So, what is this sublimation thing anyway?
In its simplest terms, sublimation is a chemical process where a solid turns into a gas without going through a liquid stage.
Sublimation printing is a popular method for printing high-quality images onto a variety of items since the finished product shows no resolution loss when compared to the original image. With an image as clear as the source, a product made using the sublimation process will retain its quality long term.
How it works
Sublimation printing typically involves the use of a digital printer to produce images on sublimation transfer paper with sublimation ink. The sublimation paper is then placed into a heat press with the material and exposed to high temperatures of about 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when the ink and transfer material turn from solid to gas. Once they are in a gas state, they bond with the substrate on a molecular level. In other words, they actually become part of the item being printed.
When the heat is removed from the transfer paper and substrate, the ink that has permeated the substrate solidifies and is locked permanently into place. Once the pressure and heat are released, the sublimation ink returns to its solid state and becomes part of the substrate.