Sublimation is the process by which an element passes from the solid-state to the gaseous state. Sublimation allows the color pigment to depart from the sheet on which it is printed on the final support: T-shirt, mug, puzzle, etc. Sublimation only works on white material. Sublimation t shirts are done in optimal conditions on synthetic textiles or those that contain synthetic material. If you need to make this happen on Gildan t shirts, have in mind that a particular printer is required for this procedure. You will also need special sublimation ink and paper.
What Does Sublimation T Shirts Mean?
Print the desired picture with sublimation ink on a special sheet of paper. This sheet is positioned on the product to be customized, in this case, sublimation t shirts, and is inserted in the thermal press for T-shirts. The paper is overlaid with the desired print on the T-shirt and pressed 180 degrees. Basically, by heating, you have the ink vaporized on the sublimation paper and then fixed in the pores of the support material at a microscopic level. What is important to note about this method is that it is only applicable to white textiles that contain polyester.
Why Do the Gildan T Shirts Have to Be Polyester?
Indeed, in recent years, all kinds of papers have appeared on the market that allow printing by sublimation on cotton and included on dark-colored cotton. The polyester fiber has tiny pores, which open at high temperature, allowing the ink particles to enter the fabric, and once cold, they close permanently, which makes the print very resistant to washing. The particles and pores are so small that the quality of the image is photographic. And this is the main reason why your Gildan t shirts need to be polyester.
What are the Main Benefits of Sublimation T Shirts?
- The quality of the print – the print is as durable as the material, plus the color variations are endless. As said before, the ink enters the fiber of the material, so the print does not lose the intensity of the colors over time.
- All-Over Print – with the right equipment, the entire surface of the garment can be printed and used for example for sports shirts, leggings, and more. It might sound complicated, but this process is done by specialized people with up-to-date training.
Are There Disadvantages of Gildan T Shirts Sublimation?
Works only on polyester – limitation with the type of material. The fact that it only works effectively on polyester, or fabrics with different content, is a significant disadvantage only for some people. It is clear that there are many applications, but for an old-school t-shirt lover, the fact that you can’t print cotton t-shirts on a quality level makes it a secondary technique. The design begins when someone has a story to tell; without the story, there is nothing – no style to set, no colors to combine, no layers to arrange. You can’t create a design that you can print on all your T-shirts.
It works well only on white – it’s not that it doesn’t work on colors other than white, just that it mixes colors. For other color tests and colors, adjustments must be made because the sublimated colors will be altered by the color of the support. If, for example, you make a blueprint on a yellow T-shirt, it will look green. If you have the equipment for sublimation t shirts to make all-over prints, it is not a significant disadvantage. Still, obviously, the investment is quite substantial, and you need a considerable turnover to amortize the equipment.
What do You Need to Do for a Successful Sublimation?
First of all, you make sure that the picture or drawing for printing is of good quality. You will print the picture on a unique, sublimable paper sheet with the help of a printer with special sublimation ink. After that, you will take the new printer paper and fix it on the sublimation object with a special scotch tape. Then you introduce the chosen material, Gildan t shirts, in the thermal press. The cooling process will intervene automatically after stopping the action of the thermal press, and this is how you have customization made with the help of sublimation.
Can Sublimation be Done at Home?
If you want to create something special you can say that you can do it at home. You can take Gildan t shirts and the picture you want to print. Then you can put the picture on the t-shirt, then cover it with a piece of paper and iron it over. This is the safest method to print at home. After transferring the model from that transfer sheet, let the ink dry well for 5 minutes. You can also see that there are two types of transfer sheets for dark and light-colored textiles. So, be sure to buy what you need.
These types of homemade sublimation t shirts or, better said iron transfers will not have a long life. Better said, after you wash, it is possible the entire print may be gone. So clean it upside down and manually at max. 30 degrees. It is recommended that you go to a specialized center; it’s just as cheap, it’s faster, and lasts longer. Do another search on Google; you can find some web pages that offer these services at reasonable prices.
When sublimation appeared a few years ago, everyone thought sublimation t shirts were something extraordinary, thanks to the simplicity with which you can apply an extraordinarily complex design. Also, everyone thought that polyester would almost wholly replace cotton on the market. But time has shown that most people prefer cotton shirts, so no harm was made. The designs on your t-shirts don’t have to be extraordinary. However, they need to be different rather than ordinary.