Dye sublimation is a method of applying an image to a specially coated surface like ceramics, metals and polyester fabric.
Sublimation ink is unique in its ability to convert from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid form. The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled with pressure and time. The high temperature – from a heat transfer press – opens the pores of the polymer and allows the gas to enter. When the temperature drops, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state. The print then becomes part of the polymer.
Hard items including ceramics and metals require a special coating to accept the sublimation inks. No coating is required for 100% polyester material like shirts, tablecloths, mouse mats and more).