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[BKARTS] ink jet printing on fabric

I have been working for several months with a process
called sublimation printing. Briefly, the process is
printing on a receiver paper with sublimatable inks in
an ink jet printer. The image then is transferred to
cloth using high heat and pressure. The results are
quite striking! Any type of digital image, whether
bitmapped or vector, can be printed this way. The inks
are gassed (sublimated) into the fibers during
processing so the image becomes part of the cloth
instead of sitting on top of it, as is the case with
ink transfer or silk screening. This makes the image
very resistant to peeling, cracking and fading.

The only restriction is that the process works only on
polyester or high polyester blend fabrics. The inks do
not react with natural fibers. There are, however, a
wide variety of textures and weaves available in pure
polyester these days - the product has grown up a lot
in the last 10 years!

While this is a fairly new process (5-6 years), it is
not terribly expensive to get in to and many local
print shops are investing in the equipment to expand
their product offerings. More information is available
at sublimation.com.

If you can't find a local printer who offers this and
would like to pursue it further, email me off-line. I
will print a small sample of your file on a medium
weight fabric (which I happen to have a lot of in my
shop at the moment...) so you can touchy feel. Hope
this helps!

Randy Graham
Starryteller Designs
Richmond, VA

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