Frequently Asked Questions
What is Dye Sublimation?
Dye Sublimation is a printing process which reproduces graphics onto fabric. Using high heat and pressure, solid dyes are absorbed directly into the fabric, making for durable prints that last longer and wear much less than traditional screen-printed graphics.
What’s the process like?
There are two methods for Dye Sublimation printing.
The Transfer Method: Graphics and/or images are created on a computer and sent to a plotter that prints it on special transfer paper. The transfer paper is fed through a heat press, along with the fabric, which transfers the image from the paper to the fabric using heat and pressure. Sublimation happens when the inks on the transfer paper actually change from a solid to a gas state, allowing the ink pigment to deeply permeate the fabric fibers.
The Direct-Dye Method: In this method, the transfer paper step is eliminated and the dye is printed directly onto the fabric. The fabric must still proceed through the heat press in order to activate the dye. Direct-dye allows for an even greater permeation of dye and is great for achieving graphic “show-through” on the back side of a fabric.
We’re able to utilize both of these methods as appropriate for your project.
Why choose Dye Sublimation over Screen Printing?
Screen printing usually utilizes plasticized inks for textile printing, resulting in the inked areas clogging the weave of the fabric with ink. This can hinder fabric performance, especially with active wear apparel. Dye sublimated fabrics maintain their original performance specs, even after full coverage dying. This means moisture wicking, breathability, etc. remains unhampered.
Screen printed fabrics also feel different to the touch than the sublimated fabric, as screen printed ink sits on top of the fabric fibers, whereas a sublimated print will have the exact same feel before and after being dyed.
Also, dye sublimation graphics are permanent and won’t peel, crack or fade, and dye sublimation produces a very wide, brilliant range of colors compared to screen printing. No special care is required for machine washing and drying garments with sublimated images.
How are these products made?
After design approval, your graphics are fitted onto a pattern on the computer. Those files are printed and then your design is sublimated into the fabric. The dyed fabric pieces are cut out, then sewed together and finished. Then the products are cleaned, checked and packaged for shipping!
Where are these products made?
All of our products are designed, printed, dyed, cut and sewn to order right here in the USA. We house our own in-house graphic designers, pattern makers, printer operators and sewing factory.
What type of artwork is acceptable?
Vector-based artwork gives the best results, as the artwork can be scaled to any size without any loss of quality. Common vector artwork file types include Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Encapsulated Postscript (.eps) and Portable Document Format (.pdf). When providing artwork it would be best to send those file types first if possible.
What is Vector?
Vector graphics are based on mathematical relationships between points, which allows the image to be scaled to any size without any loss of quality. Vector artwork is typically created with an illustration program (such as Adobe Illustrator), and is the preferred format for logo creation because of its crisp lines and scalability.
How do I know if my artwork is correct?
Our art department reviews all graphics. If the files you provided aren’t going to provide satisfactory results, you’ll be contacted with details of the concerns. At that point you can re-submit new files or have our team make the adjustments (though additional charges may apply). For a graphics fee, we’re also able to clean up and/or convert poor quality logos into high quality vector versions.
Can we do color matching?
We can. If your artwork requires color matching, please provide the specific Pantone (PMS) numbers for us to match. Because of the sublimation process, matching Pantone colors is a little different than typical printing, but we are able to match colors accurately.
Can I use spot colors in my art and can you print spot colors?
You may use spot colors in your art, but spot colors are converted and printed in process CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). The process doesn’t allow us to print with actual spot color ink; process inks are used. Because dye sublimation differs from typical printing, we can achieve a much wider range of colors with those process inks.
What’s your return policy?
Please call us to discuss any problems you may have. We will do our best to resolve any issues to the satisfaction of all parties.
Do you have customer service?
Of course! Call us at (864) 378-0952.