Advantages of dye sublimation printing and the influx of dye sub printing

by FESPA | 09/08/2013
Advantages of dye sublimation printing and the influx of dye sub printing

The innovator analyzes the advantages of dye sublimation printing and the influx of dye sub printing into the soft signage UK market during the 2012 Olympic Games. 

I've had a lot of conversations with printers and printing press manufacturers recently and one of the themes that comes up time and time again is dye sublimation printing – particularly for the soft signage market. If you wanted to get a feel for the tremendous potential surrounding this market you only needed to pay a visit to last month's FESPA show in London, where there was an avalanche of dye sub printed material on display, in addition to a wide range of new, state-of-the-art dye sub printers.

Although the soft signage market is already well established in parts of Western Europe, the UK has – until now – lagged seriously behind. However, largely thanks to the 2012 Olympic Games, which saw London and a number of other towns and cities situated throughout the UK, wrapped in textiles, awareness of the benefits that this sort of print offers marketers has risen significantly.

As a result the UK is starting to see a sea of highly creative and innovative printed textiles sweeping across the nation, with examples ranging from tear-drop type flags outside petrol stations, through to advertising hoardings at major sporting events. The attractions of dye sub printed textiles are manifold. The material is easy to handle, it's reusable, it offers stunning print quality and vivid colours that really stand out from the crowd, plus because it can be folded into a small footprint (unlike PVC) it's cheap to transport.

Although the majority of people entering this market are printers who were traditionally producing textiles on screenprinting presses or wide-format solvent printers, we're also starting to see examples of companies created specifically to tap into this rapidly growing niche market (I know of three UK printers off the top of my head who launched new dye sub businesses over the last three years to offer fast turnaround work to compete with companies on the continent).

All that said, it's not the easiest market to break into. Dye sub presses take some getting used to – regardless of the level of your printing experience. The kit also doesn't come cheap (especially if you decide to do the finishing in-house as you will need to splash out on sewing machines, trimmers and welders). But industry experts anticipate that the market will continue to enjoy considerable growth over the next few years, so if you've not already made the move into dye sub it's worth giving it serious consideration as petrol forecourt owners, retailers, financial service groups, events organisers are all crying out for soft signage at the moment, so those printers who take the plunge now look set to gain first mover advantage.

by FESPA Back to News

Topics

Interested in joining our community?

Enquire today about joining your local FESPA Association or FESPA Direct

Enquire Today

Recent news

Are analytics services worthwhile for wide format printing?
Software

Are analytics services worthwhile for wide format printing?

Nessan Cleary shares how press manufacturers are increasingly offering machine analytics services and shares if these are good value for money in the wide format sector.

19-04-2024
Smart factories and customisation technology explored at Personalise Make Wear 2024
Personalisation

Smart factories and customisation technology explored at Personalise Make Wear 2024

FESPA's Textile Ambassador, Debbie McKeegan speaks to industry specialists at Personalise Make Wear at Personalisation Experience and Sportswear Pro 2024 held in Amsterdam. Each day of the exhibitions Debbie hosted a fire-side chat with these specialists to discuss various industry topics. During this Fire-side chat with Antigro, Caldera, Print Logistics, Inkcups and Kornit Digital they discuss the role of digital technologies in personalisation, reshaping the supply chain, the future of manufacturing and more.

19-04-2024
The pros and cons of Digital Signage and Printed Signage
Signage

The pros and cons of Digital Signage and Printed Signage

Sonja Angerer discusses the pros and cons of both digital signage and printed signage. Current developments such as artificial intelligence and spatial computing are changing the situation once again. How will this shift affect printers?

18-04-2024
How to create an efficient smart factory
Personalisation

How to create an efficient smart factory

Debbie McKeegan speaks to industry specialists at Personalise Make Wear in Amsterdam about smart factories and customisation technology. Debbie speaks to Antigro, Caldera, Print Logistic, Inkcups and Kornit Digitial.

18-04-2024