Sublimation Colors and Its Generic Use

Have you ever wondered why the colour you choose seems so different on the screen compared to when it is sublimated? Consider the most recent time you went shopping and saw TV screens for sale at your neighbourhood store; were they all identical in appearance?

Sublimation colour

Most likely not, given that aspects such as resolution, brightness, and clarity differ from model to model. When the colours on the sublimated product are compared to those on your display, you will see significant differences for various reasons.

Let us speak about the process of sublimation and how sublimation colour works. When preparing an image to be sublimated, you will use the RGB colour mode ( green, red, blue) to print with the CMYK inks. CMYK stands for “cyan, magenta, yellow, and black” (magenta, cyan, yellow, black).

Your monitor uses the RGB colour space. However, the colour gamut (array) displayed on the screen is somewhat restricted.

When you print something, the colour formulas employed in RGB mode that work together with your CMYK printer and produce colour are determined by your chosen settings.

Compared to what the human eye can perceive on a computer screen, the range of colours that can be printed with the dye-sublimation inks in your printer is far larger. Does it make no sense?

Do not be concerned Consider investing in colour software solutions with profiles in the event that other factors, such as your printer, sublimation paper, inks, design software, and press, are not to blame for your colours needing to be more accurate. This type of software can significantly improve the results of your sublimation printing.

Colour management software

Software for colour management is an indispensable part of the sublimation colour printing process. It is a translator for how the dots of images on your laptop print out using specific inks and paper on a specific substrate.

This is accomplished through the use of a particular substrate. Depending on your programme, the terms “ICC profile” and “imaging configurations” are common expressions that refer to colour management.

You will be able to match colours better and make rich and brilliant products by using a colour profile in conjunction with the software to achieve the best possible outcomes for your printed substrate.

It is equivalent to having the ideal recipe to bake something in a specific hue using the chosen ingredients.

Many sublimation colour printers have built-in print management and colour profiles and use their own branded sublimated ink sets. Other sublimation printers do not have these features.

You can choose the substrates, use the colour formula for your print and logo, and then sublimate the item to get a match if you have this kind of printer and you are trying to match the Pantone colour of a logo, for example.

The colour management software sold by companies like Wasatch and Ergosoft is compatible with other printers and works quite well with them. Both have distinct profiles that are optimised for use with particular substrates.

Sublimation on Fabrics

What is sublimation shirt printing?

The printing technique known as sublimation shirt printing involves first printing an image onto a unique sheet of paper and transferring that printed image onto the other material.

After then, the ink is heated until it completely dissolves into the fabric. The technique of printing shirts using sublimation colours incurs a higher cost than printing shirts using other processes; nevertheless, the finished product is more durable, does not split or peel with time, and lasts longer.

Are sublimation and heat transfer the same thing?

The primary distinction between sublimation and heat transfer is that the latter transfers the ink onto the material, whilst the former transmits both the ink and the heat.

Whenever a material undergoes the process of heat transfer, there is typically a transfer layer that is also transferred to the material.

Can you sublimate on black shirts? Can you sublimate on coloured shirts?

The answer, in a word, is yes. You certainly can, but the outcomes may vary widely depending on your approach. Because it is a dye technique, sublimation does not produce white prints. I mean, if you put any thought into it, you will realise there is no way to colour something white.

It is possible to bleach it, but it is an entirely separate process. If you desire to wear a darker or even a black shirt, it will technically dye the shirt, but you will not be able to see it very clearly, if at all. It will not dye if you choose to wear a lighter shirt.

This is the most effective method for explaining it to my clients: Imagine that the Crayola Markers you used to create your design are the dyes, and the shirt itself is construction paper.

However, nothing would show up if you used markers to colour on black paper. If you use a pink marker to colour on yellow paper, the resulting image will be orange. And this goes on.

Can you sublimate on 50% polyester shirts? 

There is also a significant role in the polyester content. Because of the colours’ chemical composition, polyester is an absolute must for this garment. Generally speaking, the higher the polyester content, the more vibrant the colours will be.

This means that only 50% of the colour will transfer to a garment made of 50% polyester. Occasionally, the results are not too horrible, but if any excess sublimation colour is transferred to the garment, it will be gone after the first wash. Not all of the ink will dry completely.

Is sublimation better than screen printing?

Both types of printing, when done properly, will yield long-lasting images that should never fade or crack, even after continuous washing.

The printer will produce these prints. Although both sublimation colour printing and screen printing indeed have their distinct advantages, there are a few essential considerations that need to be taken into account when trying to determine which printing method is superior:

Size of the Order

In most cases, this is the first item you need to consider. Regarding screen printing, it goes without saying that the bigger the volume, the better the price per unit will be.

When it comes to larger orders, dye sublimation colour may not be the most practical option because it takes more time than other methods.

Therefore, sublimation will most certainly be the superior choice for orders of a smaller quantity. Most printing companies will impose a minimum quantity to provide screen printing services to their customers.

Setup of the Job

When screen printing, only one colour can be put to the substrates at any given time, which is one of the most fundamental restrictions of this printing method. There is an additional problem with the alignment of the various colour layers, which adds to the situation’s complexity.

Because of this, the amount of time needed to set up screen printing might be considered when there is greater than one colour involved.

When using sublimation, on the other hand, it is not necessary to worry about aligning the individual sublimation colours because this technique will print all the colours simultaneously. Thus there is no need to align the colours in any particular order.

Using this method, modifications to designs may be made with far less effort on the user’s part; all that is required is to make the necessary adjustments to the piece work and then print out a full transfer for the modifications to take effect.

Choice of Materials

This relatively new piece of equipment is a game-changer for some people, and it frequently has the ability to either rule in or rule out a particular printing technique. Printing with a screen is the most adaptable method for the substrates that can be used.

You can print onto nearly any material, in just about any setting, with the help of it. On the other hand, dye sublimation works best with polyester or polyester-mix materials which are white or a light colour and are either completely or mostly transparent.


This clarifies things for you about sublimation colours and printing More time and attention should be given to explaining the finer sublimation points, leading to clarity and understanding.