what is the difference between sublimation and infusible ink

Sublimation and infusible ink are two different methods used for transferring designs onto various surfaces, particularly fabrics. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two:


  • Sublimation: Sublimation involves printing a design onto a specialized sublimation paper using sublimation inks. The printed design is then transferred onto the desired material, typically polyester or polymer-coated substrates, using heat and pressure. The inks undergo a phase change from solid to gas, bypassing the liquid state, and bond with the material’s fibers, resulting in a vibrant, permanent, and durable image.
  • Infusible Ink: Infusible ink also relies on heat to transfer a design, but the process is slightly different. Infusible ink is a special type of ink that comes in the form of sheets or markers. The design is printed or drawn on a compatible transfer sheet or directly on specialized Infusible Ink blanks. When heat is applied, the ink turns into a gas and infuses into the material, becoming a permanent part of the fabric. It works best on specific substrates designed to react with the ink, such as certain polyester fabrics or polymer-coated items.


  • Sublimation: Sublimation is primarily used on polyester fabrics or materials with a polyester coating. The process requires a high polyester content (generally above 50%) in the fabric or coating for the sublimation inks to bond effectively.
  • Infusible Ink: Infusible ink is specifically designed to work with compatible materials, primarily polyester or polymer-coated surfaces. The ink bonds with these materials on a molecular level, resulting in vivid and long-lasting designs.

Color Vibrancy:

  • Sublimation: Sublimation is known for its exceptional color vibrancy and the ability to produce intricate designs with excellent detail. The dye-infused gas bonds directly with the fabric, resulting in vibrant and fade-resistant colors.
  • Infusible Ink: Infusible ink also produces vibrant colors, but the final result may vary depending on the substrate used. It tends to provide more muted or pastel-like colors compared to sublimation.


  • Sublimation: The main limitation of sublimation is that it can only be used on polyester or polyester-coated materials. It won’t work on natural fabrics like cotton or materials without a suitable coating.
  • Infusible Ink: Infusible ink is also limited to compatible substrates, mainly polyester fabrics or polymer-coated items. It does not work on natural fibers like cotton or non-coated surfaces.

Both sublimation and infusible ink offer durable and long-lasting designs, but they differ in terms of process, compatibility, and color vibrancy. The choice between the two methods depends on the specific materials you wish to decorate and the desired outcome.

Miss Angela

Miss Angela is a technology enthusiast and expert. With a passion for all things tech, she spends her days researching, testing, and writing about the latest gadgets, laptops, printers, cameras, headphones, and more. Her goal is to provide in-depth, unbiased reviews and news to help her readers make informed purchasing decisions. With a background in both technology and writing, Miss Angela is dedicated to delivering high-quality content that is both informative and entertaining. Follow her journey as she explores the latest and greatest in the world of technology on TechSmrts.com.

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