Perfecting the Process: Dye Sublimation or Screen Printing

Celina offers an incredible amount of customizable printing. From tent tops to table covers to flags to banners, there are so many items that we can create that are unique to you. This may seem very simple. After all, printing is printing is printing, is it not? It’s not very often that we come across people to begin to take a closer look and realize that in printing, the material you are imparting the image to is a HUGE factor in the printing process.

Of course, table covers and tent tops are made from two very different things. Standard printed tents are made from a 16 ounce vinyl known as DuraPrint, a fabric that is specially formulated to accept the style of print that is applied using spray print heads.

Screen Printing

Very few processes have the pedigree that Screen Printing can boast. Invented in China as early as the 900’s, there have been a few improvements over the years that keep it in use in a variety of industries. Modern screen printing is a great process for creating multiples of the same images, allowing you to mass-produce items with great speed and quality.

The main process includes a stencil and polyester screen, along with inks and scrapers. The item is placed under the screen, which is tensioned in a frame just above the work surface. Ink is applied to the top of the screen, and a scraper is drawn over the stencil which presses the screen to the surface of the product. This imparts ink in the outline dictated by the stencil. As the pressure of the scraper passes over the screen, only the part of the screen with the scraper above it comes in contact with the product.

Dye Sublimation

Apart from just being fun to say (try it 3 times fast!), Dye Sublimation is our process of choice when dealing with table cover cloth. It involves two major steps: Paper Printing and Heat Transfer. 

  1.   In Paper Printing, the image in printed in reverse onto transfer paper. This allows all colors and designs to be created at once. If you were to compare the finished image with the print at this stage, there would be a marked difference in the hues of the graphic. This is because of how the inks react in the second stage.
  2.   Once finished, the print is taken to a Heat Transfer press. The print, ink-side down, is laid on the product fabric, and then inserted into the press. The press wheel is heated, which allows the inks to be gasified through the pressing and embedded into the fabric.

Images created through Dye Sublimation are more durable than printing that includes ink being applied directly to the fabric, and will even withstand repeated washing without any damage to the graphic. Since there are no pre-created stencils used to create the image, the variety of different pictures that can be created is the main advantage.

By choosing to focus on dye sublimation printing, Celina endeavors to offer the highest quality, most individualized printing process. We’re just an email, call (+44 115 794 0041), or chat box entry away from helping you create the best products for a unique you!