The difference between sublimation and heat transfer is large, so which is better? Sublimation or heat transfer? In this article, we are going to discuss the differences and similarities.
What is heat transfer?
Heat transfer may have two steps for transferring an image onto a garment. First, we need to print the design on the transfer paper, and then transfer the design on the special adhesive paper. Then press the design onto the shirt using a heat press. After finishing the printing process, you can remove the adhesive paper from the garment, and you can see the design on the shirt clearly.
What is sublimation?
In sublimation, it allows you to print the design on regular copy paper or dye sublimation paper and then press that paper directly onto the garment. When the garment has been heat-pressed, the paper is removed and the garment is complete. The process is valid because the heat press heats up the ink on the paper and turns it into a gas. This kind of gas inserts into the garment in the exact design which was on the paper. After sublimation, there are no attachments to the garment.
Which is more durable?
We can test the durability of the two by watching the number of washes that the design can endure.
Regarding heat transfer, there is a thin paper attached to the fabric that can stand 30-40 washes before cracking and disappearing. But on sublimation, the design has become a part of clothes. And you can wash over 100 times. The image is less likely to fade and crack. Therefore, the sublimation is more durable.
What can you transfer images onto?
Sublimation may have more limitations when considering what an image can be transferred onto. Because the ink in the image can only be transferred on polyester fibers. If the shirt is not 100% polyester, the design may not be so vibrant. Besides, you can only use a light-colored substrate. If the substrate is dark, you can hardly see the design. By using heat transfer, it allows you to print on both light and dark garments. In addition, there is no limit on the substrate. If you want, you can print on a hat or a bag without polyester. In this way, heat transfer may offer you more options.
How about colors?
Sublimation printing can print entire colors, and it’s great for photographs or gradients from imagines. The color matching works perfectly well with sublimation. Sublimation printing can be suitable in all colors. The color quality is quite good if you use the correct transfer paper.
Conclusion on heat transfer vs sublimation
Both heat transfer and sublimation printing are good ways to make garments more pretty. However, they have many differences. Both of these two printing ways need a heat press to get the final works. If you have one, you can try on a heat transfer printer and sublimation printer to test which one is suitable for you. If you meet any questions about choosing a heat press, you can contact SUBLICOOL at your convenience at any time.