The Branded Guide to: Sublimation Printing


What is it? Sublimation is the change from a solid state, directly to a gaseous state. The liquid state is bypassed.

How does it work? It’s the magic of chemistry, but like all magic, it is incredibly useful. Sublimation can be used to print on products that are otherwise very difficult. The process goes like this. Artwork is created in any graphics program. That artwork is them printed backwards onto a magical paper using magic ink. That is then taped or glued to whatever product is to be printed. The product then has heat and pressure applied to it. The paper is removed and the product now has a vibrant image on it that will not come off or fade with time. Whether you know it or not, you are already familiar with many products that have been produced with sublimation. Have you ever seen a motocross or BMX jersey with full color printing? Those colorful images on the bottoms of your skis or snowboards? Those phone cases that have images printed on them? That mug you gave your Grandma with your face on it? All sublimation.

Does Branded do sublimation printing? We do! We are one of the few shops in the area that offer sublimation. We are constantly adding more products and expanding our abilities in this flourishing field of printing. We’ve produced jerseys for softball tournaments, mugs for corporations, steins for gifts, lanyards for schools, shot glasses for partying, koozies for those hot summer days, trucker hats, regular shirts, clocks, signs, table throws, license plate frames, and many more items.

What products can sublimation be applied to? There are too many to list, but here are just a few. Apparel: T-shirts, hoodies, hats, socks, aprons, Sandles, etc. Children’s gifts: Baby bibs, bookmarks, coin banks, puzzles, teddy bear clothes, etc. Drinkwear: Coffee mugs, beer steins, shot glasses, flasks, late mugs, water bottles, etc. Home Decor: Clocks, coasters, pillow cases, light switch covers, etc. Covers: Iphone covers, Galaxy covers, Ipad covers, Tablet covers, laptop sleeves, etc. Keepsake gifts: Wine boxes, Beverage insulators(coozies) Jewelry, Hair Barrettes, Flip top lighters, Ornaments, Dog tags, etc. Pet products: Collars, Leashes, Dog bandanas, Pet bowels, Pet tags, etc. The list goes on and on.

Can any item be sublimated? There are a lot of items that can be sublimated, but not everything. Sublimation works on polyester items, or items that have been treated with a polyester coating. Sublimation items also have to be white or very light in color. Since sublimation ink is actually a dye, it doesn’t show up when printed onto an item that is darker than the image being printed. The motocross jerseys that you see with printing all over them started out as white pieces of fabric. The individual pieces are sublimated, then sewn together into a shirt.

Sublimation is a great means for producing custom gifts for your friends and family. It’s also great for team uniforms, corporate items, or just something fun for yourself. Give Branded a call at 775-453-1921, or send us an email to and we will be happy to help you.  

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