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What is the difference between Sublimation Paper and Heat Transfer Paper?
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What is the difference between Sublimation Paper and Heat Transfer Paper?
According to the experienced sublimation worker charles, the quick answer is No. You cannot use sublimation ink on ANY transfer paper for dark fabrics. Very basic information on sublimation is that it actually dyes the polyester fiber. Unlike ink on a transfer paper the image is not. You cannot dye a dark garment to any other color as for the Canon, I doubt it will work, you will get an image but it will wash out. For normal inkjet transfer you need pigment ink and are not sure what the canon has. Best to figure another way. there are those that say use a polyester spray and other methods.

So, if you are in the business of printing clothes, you have an idea of what is the best costume design method. Many people pay close attention to the heat transfer paper printing method and it depends on your needs and what you intend to do. In addition, there are pros and cons here. We dig into the details to help you decide what works best for you and your business.

We print on high speed sublimation paper together with the use of sublimation ink to print out the images using mirror image setting, then transfer the image onto the media by applying heat and pressure, which makes the sublimation ink turn into gaseous state and absorb by the media. Sublimation paper + ink can transfer the printed image onto polyester, mousepad, cardboard puzzles, polyester drifit tshirts, banners and hard surfaces, such as mugs, ceramic and aluminium plates etc.

Heat transfer paper is applicable to heat transfer, on which images can be printed using normal home printers by heating and pressuring in order to transfer the image onto media. Heat transfer paper can accept a wider range of ink types, such as with pigment ink, solvent ink such as home / office inkjet ink, laser ink etc. You will have no issue using your home, school or company’s printer. Heat transfer paper is usually transferred onto cotton. 
The brand of Heat Transfer Paper we carry is Neenah (a brand from US). JPSS and 3G Jet Opaque are the 2 we carry.

Even though sublimation is traditionally printed with an inkjet printer, the chemical properties of the ink (which is actually a dye) are radically different from pigment-style inks, thus the paper is uniquely engineered for the process.

While standard inks require a form of bonding agent to adhere to the surface of the fabric, sublimation dyes physically penetrate, bond, and re-color polymer fibers. Because of the molecular process, binding agents are not required. Thus, sublimation transfer paper is composed of a polymer management layer combined with a release agent.

Unlike inkjet and laser transfer papers, the entire surface of super speed sublimation paper does not transfer, as there are no binding agents involved. The sublimation dye simply turns into a gas during the pressing phase of the process and transfers into the polymer fibers of the substrate. Also, since sublimation is sub-surface, it has no hand.

One new development with sublimation transfer products is “tacky paper” (currently only available in roll form). Tacky paper is manufactured with a light adhesive within the surface and is ideal for preventing ghosting that happens if the paper shifts when releasing the heat press. Those that lack the ability to print on rolled media can apply a very light coating of spray adhesive to the transfer for the same effect.

The variety of sticky sublimation paper may look similar, but different brands have different manufacturing recipes. It pays to explore the options on the market. Don’t focus on cost, but look for the product that consistently delivers the highest quality images.

Note that sublimation dyes do not work with non-poly fibers.

Low humidity: In the humidity under 45%, it’s better to choose 80gsm. When in low humidity, the paper shrinks, and the print side is hunched-up. During the process, the paper absorbs ink, which leads to the “hunch-up”. 100g and 120g paper are harder than 80g, so the “hunch-up” damages the print-head. 80gsm is softer, it could relieve the “hunch-up” and protect your print-head from damage.

High humidity: In the humidity above 70%. It’s better to choose 110-120 gsm. Since the paper is very easy to become damp with high humidity, it will become softer and stiffness is weak at the same time. If low weight paper is used, it will be hard to print smoothly because of the stiffness and hardness go down. At this time, 110-120 gsm is the best choice.

