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Sublimation is a printing process that uses heat to bring ink, fabric and other substrates together.   A design is printed onto a special type of paper that when combined with the fabric (or substrate) and heat, it turns the inks into a gas.  Once under the heat press, the inks from the printed design become permanently embedded into the fabric.  The effects produce a vibrant colored design which is less prone to fading as they are now one with fabric or substrate, as opposed to laying on top like a normal print. The result is a permanent, full color image that will never crack, peel or wash away from the fabric or substrate.
Sublimation printing is suitable for small batch orders, seam-to-seam designs and garments with many design variations and applications. The downside to sublimation printing on apparel is that it is only suitable for garments that include polyester, 100% polyester or a polyester blend. Although sublimation is possible on other materials such as cotton, the image will not be permanent, and it will fade quickly after washing.  
Sublimation transfers are an excellent choice for athletic training jerseys, or any other team apparel that will see frequent use and washing.  With no fading, peeling or cracking of team logos, player names and numbers – sublimation is a top choice, and one of the most economical choices for team practice jerseys.  




There are two main types of vinyl, adhesive and heat transfer vinyl (HTV). Adhesive is ideal for projects such as mugs, window stickers, car decals, or wood designs. This type of vinyl will last around three to five years without any type of coating over the vinyl. HTV is the second main type of vinyl and is ideal for clothing, tote bags, or any fabrics that can be heat pressed.

With vinyl you are limited to certain color shades and how many colors can be layered per design. Although there are not as many vinyl color options as with sublimation, there is a wide variety of shades from bolds, neon, and pastels.  Vinyl is also available in a wide variety of patterns, metallics, holographic, glitters, foils, puff vinyl, glow-in-the-dark colors, and much more.  Generally, heat transfer vinyl can last up to 50 or more wash cycles.


 Direct to Film


Direct to Film is also referred to as “DTF”. DTF printing involves printing a design onto a piece of PET film (a special film with a coating that helps in the transfer of the design) using water-based inks and then applying a special powder adhesive which is cured onto the back of the film once the design has been printed. The design on the PET film is then heat transferred onto fabric using a heat press machine. Unlike sublimation transfers, DTF can be applied on type of fabric blend and as no color restrictions.  

One of the biggest differences between sublimation and DTF is that sublimation cannot be felt on the garment as the design is embedded into the ink, while DTF does have a very slight hand texture to it. DTF transfers are exceptionally durable and can last up to 100+ wash cycles with the proper care and have a great stretch factor to them, which makes them an excellent choice for athletic apparel.



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