All inkjet printer inks used in the home and most businesses use a similar formulation. The basic make-up of ink jet inks is de-ionized water as the solvent, isopropyl alcohol or glycol as the drying agent, and dye base to provide the color. There is a 3main ink use for printing which is Dye Ink, Sublimation Ink, and Pigment Ink.
The dye in the dye-based ink dissolves in water like sugar does in water completely.
It’s also known for easily obtaining saturated, brilliant colors due to its small molecular size, 1.5-4 nanometers (1 nanometer=1/1000 of a micrometer, 1 micrometer=1/1000 of a millimeter). Because of this, dye-based inks flow better and have been the standard in inkjet printers. But the dye will re-dissolve and the ink will flow across the paper if drops of water hit the paper. For normal document printing on inkjet paper, photo paper, PVC card etc, we would recommend dye ink as it is much economic compared to pigment ink.
Pigment inks use tiny particles of colored material to provide ink color, rather than paper-staining dyes. Pigment inks are comprised of tiny, encapsulated particles that sit on top of the paper, instead of being absorbed into a paper is fibers, which is what happens with dyes. Most pigment ink printers also offer more subtle color shading, since they use up to eight different ink colors. Pigment inks are much more stable than dye-based inks and can last more than 200 years on some paper types, under ideal (museum-quality lighting and framing) conditions. For T-shirt printing on dark based / light based cotton materials with transfer papers, it is good to use pigment inks because it is waterproof.
Sublimation printing has been around for decades, they would print through an inkjet printer that it became an economical and practical in heat transfer printing industry. It is unique in its ability to convert from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid form. (Just like dry ice.)
Sublimation inks from DIYPrintingSupply.com utilize popular desktop inkjet printers from Epson and Ricoh, and a standard heat press machine, to produce premium full-color, photographic quality images that will not crack, peel or wash away from the substrate.
The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled with pressure and time. Hard items such as ceramic, fiberboard, metals, etc. Requires a special coating on its surface to accept the sublimation inks. If the pressure, time or temperature is not appropriate for a particular sublimation blanks, then the quality of printing will be affected.
Before start heat transfer printing, you need to know which ink suitable for gift product to ensure the image transfer are long lasting.
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