Not sure why the shirt had dull colors, or maybe you just aren't understanding the sublimation process. The ink becomes a part of the fabric, it doesn't sit on top of the fabric and jump out at you.Ok, so i'm currently a screen printer, i also do some vinyl signage and use a chroma blast printer. I've been thinking about setting up an unused new epson 1100 for dye sublimation but im not very familiar with the process or the product i requested samples from a company and received a vapor apparel tshirt. It was nice but the colors were very dull and "faded". I wasn't sure if that was the intended look or the simply the product.(i could not get an answer from them) I see a lot of websites advertising vibrant looking printed promotional products and tees but the tshirt i saw wasn't like that.
So A) how long after printing is the dye sublimation ink still press able and if the ink stays for several days is there anywhere i can order printed samples i can test myself?
And B) Can you print bright and vibrant products with just a desktop unit and regular heat press?
I have had printed transfers sitting around for months, maybe longer and they printed just fine. You will not have bright or vibrant shirts or any other fabric for that matter, but if you are printing on a hard surface you will have beautiful, vibrant color.
You will need sublimation ink, a dedicated printer, sublimation paper, and sublimation substrates. You cannot print on just anything. Sublimation blanks are specially coated or manufactured to accept the ink.