In this blog, Red Oak Uniforms explains what is sublimation printing – and the impressive reasons you’ll want to consider using this digital printing technique for your custom school sportwear and uniforms!
If you’re looking at updating or creating new school uniforms you may have heard of sublimation printing – below you’ll find everything you need to know. We also think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how cost effective it is too!
What is Sublimation Printing?
Sublimation printing is a relatively new world class digital printing technique used on high performance fabrics (such as polyester) making it ideal for sportswear.
The process involves printing the design via a special inkjet printer, then through a combination of extreme heat and pressure, it is absorbed directly into the material fibres. The dye from the print transfer “sublimates” from solid into gas (skipping the liquid stage).
Given this unique technique and high heat used in the commercial heat press, it cannot be used on cotton blend fabrics.
Benefits of Sublimation Printing
Sublimation printing allows for highly flexible design options, with any number of colours, graphics and logos, without affecting the price and without expensive setup costs.
Here at Red Oak, what we love about sublimation printing is the vibrancy and durability that can be achieved through sublimation printing. You can expect strong, rich colour vibrancy that won’t fade – even after lots of washing!
So it’s not surprise that sublimation printing is now one of the most popular processes in the industry with the following advantages:
- No screen set up costs
- Low order minimum quantities
- Fully customisable designs can be achieved, as we print onto a white or blank “canvas”
- Highly detailed, vibrant prints with any number of colours can be achieved. Unlike screen printing, the detail which can be achieved in sublimation printing artwork is unlimited.
- Cool and comfortable to wear – thanks to high quality, lightweight performance fabrics such as micromesh
- Long lasting and durable printing – plus fade resistant colours, even after countless washes!
The Process: Creating School Uniforms with Sublimation Printing
- Choose your apparel item: We start with a digital layout either chosen from our website studio designs or created to match your needs.
- Choose your colours: You will be supplied a colour chart sample on the exact material your sportswear or uniforms will be printed.
We have stringent design and manufacturing processes – and getting this colour right before we begin creating your custom design is the single best way to ensure the colour is perfect when the final product arrives at your school!
- Custom design created: Our design team will provide concept visuals for revision, once you’re 100% happy with the design, it’ll get signed off and finalised. Pending timeframes, a pre-production sample for the final approval can be arranged to ensure you are happy with the colour match to your school range.
- Custom sportswear or uniforms manufactured and delivered on time: Red Oak Uniforms offers guaranteed delivery dates. From the very beginning, we’ll establish a timeline for producing your custom designed apparel and will keep you updated at every step of the way.
Performance Fabrics for Sublimation Printing
Synthetic fabrics have come along way from the itchy old polyesters that you may have bad memories of.
Modern performance fabrics started gaining traction for on-field sporting garments and are now are widely used in uniform applications because of their high resistance to shrinking and fading.
The huge range of fabrics we use are moisture wicking, quick drying, cool to wear and very durable, all due to their advanced technology yarn construction. They also give exceptional deep and vivid colours when printed with sublimation.
How does sublimation printing compare to other techniques?
Traditionally, school sports apparel has been constructed using a dyed poly cotton blend fabric in either a basic plain design or with contrast colour panels sewn together (known as ‘cut n sew’).
Decoration is then by embroidery or screen-printing, with each logo or name adding to the cost of the garment.
While these “traditional” uniforms are still hugely popular, and we produce tens of thousands annually for schools around Australia, many schools are now turning to more modern, digital printing techniques that offer greater flexibility and customisation options.
Custom Sublimated Uniforms
Above all else, designing and producing a custom garment for your school can be immensely satisfying – even fun! Red Oak Uniforms are highly experienced in creating the highest quality uniforms that are unique to your school.
Red Oak Uniforms is Australia’s leading supplier of custom day uniforms, specialist sports apparel, headwear and accessories. We offer a personalised service and take the time to listen to and understand your needs. We use premium materials and only partner with the world’s best suppliers.