Garment printing


When printers and graphic designer talk about 'Bleed' - what do they mean?

Bleed refers to the process of making an image slightly bigger than it really needs to be.  Why would you need to do that?

Imagine this:

You have to print a photograph onto a blank jig-saw puzzle that is exactly 19cm x 27cm.  If you make the print exactly 19 x 27 then can you imagine how difficult it would be to align the printed image perfectly with the edges of the jig-saw?  You'd almost certainly get some misprints in which there would be a fine line of white, unprinted jig-saw on one or two edges.

So, the solution is to create a bleed and that means that you make the image slightly bigger than the object to be printed.   When you do this the alignment of the print and the jig-saw is not so critical.   It can be a little bit out and yet the print will still cover the whole area of the jig saw.



 If C = Cyan, M = Magenta, Y = Yellow . . .  Why then does K = Black

This originates from the word Keylines, which are the fine outlines used around drawings and graphic images to give them definition.  They are almost always Black and so K became the letter used for Black ink.



 What is Dye Sublimation printing?

What happens is this:

A special printer is used to print liquid dye onto a special transfer paper or in some instances directly onto a pre-treated, white polyester fabric.  When the water has evaporated and the print is dry it leaves behind a thin layer of dye made up of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black.  Of course these four colours are blended during printing to form millions of different colours as required by the image.

The printed sheet is then placed face-down onto a 100%, white polyester fabric and is heated to 200 degrees C for about 60 seconds.  The solid particles of dye turn directly from a solid into a gas and because they are being pressed firmly against the fabric the dye jets downwards into the fibres, penetrating into the fibres and changing the colour permanently.

Dye sublimation prints are used widely for polyester work wear, sports wear, cushion covers, coffee mugs, beer glasse and many, many more dye sublimation blank products.

Dye sublimation prints on fabric are especially popular because they are easy to do, the equipment is relatively inexpensive and because the prints don't seal the fabric and never wash out.