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Why Not Just Sublimation?

30th July 2009

Why Not Just Sublimation?

dry-iceOn Tuesday I wrote a post announcing that EnMart had added Sublimation and Chromablast supplies to our inventory.   As I was finishing the post, a colleague came into the room and noticed the post title on my computer screen.  He immediately pointed out my error, or at least what he thought was my error.  Why say Sublimation and Chromablast, he asked.    After all, they’re the same thing, aren’t they?

For those who may not know the difference between sublimation and Chromablast, I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain.  The main fact I need to tell you is that the two processes are not the same thing.   Sublimation is the process by which a solid converts to a gas without first going through a liquid state.  The example of sublimation that most people would be familiar with would be dry ice.

Sublimation as a printing method can be used only on polyester and polymer coated items.  When sublimation inks are heated to 400 degrees F they turn to gas and form a permanent bond with the polyester fibers.   The garment or item is actually dyed and the color will not peel, crack or wash away.

By contrast, Chromablast is used on cotton garments and items.  It uses a chemical reaction between the ink and the cotton substrate to create a nearly permanent bond.   Unlike sublimation ink, Chromablast ink does not pass directly from a solid to a gaseous state.   Heat and pressure are used to transfer the ink from the printed transfer to the cotton item to be imprinted.   Chromablast can be used on any cotton item that can withstand the heat of a heat press.

Where both Sublimation and Chromablast are alike is in the fact that both are great ways to expand your business and offer more decorated products and garments to your customers.  Sublimation and Chromablast have relatively low start-up costs, few barriers to entry, and it is generally easy to set up and run a sublimation or Chromablast system.

If you are thinking of purchasing a Chromablast or Sublimation system, EnMart will be happy to advise you on your purchase.  We also offer a complete line of Sublimation and Chromablast supplies and inks.

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