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Sublimation inks are printed out of a printer not screen printed like a plastisol. You can get Sublijet inks, an epson printer, and trupix paper. You'll need a heat press though and they only work 100% polyester.
 

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Hi George. I think that are are probably asking a question, about something that nobody has ever done before.

Sublimation inks are designed to go through inkjet printers, using Epson printheads. The ink is deposited onto tranfer paper that is fed into the printer. The resulting ink is dry to the touch, but gets reactivated when it is subjected to heat and pressure.

The only 'type' of sublimation ink you can get, is sublimation ink. There are no special variants of it readily available for use outside of an inkjet printer. Whether the particle size of the sublimation ink is small enough to go through the screen mesh, you are only going to find out by experimenting. I will tell you now though, that sublimation ink is very expensive, so you don't want to be wasting too much of it.

You can use regular sublimation transfer paper. It only costs a few cents a sheet, so no point in looking for a cheaper alternative.

I am sure that lots of people reading this thread are curious as to why you want to screen print with sublimation ink? Would you care to enlighten us, as we are always interested in new ideas.

Hope this helps you.
 

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Right. If you are looking to do large format, then you are going to be looking at buying your sublimation transfer paper in rolls, as the biggest size readily available in cut sheets is only around 12" x 17".
 

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I am in Europe, so don't know much about stateside prices, but that sounds like a mega deal for sublimation transfer paper.
 

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It's actually pretty easy to SILKSCREEN sublimation inks - they are relatively cheap, and are available from companies like GL.

Silscreen sublimation gives far stronger colours (especially black) than inkjet sublimation, and for a MUCH lower cost (for volume prints).
 

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Sorry, my mistake GL is a company in South Africa, but most silkscreen ink suppliers sell silkscreen sublimation inks, as these have been used for more than 40 years (BASF afaik invented them in the 1st place).

Try Inks Sublipoint

This is a good point to start from - they should be able to refer you to someone closer to you.
 

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ok..so how does the price of sublimation ink for silk screening compare to sublimation ink used in a inkjet printer? I never even knew there was such a thing as sublimation ink for silk screening. it seems you would be laying down alot of ink when you silk screen a transfer. at least more than is necesarry to sublimate a t-shirt. am I right? if you are going to silk screen..why not just use plastisol inks and print directly to the t-shirt and avoid the whole process of having to buy polyester shirts and then heat pressing them? or use plastisol inks to silk screen transfers..this way you can heat press them to any color cotton shirt..also avoiding you the cost of a polyester t-shirt.
 

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If you want to make sportswear, umbrellas, flags, gym wear, and countless other products, then there's no substitute for sublimation and it's for this market that silkscreen sublimation inks are used.

Plastisol is useless for anything that is stretchy and needs to be hard wearing.

If you look at a lycra bodysuit (like the ones used for diving and gym), in it's natural state, lycra starts out life as white, and gets sublimated to the colours you buy it in.

Silkscreen sublimation inks are dirt cheap - miles cheaper than inkjet sublimation inks, and in some instances cheaper than standard sublimation inks.

Then if your volumes are really large, you can even use LITHO sublimation inks - these are used for very large volumes of mug transfers, crash helmets, skateboards and so on.
 

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since he wasn't too specific about what he was going to print on..i assumed it was t-shirts. I figured plastisol inks would be cheaper to use if all he wanted to print were vector style graphics. I never knew there was sublimation inks for silk screening..but I guessed they would cost more than plastisol inks.

so how does this process work if you want a multicolor design? can you flash cure one color and then silk screen another on the same transfer with the sublimation inks? I'm really interested in learning more about this method.
 

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offset printing with sublimation inks has been done for years, along with screen printing, pretty straight forward , most silk screen suppliers will have what your looking for. we used to do this before they had epsons; glad they have ink jet process now!
 
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