Dye-sublimation printing is the preffered digital printing technology for polyester and other synthetic fabrics and media.
(It does not work on cotton or natural fabrics)
The process uses the science of sublimation, in which heat and pressure are applied to a solid, turning it into a gas through an endothermic reaction without passing through the liquid phase. The image is first printed to a special transfer paper. It it then feed through a high pressure roller heat-press which effectively turns the ink in the paper to a gas. The polymer molecules of the polyester or other synthetic fabrics softens under the heat. It “opens up” on a molecular level. The ink which has now turned to gas is transferred INTO the fabric structure which then closes up when combined with the ink.