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Dye Sublimation for Printed Lanyards

April 18, 2011

Dye sublimation is one of the most used methods for printing lanyards. When manufacturers chose to imprint details on their lanyards they often have six choices: embossing and weaving, laser imprinting, hot stamping, full color imprinting, screen printing and dye sublimation. Let us look at a couple aspects:

Hot stamping is the cheapest method for low quality designs.

Screen printing is a more durable method than hot stamping, but it costs more as well. This is largely the most preferred method of printing, offering both quality and an affordable price. With this type of printing the ink is transferred to the material by squeezing it into a fine screen mesh which embodies the design pattern. Then the wet ink is dried to finish the process. The advantage over dye sublimation is that you are less limited to the material of the lanyard.

Dye sublimation is a superior printing process in comparison with screen printing. This method creates multicolored, high detailed imprints of highly customized patters and designs. Itís also a very efficient method when printing on both sides. Just like hot stamping, dye sublimation also uses pressure and heat in order to apply the graphical information onto the material. This method is very effective mainly because the processes of making a pattern and applying the pattern to the lanyards are independent of one another. The pattern can now be provided by the customer offering more freedom to both the company as well as the customer. In other printing methods this process is highly dependable on hardware, the designs being a part of the manufacturing process and a part of the printer. One of the most important advantages of this method over screen printing and hot stamping is that the imprinting is not made on top of the material but rather transferred into it, making the designs much more durable. Since the imprint is not on the surface it is less likely to become worn and scrapped off. The base material for dye sublimation is always white polyester. In this way the quality of the imprint is guaranteed. Also the type of material is very smooth and soft, providing a very flat and shinny surface. It also offers a very expensive and silky feel.

Dye sublimation is often less used compared to the other methods due to the set-up requirements, therefore having a higher minimum purchase quantity, typically around 250 pieces.

No matter what printing process is chosen it has to be taken into account its advantages and disadvantages, and how price and quality will be compromised when choosing which printing process you prefer.



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