Sila® Apparel sublimation provides the tool in which to create, design and produce an unlimited number of unique, and personalised garments, limited only by imagination. The quality is second to none, and the colours are vibrant and alive. Garments are colour fast, and because of the processes used, are not susceptible to fading and wash out. Sublimation is ideal for long or short runs, and with our “IN HOUSE” design team, there are no hidden set up charges or artwork charges.*
Sila® Apparel Sublimation works by dying the fabric with colour, allowing the fabrics natural wicking properties to be maintained. The dye is vaporised, and embedded into the fabric, meaning there is no chance of colours bleeding, or washing out, and one of the biggest advantages over “screen printing” and other processes is that your logo’s and artwork will never peel off!
The basic dye sublimation process uses special heat-sensitive dyes to print graphics, text and virtually any image onto special transfer paper. The paper is then placed on the pre-cut fabric pattern and both are placed into a heat press. When the heating cycle is completed, the image on the paper has been transferred to the item and has actually reformed into or underneath the surface. Run your finger across the surface of a sublimated garment and you will feel nothing.
The reason for this is that sublimation is always done on a polyester, polymer, or polymer-coated item, in the case of team uniforms 100% polyester garments. At high temperatures, the solid dye converts into a gas without ever becoming a liquid. The same high temperature opens the pores of the polyester fabric and allows the gas to enter. When the temperature drops, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state. It has now become a part of the fabric.
This is why dye sublimation can’t be done on natural materials, such as 100% cotton. Natural fibers and non-coated materials which have no "pores" to open cannot accept the gas vapor. The dye particles are designed to bond with polyester, and ignore everything else. It is like trying to mix oil and water with most natural materials.
A dye impregnates color into a material and this color change is permanent. Sublimation refers to the change from the solid, to the gaseous state without becoming liquid.
Dye sublimation refers to solid dye particles that are changed into gas using heat and pressure, which then bond with any polymers present and change back into a solid.
Dark materials cannot be used with the sublimation process so all of our dye sublimated apparel starts out as solid white fabric. Garments decorated with a dye sublimation transfer cannot be removed like images on shirts decorated with screen printing.
Again, this is not ink that sits on top of the fabric; it is a dye that penetrates the fiber of the fabric. This is why all of our dye sublimated team uniforms are guaranteed to never fade, crack or peel.