In textile printing with sublimation techniques, the paper has an important role; i.e as a medium for transferring inks to the fabric so that final graphics can be produced. This paper has a short life cycle because it cannot be used for reprinting. This study aims to propose four alternatives ways to increase the value of paper waste from textile printing with approaches in material value conservation, reverse engineering, material selection, and waste management. The four proposed alternatives are to sell paper waste rolls to the waste collector, to reuse paper waste as an underlay paper in fabric cutting, to reuse paper waste as shredded paper for packaging, and reuse paper waste as shredded paper for packaging after it has become underlay paper in fabric cutting. The first alternative contributes to a total net revenue of IDR 149,490,000 for three years. The second alternative contributes to a 74% reduction in the cost of purchasing underlay paper with a value of IDR 318,912,000 for three years. The third alternative contributes to a revenue of IDR 66,440,000 for three years, but it has not reached a break-even point due to investment in machinery which costs IDR 112,000,000. The fourth alternative contributes to a reduction in the cost of purchasing underlay paper with a value of IDR 210,234,000 for three years after deducting the cost of machine investment. From this study, it is found that the application of material value conservation in paper waste can bring economic value to the industry and the environment.
The need for good quality paper for jumbo roll sublimation paper has been reported previously as a principal requirement for the process. Pigmented coated papers have gained acceptance in the traditional paper printing industry, but, despite their importance, have inspired very few reports in literature about their application in heat transfer printing.In the current work, we studied the influence of both clay and ground calcium carbonate (GCC) pigments and the incorporation of plastic pigment on the surface structure and mechanical properties of the coated paper used for transfer printing. The results showed that paper coating significantly reduced the surface roughness of the paper. The mechanical properties of the prepared coated paper, including tensile strength, stretch, tensile energy absorption (TEA), and burst index, were improved when coated compared to those of uncoated paper. The addition of plastic pigment to the coating mixture helped improve the paper's properties.The optical density of the transfer-printed polyester fabric using the prepared coated paper was also compared with that of uncoated paper. It was shown that a slight increase in optical density was evident in the coated paper.The possibility of producing a second polyester print from the exhaust paper was also investigated. Coated paper incorporating plastic pigment, in particular, showed higher optical density than did uncoated paper.We found that coated paper based on clay, GCC, clay/plastic pigment, or GCC/plastic pigment consumed less dye paste than uncoated paper though producing printed fabric with higher optical density—especially in the second print.

“Sub-li-what-now?!” If you’ve ever wondered what this strange-looking word actually means — then wonder no more.

No, it isn’t an underwater warship or on-screen translations that help you understand a foreign film; it’s a high-tech printing process used mostly for print on demand apparel. Today we’re going to pick it apart — we’ll cover what it is, how it works, discuss the pros and cons, when to use it — and when not to.

What is sublimation?
Let’s start with the broad strokes. What exactly is sublimation?

In simple terms, it’s a method of printing that transfers a design into a material or fabric using ink and heat.

In the world of apparel, it’s a game changer in that it allows whole garment prints — designs that go seam-to-seam.

The sublimation printing process
So how does sublimation work? Well, 35gsm fast dry sublimation paper uses heat to essentially bring ink and fabric together as one.

First, a design is printed onto special paper. The inks that are used turn into gas when brought under heat, then combine with the fabric and permanently print onto the fabric. The effects are permanent and less prone to fading, as the ink is embedded in the fabric or substrate rather than simply laying on top like a normal print.

The process is almost like a tattoo, but instead of for your skin, it’s for your chosen product. The heat opens up the pores of the fabric, then with the applied pressure the ink cools and returns to a solid form.

The result is a permanent, full colour image that won’t crack, peel or wash away from the substrate. The process allows the ink to go from a solid to a gas without turning to liquid, a bit like dry ice. The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled by pressure.

This quick and effective digital print method is growing in popularity for smaller batch orders and those designs that rely on the details. Sublimation printing is also known as ‘all over printing’ as it allows you to choose a design that can literally go from seam to seam.
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