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Fabric printing FAQs

The term dye sublimation can be used wildly for fabric printing. Traditional fabric printing was called dye sublimation because of a two-step process. Step one was to print on a transfer paper and then transfer that image onto fabric using a calendar system. The calendar process uses high heat and turns the ink into a gas state and is then pressed into the fabric using a large oil-filled drum. This calendar unit is very similar to a laminator only bigger. The drum is filled with oil since oil maintains a constant heat source with no variations in temperature change. This heat source was essential for providing a smooth image transfer.

In this process, the ink is printed directly to the fabric with the printer having an inline calendar system. This process is a one-step process and no longer two. The only drawback to this process is the limited fabrics we can print to. If you want to print on spandex or something with lots of stretch, you will need to go to the two-step process, which we do not currently offer. Our material is a polyester knit with a slight stretch to accommodate most SEG frame systems. We can print SEG, table throws, backdrops, light boxes, and other indoor items with ease. In addition, the material is washable.
Indoor life span is 10-15 years
Outdoor life span is 1-2 months (great for short-term events or advertising graphics)

This process prints direct to fabric. The ink sits on the surface of the material unlike dye sublimation, where the ink and fabric become one. The material has little or no stretch and is very prone to wrinkles. Placing on a roll is the best method of shipment since they tend to hold wrinkles. Many of these materials are specifically coated to hold ink from the printer which can give them a slight stiffness versus a soft knit fabric. UV or Latex fabric prints have outdoor durability on average of 1-2 years, but this process is not used for SEG frame systems or backdrops.
Indoor life span is 10-15 years
Outdoor life span is 1-2 years depending on the material and printer used