What Is Sublimation Ink And Used For (Properties/Disadvantages)

If you are into sublimation printing works, you must have thought about sublimation ink, what it is, how it is used, and what is the difference between sublimation ink, dye ink, and regular ink? Right? You have come up to the right place since I am in the sublimation field so have been asked a lot about sublimation inks and how they work.

After so many queries and questions, I have come up with this article in which I have tried my best to explain everything related to sublimation ink, its uses, its functioning, and what are its differences from other types of inks. Stay with us, if you want to master sublimation inks.

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What Is Sublimation Ink?

Sublimation is the process in which solids directly convert into the gaseous state, without passing through the liquid. Sublimation inks are the inks used in the sublimation printing procedures, where the pressure and heat are applied that convert the ink into the gaseous state without letting it pass through the liquid state. Let us together look into the in-depth study of sublimation ink, its uses, its working, and the properties it carries.

Properties Of Sublimation Ink

Sublimation ink, because it is used in sublimation printing procedures transfers the image or the design into the printing object and not on top of it as layering.

  • The print does not fade even if it is placed in sunlight and under harsh weather conditions.
  • The prints made by sublimation do not wash off in any case.
  • The print made is permanent and does not tear in any case.
  • Sublimation Ink is effortless to use.
  • These inks are highly reliable and durable when it comes to long term usage
  • Sublimation ink is reliable to be used on any kind of material including metal, plastic, paper, and fabric.

What Is Sublimation Ink Used For?

Sublimation ink is used by sublimation printers for sublimation purposes. It transfers the print on sublimation paper, the way that the print neither tears nor fades off in any way. Moreover, there are multiple types of sublimation inks used for multiple types of prints.

If you want to create quality prints on frames, mugs, bedsheets, bottles, pillow covers, and other fabrics, metals, ceramics, and plastics, sublimation ink is a must to have. Further, if you are working in the sublimation field, you must be aware of how necessary it is for you to have sublimation ink when it comes to sublimation printing procedures. You can also read about sublimation ink for epson by visiting this article: Best Sublimation Ink For Epson

How Does Sublimation Work?

Sublimation is actually the process that transforms the solid into a gaseous state, without passing through the liquid. Since here we are talking about sublimation printing, I would like to explain how sublimation printing works. The sublimation procedure involves heat and pressure, to combine both fabric and ink and make them as one. Following are the steps that explain how sublimation printing works.

  1. There is a special paper called sublimation paper on which the design is printed in the first step.
  2. The heat is then applied which converts the ink into the gaseous form.
  3. As soon as it is converted into the gaseous state, it is mixed with the fabric and the design is then permanently shifted onto the printing product. And this is how sublimation works.

Until now we have covered so many topics related to sublimation and sublimation printing. Now is the time to look into some of the disadvantages of sublimation ink. Moreover, this is important for you to learn about the disadvantages of sublimation inks, specifically if you are planning to step into the sublimation business.

Disadvantages Of Sublimation Ink

  • At times the prints are not waterproof.
  • The sublimation printing procedure takes a lot of time.
  • Working with sublimation printing is expensive and quite costly.
  • Because there are so many companies constructing sublimation, one often gets confused in selecting the adequate one.
  • When compared with pigment ink, it has been noticed that sublimation ink is around 100% more expensive and costly than that.
  • Finding the best, adequate and compatible ink is really difficult because sublimation printers work with only compatible inks and not with any other sublimation inks.


Well, yes you can use sublimation ink in any inkjet printer. Those printers that use Micro Piezo printing heads are the most reliable and trustworthy for sublimation printing purposes. In order to use sublimation in your regular printer, you need to make sure that you have a conversion kit with you.

Printers Jack is the best sublimation ink available in the market, made specifically in compatibility with Epson Ecotank and Workforce printers. This is a four-color ink that gives high-quality prints and is renowned for its great compatibility with multiple heat press machines. Moreover, it comes with easy installation techniques to make sure the colors are vibrant, vivid, and bright, just the way you want.

There are specific inks made for sublimation purposes that are called sublimation inks. They are designed in a way that when under pressure and heat transforms directly into the gaseous state, instead of passing through the liquid. Make sure the ink you are selecting is the most compatible with heat press machines and the printer you have. Moreover, the sublimation inks generally last longer than other dye inks.

