Does Sublimation printing, only work on polyester?

Does Sublimation printing, only work on polyester?

Yes, and no,

Dye Sublimation printing was specific to100% polyester for garment like, swimwear, activewear and sportswear.

This is obviously the huge downside for uniform industry, therefore, we have developed a suitable cotton backed fabric for dye sublimation, to get sharp and bright colour from cotton backed fabric without the white fluff from the cotton, that was a big challenge.

Normally dyeing of polyester/cotton blended fabric required double bath dyeing of polyester/cotton blend fabric gives far better results in terms uniformity of shades in both light and dark shades, but dye sublimation is single heat transfer dyeing process, , for decades the clothing industry only used 100% polyester fabric for dye sublimation, if you jump onto the internet now, the result for the best fabric for dye sublimation printing will still be polyester.

At Australian Spirit, we always believe that there is always the solution for the problem, after months of research and discussion with our fabric mill and dying house, we have finally developed our first-generation dye-sublimation friendly cotton backed fabric in 2016, up to today, the fabric is already 4th generation.

Our cotton backed fabric also features with UPF 50+, it’s the best choice for school wear, out-door workwear, and corporate uniforms.

  • Need a picture of cotton backed fabric in comparison.
  • UPF 50+
Why you should choose Dye sublimation for your uniform solution.

Why you should choose Dye sublimation for your uniform solution.

Dye sublimation is a digital printing technology that enables the reproduction of distinctive images on common everyday items, including clothing and novelties. Prior to digital printing, reproducing images on these items (T-shirts being a typical example) required labour-intensive analogue processes, such as screen-printing.


The modern dye sublimation process is quite simple in comparison to conventional methods. You create an image on your computer, print it onto some special transfer paper using sublimation inks, and then apply the image to the paper to create a design which is then implemented to the clothing of choice

Using a heat press, the transfer paper is pressed onto the surface at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees celcius), which then causes the sublimation inks to “transfer” from the paper to any polymer fibres within the substrate. After less than a minute, the heat is removed and the transfer paper is peeled off, leaving behind a permanent, full colour image on the substrate. The whole process can take less than 20 minutes from design through to production.


Suitable printer types for dye sublimation work can range from a small desktop toner- or inkjet-based printers to medium-format inkjet printers. Large printers are no longer required for printing on various materials.


Whilst digital dye sublimation printing does often involve the waste of the transfer paper (as the paper offers limited opportunities for re-use), reduced wastage occurs in the ability to produce both short and long runs of a required print.

Designs can effectively be “made to order” or samples can be produced conveniently and efficiently without having to waste extra materials or substrates.


Digital dye sublimation technology is constantly evolving and with this evolution comes even more efficient ways to sublimate. Earlier models required the user to physically change the inks to keep the print run going, but recent models allow for unattended ink switching –The machine doesn’t run idle until the ink has been switched but instead it can continuously run for hours of uninterrupted printing.

Furthermore, digital inkjet sublimation printing, in comparison with screen-based processes, require minimal post-print washing. Printing with sublimation inks brings the advantages of easy wash, quick dry, and reduced creasing properties to significantly reduce the impact on the environment.


Digital printing, especially dye sublimation printing, is quick and inexpensive in both the setup and production, making it an ideal choice for creating personalised, one-of-a-kind items or for mass producing a variety of custom products. Moreover, dye sublimation printing yields beautiful and permanent colours that are embedded in the substrate or fabric, rather than printed on the surface. Images on fabric won’t fade or crack even after multiple washings. Images on hard substrates will not chip, peel, or scratch.

Is Dye Sublimation Sustainable

Is Dye Sublimation Sustainable

You may be surprised to know that one of the major benefits of sublimation printing is its level of safety for both the environment and the worker. In fact, it is the most friendly-environmental and sustainable method of garment printing and production currently being used today.

The dyes are safe and not in any way harmful. Printers usually opt for using CYMK, so the result is that the dye sublimation printing process only uses a minimal amount of dye sublimation inks.

Amazingly, dye sublimation printing creates absolutely ZERO WASTE.

Our sublimation ink is a “green” WATER-BASED ink, less harmful to the environment than a solvent-based ink.

There are no solvents in any sublimation ink products. Eliminating the use of solvents has been proven to be good for the environment. Solvents have been linked to the production of ozone and to the increase in smog production. Smog contributes to poor air quality which can have a harmful effect on both humans and vegetation. Some solvents have also been linked to global warming.

Many solvents are also toxic to humans. The volatile organic compounds in solvent-based inks can cause fumes which can be unhealthy for those who work with the ink.  The VOC-free nature of a water-based ink also provides a safer work environment for production employees and eliminates the need for concern about things like personal exposure limits. Sublimation inks that are solvent-free are the smarter choice both for the health of the person printing with the ink and for the Earth as a whole.

5 Key Benefits of Dye Sublimation

5 Key Benefits of Dye Sublimation

The key benefit of all the benefits of dye sublimation printing is the ability to use any colour with high-quality resolution. The ink jet printer prints the image transferred, this allows the use of every colour in the colour spectrum, except white. This includes any type of complex gradients, images and photos, or a combination of all. Using a white solid surface solves the problem of not being able to print white. Wherever the ink is not printed, the surface colour of the material will show through. As a result, you can print any image with the same high resolution of 300 dpi

1.Durability of Print

As mentioned previously, the unique process of sublimated printing makes the image one with its substrate or printing surface. This means no cracking, fading or deterioration of the image will occur once it is set into the product. For apparel, this means no worries of print fade after laundering. For non-apparel items you do not need to worry that certain cleaners will erode image durability. If the base material itself can withstand the cleaning agent or environment your print will maintain its original look.


As this process grows in popularity more and more types of materials can be printed. From custom one- off flip flops, uniforms and socks to large outdoor signage and home decor items, dye sublimation has almost unlimited potential. Here are some items that are now widely used in this industry:


1) Rigid Substrates – Polymer treated, non-fabric items like glass, plastic, fiberglass, ceramics, and aluminium. These are products that aren’t bendable like fabrics.
2) Signage – Easily print on vinyl banners, tablecloths and other trade show displays. If you see signs hanging in front of shops or buildings, there’s a good chance that sublimation printing was used.

3) Polyester Fabrics – One of the most popular items to dye sublimate. They are divided into two types:
i) Knit: Polyester products that hang & flow in their natural environment, like apparel, flags, banners, and custom printed table covers.
ii) Woven: More durable products such as fabric backdrops and custom tents

4) Home Decor – The dye-sub process is often used by businesses that sell to interior designers. Decor items like ceramic floor tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms, kitchens, restaurants, & more.
5) Photograph Printing – Arguably the best way to produce the highest-quality photographic images on canvas, magnets, and apparel.

3.Low Minimums

Once the image is set up in a graphic design program it can easily be re-printed for high production quantities or for just one-time use. Depending on the complexity of the design it may cost you more for a graphic designer to design and set-up a print than the actual printed item.

4.Ease of Use

As this process has become more popular in recent years, production equipment, product variety and affordability have increased significantly. Printed items that once required a lot of upfront set-up costs can now be achieved with the one-time purchase of sublimation equipment. This means that apparel with full colour coverage, even over seams, can now be achieved simply.


Sublimation printing can be used consistently over time with great results. Items like mouse pads, coffee cups, face masks, signs and marketing materials, fully custom apparel with overall printing and home decor items will benefit from this type of printing. All these items can also be washed on a regular basis without fear of distorting their appearance.

Dye sublimation has capabilities way beyond fabric. It leaves countless printing opportunities that come in handy for crafting and business presentations where customisation is a bonus.