Sublimation ink: How to tell a good quality ink for your sublimation printing needs

Sublimation printing may not be a term that you have heard of before, or that you know much about, however, it is something that you will probably have seen in the real world. The idea behind sublimation printing is that you use a computer printer, transferring dye onto a variety of materials including card, paper, fabric or plastic, all using heat.

The ink that is used in sublimation printing is not ink as you would usually see it. A traditional approach to ink is that it contains a number of certain pigments, which will allow it to achieve the colour. Sublimation ink is instead made up of dye solids, which are within a carrier fluid. This means that the ink that is used during this particular type of printing is much thicker, and will be much harder to pass through printers which are not designed for this type of printing.

Sublimation printing can work fantastically well, providing vivid and brilliant colours, however, in order to get this result you are going to use a high quality sublimation ink during the printing process. But how do you tell what is a high quality ink and what isn’t? Here are some of the best ways to spot a high quality ink.

Colour reduction

A sign of a good quality sublimation ink is that it will have a very high level of colour reduction. Without this the transfer of the colour during printing will not be as vivid as it could otherwise have been.

Smaller dye particles

When it comes to sublimation inks, the smaller the particle in the dye then the better it is going to print. Larger particles are not only going to block the printing head, but they could also lead to a transfer that is not as fine and smooth as you would like it to be. You may even find that you can see the particles if you looked through a magnifying lens.

Pure colour

You are going to want to make sure that the colour within any sublimation ink that you use is pure. If the colour is not pure, especially when it comes to black, then this could cause an issue in the quality of print.

A high level of ink to water

All sublimation inks have a level of water within them, which mixes with the ink. The trouble with water is that it causes the ink to be too wet, which means that it takes much longer than it should to dry. You want to choose an ink that has a much higher level of ink compared to water, as this will lead to a much better result during printing.
As you can see, it may be much easier than you think to spot a good quality sublimation ink, so, make sure that your printing, no matter the material that you are printing on, is the very best quality that it can be. Each and every time.

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