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Fabric manufacturer’s top three fabric printing questions

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A fabric manufacturer shares typical customer questions about printing on fabric.

Q: Can you use any polyester for dye sublimation printing?

A: No. Polyester that has not been heat set will shrink during the transfer process and result in “ghosting” or unclear images.

Q: Can you print on colors?

A: No. Printers cannot print white, so you are depending on a white background to get accurate colors and background. Note: Although white pigment ink is available to print on garments (t-shirts) with direct-to-garment inkjet printers, it is not suitable or profitable to print white pigment inks on industrial fabrics.

Q: How do I print a double-sided banner?

A: There are two general ways.

  1. Purchase a fabric that is opaque and double sided. You print one side and turn it over and print the other. Always use tissue paper to protect your belt from the inks gassing on the second pass. (The dye image on second side would migrate to the first side causing a color shift or distortion of the image; also the tissue paper prevents transfer to the input roller of your dye sublimation heat transfer system.) This is a difficult process that only a few printers have mastered.
  2. Print two separate pieces of fabric and sew them together with a blockout liner in the middle. We also are working with a film that can be laminated in the middle to provide the blockout and adhesion of the two fabrics.

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