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What is the difference between Sublimation Paper and Heat Transfer Paper?
According to the experienced sublimation worker charles, the quick answer is No. You cannot use sublimation ink on ANY transfer paper for dark fabrics. Very basic information on sublimation is that it actually dyes the polyester fiber. Unlike ink on a transfer paper the image is not. You cannot dye a dark garment to any other color as for the Canon, I doubt it will work, you will get an image but it will wash out. For normal inkjet transfer you need pigment ink and are not sure what the canon has. Best to figure another way. there are those that say use a polyester spray and other methods.
So, if you are in the business of printing clothes, you have an idea of what is the best costume design method. Many people pay close attention to the heat transfer paper printing method and it depends on your needs and what you intend to do. In addition, there are pros and cons here. We dig into the details to help you decide what works best for you and your business.
We print on high speed sublimation paper together with the use of sublimation ink to print out the images using mirror image setting, then transfer the image onto the media by applying heat and pressure, which makes the sublimation ink turn into gaseous state and absorb by the media. Sublimation paper + ink can transfer the printed image onto polyester, mousepad, cardboard puzzles, polyester drifit tshirts, banners and hard surfaces, such as mugs, ceramic and aluminium plates etc.
Heat transfer paper is applicable to heat transfer, on which images can be printed using normal home printers by heating and pressuring in order to transfer the image onto media. Heat transfer paper can accept a wider range of ink types, such as with pigment ink, solvent ink such as home / office inkjet ink, laser ink etc. You will have no issue using your home, school or company’s printer. Heat transfer paper is usually transferred onto cotton.
The brand of Heat Transfer Paper we carry is Neenah (a brand from US). JPSS and 3G Jet Opaque are the 2 we carry.
Even though sublimation is traditionally printed with an inkjet printer, the chemical properties of the ink (which is actually a dye) are radically different from pigment-style inks, thus the paper is uniquely engineered for the process.
While standard inks require a form of bonding agent to adhere to the surface of the fabric, sublimation dyes physically penetrate, bond, and re-color polymer fibers. Because of the molecular process, binding agents are not required. Thus, sublimation transfer paper is composed of a polymer management layer combined with a release agent.
Unlike inkjet and laser transfer papers, the entire surface of super speed sublimation paper does not transfer, as there are no binding agents involved. The sublimation dye simply turns into a gas during the pressing phase of the process and transfers into the polymer fibers of the substrate. Also, since sublimation is sub-surface, it has no hand.
One new development with sublimation transfer products is “tacky paper” (currently only available in roll form). Tacky paper is manufactured with a light adhesive within the surface and is ideal for preventing ghosting that happens if the paper shifts when releasing the heat press. Those that lack the ability to print on rolled media can apply a very light coating of spray adhesive to the transfer for the same effect.
The variety of sticky sublimation paper may look similar, but different brands have different manufacturing recipes. It pays to explore the options on the market. Don’t focus on cost, but look for the product that consistently delivers the highest quality images.