Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Decoration Tech: Dye Sublimation

Kyle is back with the second installment in our Decoration Tech series and today the focus is on dye sublimation. Dye sublimation (or just dye sub) is one of the most interesting ways to decorate gear that we offer. It allows for some really cool things including the use of super stretchy materials and using photo-realistic images.

There are lots of options for what you can do with dye sublimation. I know Chris was telling me just the other day about how he plans to put his picture and phone number on some rash-guards to pass out to the ladies. Really though, it's a very cool technology.

Here's Kyle telling us about dye sublimation:


  1. I had them to some fleet technical shirts in the fall and I am very happy with them. Great customer service, easy to work with and no setup fee or minimum order. Highly recommended.

  2. Mike, thanks for pointing this out. You are correct; it's not really an "ink" per se. The dye/"ink" in its wet state for application purposes is a suspension of particulate "solids" in a carrier liquid (which by definition could constitute someone calling it an ink at this point). However, the liquid/"ink" is not what dyes the fiber. The liquid is just a carrier mechanism for the accurate application of the representative image being recreated. When we heat everything up the liquid evaporates and the solids sublimate to a gas which in turn dyes the polyester fibers of the garment.

    We simplify this whole process by referring to it as an ink but that's just because Kyle failed most of his science classes as a kid and we don't want him to feel slow. Thankfully, he’s like some sort of math savant so if you have any questions about the mathematical relevance of this all…he's your man.