How Ink Works at Inkjet Printing Versus Dye at Dye Sublimation Printing

In a continuous procedure to teach my readers, first allow me to state this is a fantastic question, although I’m likely to devote a little bit of time about the language of sublimation materials printing.


The initial term is the expression ink. Now, to the eye, dye and ink look pretty much the same. They’re equally liquid, and the two are printed with an inkjet printer. In our market, the printers are often broad format, maxing out now approximately about 124 inches, or just over 10 feet.

On the other hand, the printing system, or inkjet printer, doesn’t see dye and ink the same, plus they can’t be interchanged after a printer is printing either ink or dye with no time as lines have been flushed and so on. I cannot state what “the like” is, as I’ve never noticed anybody convert a printer out of yarn or out of dye to ink.

Inkjet printer ink is loosely based upon the CMYK color spectrum, which stands for Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black, and prints the yellow down first, then magenta, then cyan, and eventually black. I’ve frequently wondered why it was not known as YMCK rather, but perhaps people would have confused it with the YMCA, who understands.

A inkjet printer sprays nice dots of color, generally 300 dpi (dots-per-inch) around 1440 dpi (unusual since the printing speed is a lot slower and therefore more expensive, and for many commercial printing, the screening space makes it so that you won’t see slight defects which might be evident at a lower dpi.

Inkjet ink is printed on the surface of a product like vinyl banner material or plastic decal substance, and “bites” to the surface of these sublimation materials and only dries onto the surface of the plastic aided by air and heat flow, or a non-metallic curing system that’s either integrated or added into the printer.

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