FAQ



How does your process work?

Please download our process infographic and contact us if you require further information.  

What are sublimation transfer inks?

Sublimation describes the process of a solid substance changing directly into a gas or vapour, without first passing through the intermediary liquid state.  

How are sublimation transfers different from transfer papers?

Heat transfers created with colour laser, ink jet, or wax thermal printers use a polymer coated transfer paper to fuse ordinary toner or ink particles onto the surface of a substrate. The result is a “decal-like” transfer that can peel, crack, fade, and discolour over time. Sublimation transfers instead rely on special transfer inks or toners to transfer below the surface of a substrate. The result is a “tattoo-like” transfer that will not peel, crack, or fade and will last for many years.

What are the limitations of sublimation?

Sublimation inks and toners transfer well to white or light coloured, synthetic surfaces such as polyester and acrylic. They do not transfer to natural surfaces such as cotton, or dark coloured surfaces. Over long periods of time, sublimation inks and toners have limited colourfastness when exposed to direct sunlight. 

What digital files are accepted for printing?

All files created with Adobe software are accepted. They include psd, tiffs and jpegs made in Photoshop, eps and ai from Illustrator as well as pdf from Acrobat. We work in both Mac and PC environment. We cannot open Quark or Corel Draw files.

How are digital files sent?

Files can be burned to CD or DVD and mailed to us. If under 3MB they can be emailed directly over a broadband connection. Large files – up to 1 GB – can be transferred using YouSendIt free of charge.

Do you supply the fabric?

Customers will supply their own fabric unless ordering for signage. For more information go to the fabrics section of our website.

RGB or CMYK?

RGB offers a larger colour space than CMYK and is the mode of capture of all digital cameras. But print technology uses the CMYK mode to reproduce colours. We recommend retaining your photos in the original RGB mode but complex artworks should be supplied in both modes if possible or saved as a postscript file (pdf or eps/ai). Depending on the content and combined with our experience we will chose the relevant mode to achieve the best colour match. 

How does sublimation transfer work?

In the printing world, the term sublimation is used to describe heat-activated inks that change into a gas under the application of heat and pressure, and have the ability to bond with polyester or acrylic surfaces. Sublimated images are extremely washable and dry cleanable. Printing with sublimation ink is not new; sublimation transfers have played an important role in the printing world for decades. What is new to the printing world is the ability to digitally print sublimation inks rather that screen-printing them.  

How is a sublimation transfer different from direct printing onto fabric?

Direct printing involves printing directly to a coated fabric with an ink jet printer. The finishing process for direct printing requires both steaming and washing. Coated fabrics for direct printing are more expensive and easily wasted. Moreover, sublimation transfers will generally offer more detail and sharpness than direct printing.

What should i know about UV stability when using sublimation inks?

Over long periods of time, sublimation inks and toners, like most forms of process colour printing, have limited colourfastness when exposed to direct sunlight. Generally we have found that it will take 18 months or more of constant, direct exposure to sunlight before a gradual fading can be detected. Bear in mind that the sublimation process is used to print all AFL and NRL jerseys, as well as many top brand swimsuits