Important facts about dye sublimation
There are a lot of things to consider when ordering dye sub shirts, but first and foremost you need to know what you’re getting into.
Dye sublimation decorated apparel is bright and bold and big and colorful. There are no boundaries and every piece is going to be as unique as you are.
Did you get that last part? Every piece is going to be unique. That means if you order a dozen of the same shirt each one will be slightly different. It’s a feature of the production process for dye sub and there is nothing that can be done about it short of switching to cut and sew sublimation.
Full-press sublimation uses garments that are are ready to wear. The garments we use for standard sublimation come from a mill called Monag and are made for dye sublimation. By using the Monag shirts for sublimation we’re able to standardize our production process which minimizes issues with sizing and placement resulting in a better shirt for you.
Because we’ve standardized our production process around these garments we are not able offer full press sublimation on your garments. If you have garments you would like us decorate with dye sublimation we can still print them with small format sublimation.
What makes these shirts unique? Each print is made individually and the pressing process for transferring the sublimation print forces the shirt to lay completely flat.
If you think about it, we’re not flat and neither are our clothes. So, when we force the shirt to lay flat in the heat press there are wrinkles created where the shirt doesn’t want to lay flat. Where these wrinkles occur print voids appear. This is part of the sublimation printing process and the best thing we’ve found to minimize the occurrence of these print voids is using the Monag brand shirts.
The Monag shirts don’t prevent all print voids, they only minimize number of print voids that occur. The shirt you see in the photo below is a sample that hangs in our showroom. This is the shirt I use to illustrate the features of sublimation printing to customers that come into our showroom. I’m hoping that by featuring it here you will see the same thing.
What do print voids look like
The images below illustrate various print voids that can occur (and most likely will occur) in your garment.
The images above and below are detail photos of the sleeve hem. This is where the sleeve is sewn on to the body of the shirt. If you look at the shoulder of the shirt you are wearing right now you will see this.
Two different pieces of fabric are stitched together here and the stitching results in a gap. That slight gap (white line in this photo) occurs where the dyes were not able to penetrate the fabric. I’ve stretched this sample out to exaggerate the print void because I want you to pay special note of this. It will occur on your shirt.
On the image below you see slight wrinkles in the shirt itself. This also occurs near hemlines and stitching because there is more fabric there to cause these wrinkles.