There are four main classes of textile ink. The most common type of textile ink for most large format printers are dye-sublimation type inks that can either be printed directly onto fabric or printed on a transfer paper and then heat applied to the fabric. This type of ink uses water as a carrier solution.
The sublimation process is activated by heat, which evaporates any remaining water and turns the dye into a gas. The heat also forces the polymer fibers to open, pushing the gas into the material, so when the fabric cools, the fibers close with the color embedded in it. This helps the material retain its look and feel and can withstand many wash cycles.
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