As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Pigment and sublimation ink serve different purposes and are used in other printing processes. Here are the key differences between them:
Composition and Application:
Pigment Ink consists of tiny solid particles suspended in a liquid carrier. These particles sit on top of the substrate (like paper or fabric) and are known for their durability and resistance to fading. Pigment inks are often used for printing on various materials, including textiles. They are favored for their longevity, especially for documents or artwork that withstand the elements or last for years without fading.
Sublimation Ink: This type of ink is unique as it transforms into a gas when exposed to heat and subsequently forms a bond with polyester or polymer-coated surfaces. It becomes part of the substrate, which allows for vibrant, full-color images that are durable and resistant to scratching. Sublimation inks are mainly used to print on synthetic fabrics and objects like mugs, phone cases, and any items with a polymer coating.
Pigment Ink: Known for its long-term durability, mainly when printed on materials exposed to the outdoors or UV light. It’s less likely to fade or change color over time than other inks.
Sublimation Ink: While also durable due to its bonding process, sublimation ink’s durability is more about its resistance to wear from washing or handling rather than exposure to light. It’s ideal for frequently used clothing or mugs.
Pigment Ink: This can be used in a broader range of materials, including cotton, canvas, and archival papers. It’s versatile for applications but unsuitable for heat transfer processes like sublimation.
Sublimation Ink: Works best with polyester and polymer-coated substrates. It’s only suitable for natural fibers like cotton if they’re specially coated for sublimation printing.
Color Vibrancy and Quality:
Pigment Ink: Offers excellent print quality with sharp detail and good color saturation. However, it may not achieve the same level of vibrancy as sublimation inks on synthetic materials.
Sublimation Ink: Known for producing bright and vivid colors with smooth gradients and a wide color gamut, especially on suitable synthetic materials.
Pigment Ink: Generally water-resistant once set, making it suitable for prints that might be exposed to moisture.
Sublimation Ink: Soluble in water until it is sublimated; after sublimation, the ink is permanent and will not wash out of the substrate.
Pigment ink is a type of ink that sits on the surface of the paper and is more resistant to fading and smudging. Sublimation ink, however, is a specific type that transforms into a gas when heated and forms a bond with the fibers of polyester materials, creating a permanent, full-color image.
No, you cannot use pigment ink in a sublimation printer. Sublimation printers are designed to work with sublimation ink, requiring high heat to transfer the ink onto polyester materials.
Pigment ink is known for its longevity, water resistance, and ability to produce sharp and vibrant colors. It is ideal for printing documents, photographs, and other materials that require long-lasting and high-quality results.
Sublimation ink is excellent for printing on polyester materials and items such as t-shirts, mugs, and other promotional products. It creates durable, permanent, vibrant prints that won’t fade or wash out.
Choosing between pigment ink and sublimation ink depends on the materials you are printing on and the desired longevity and durability of the prints. Pigment ink is the way to go if you are printing on regular paper or need long-lasting prints. If you are printing on polyester materials and need durable, permanent prints, sublimation ink is the better choice.
Pigment ink is durable, versatile, water-resistant, and suitable for various materials but sits on the substrate. Sublimation ink becomes part of the substrate it is printed on, offering vibrant colors and resistance to physical wear, but is limited to synthetic materials or those treated for sublimation. The particular needs of the printing task determine whether to use pigment or sublimation ink.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.