Yes, you have to use special ink for sublimation procedures and this is because the sublimation process is very specific and unique. And for this purpose, you have to go with the selection of disperse dyes. Disperse dyes are generally known as dye sublimation inks. These have the characteristic of transforming directly into the gaseous state, without passing through the liquid phase. This is made possible under high temperatures and pressure. As a result, the ink makes a permanent bond with fabrics or whatever printing item you are using.

The composition of sublimation ink is not really easy. It is the combination of several chemical compounds namely, vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymer, 2-methoxy-1-methyl ethyl acetate, a polymeric amide, N-butyl acetate petroleum distillate, disperse and solvent dyes, and butan-2-OLpropylene glycol. Moreover, it also includes one or more than one acetate in it.

No, you are not allowed to use sublimation inks for regular printing purposes. This is because the printers made for regular printing purposes do not support and are not at all compatible with regular inks. On the other hand, if you have a conversion kit and can transform your regular printer into a sublimation printer then you can use sublimation ink, for regular printing purposes, without any complications or problems.

Sublimation ink is the specific ink that is designed specifically for sublimation purposes, whenever it comes to sublimation printing, you go with sublimation inks instead of selecting the other regular inks. Alternatively, the infusible ink involves weeding and cutting that demands the cutting machine. Furthermore, infusible inks come with limited printed patterns, when compared with sublimation inks. There are diverse colors and contrast in sublimation inks, in comparison with infusible ink.

You cannot simply go to the market and select the ink for sublimation purposes. Instead, you have to focus on which type of sublimation ink is the most appropriate and adequate, according to the printer you have. What you need to do is to focus on the manual of your printer. Either look for the appropriate sublimation ink online, relevant to the model of the printer you have or contact the company, in case you do not find anything online or in the manual. But never select the sublimation ink just randomly.

Sublimation ink does not disperse nor smudge like regular ink. It is designed in a way that makes it ideal for sublimation printing. When under pressure and heat, the sublimation ink transforms into a gaseous state, without passing through the liquid phase. And on the other hand, regular ink works slightly differently from sublimation ink.

Anti UV sublimation ink is the latest technology that is used in sublimation inks. Anti UV means against ultraviolet rays. The sublimation ink that consists of anti UV technology, ensures the ink stays for a longer time and is durable when compared with regular sublimation ink. Moreover, it comes with a longer storage time, meaning it will be there with you for a longer time, even if it comes in direct contact with sunlight for long continuous hours. If you are looking for the most long-lasting ink, anti UV sublimation ink is the best available choice.

It’s not always compulsory that sublimation ink is eco-solvent. Certain companies are constructing inks eco friendly and favorable for the environment. Such inks do not harm the surrounding in any way. That is not really good for the environment. I personally prefer to go with eco-friendly sublimation inks, instead of selecting the one that is not good for the surroundings.

Yes, of course, sublimation links are constructed in a way that makes them waterproof. Splashes of water, rain and other normal liquid do not affect the print that has been made via sublimation printing procedures. This is made possible because the design does not create a layer on the printing material but directly inculcates itself into the fabric, making itself a part of the fabric. Moreover, sublimation ink creates qualitative designs and prints that not only are waterproof but also weatherproof in construction.

No, sublimation ink is not the same as inkjet. Sublimation ink permeates itself into the fabric to make itself part of the fabric and not the layer on the top. Alternatively, inkjet ink creates a layer on the surface of the printing material. It is ideal for documents, brochures, notes, and other office needs. Whereas sublimation ink is recommended for sublimation printing purposes such as printing on mugs, fabrics, T-shirts, clothes, pillow covers, cushion covers, bed sheets, frames, and other materials.

No, you cannot use sublimation on any printer. This is because regular printers are not compatible with sublimation printing purposes. For this, you have to either buy the specific printer that is made specifically for sublimation purposes or should go with the use of a conversion kit that converts the regular printer into the sublimation printers.

Final Thoughts

In general sublimation ink is the best choice, when it comes to sublimation printing. It is a great and a very reliable option for the creation of high-quality prints, images, and designs on multiple products such as mugs, T-shirts, bed sheets, pillow covers, frames, tablecloths, and cushions. Many companies are constructing sublimation inks nowadays.

While selecting the ink for yourself, always focus on its compatibility with the printer you have. Moreover, the above-mentioned article tells you about everything related to sublimation, the advantages, and disadvantages, and how it works. Make sure you have gone through each and everything and have learned everything about sublimation, its functioning, characteristics, and what it is used for!

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