation ink?

The ink compulsory for sublimation printing is known as the sublimation ink.

Last Lines

After reading the sublimation ink guide, you will recognize that the sublimation inks are transparent and composed of a natural process. They are also favourable for the low-resolution colours and white backgrounds. At the same time, sublimation printing is not compatible with cotton and non-porous surfaces.

Related:- Anti UV Sublimation INK With Types & Uses

But sublimation inks are more friendly than our thoughts and shield us from futile functions. The main items which produce them are solvent, binder and pigment. From these factors, users imagine how long the prints of sublimation ink will stay. Thus use the sublimation ink by following the above applications.

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