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Customized Jerseys: Sublimation or Screen Printing?

May 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 400

Currently, there are two popular procedures that businesses can use to customize athletic jerseys with a specific name and number on the back of the jersey. Screen printing, also known as silk printing, is a very early method of printing whereby ink is passed through a mesh screen onto the jersey. Basically, the screen is pressed onto the jersey, the name and number is carved out of the screen, ink is poured onto the screen and a roller presses the ink through the carved out name and number openings onto the jersey.

Sublimation, on the other hand, is a more modern digital form of printing. The sublimation process begins with the design of the custom name and number in a picture creating and editing software such as Corel or Adobe Photoshop. Next, the process involves the use of a computer printer which applies heat to the jersey and impresses the name and number onto the jersey. Most specifically, sublimation uses an ink which, when transferred onto the polyester jersey under high heat and pressure, chemically converts from a liquid ink into a gas ink and actually permeats the jersey's fabric and solidifies into the back of the jersey. Consequently, the jersey is permanently altered since the name and number is actually engrained into the jersey.

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using sublimation over screen printing which include:

1. With sublimation, the ink actually permeates the fabric whereas with screen printing, the ink is just pressed into the fabric. So, with sublimation the customized name and number on the jersey is permanent and will not fade or peel off. There is a possibility that the name and number on a jersey that has undergone screen printing will fade or peel.

2. The costs of manufacturing and creating a sublimated polyester jersey is likely to be higher than the costs of doing a comparable screen printed jersey. The costs of sublimation are likely to decrease in time however, as it now stands, sublimation is still relatively expensive as a printing process. For printing a high volume of jerseys with similar names and numbers, screen printing is preferable since it is more cost effective.

3. The feel of a sublimated jersey and a screen printed jersey will be different. If you run your hand over the back of a jersey that has undergone the screen print process, you will be able to feel the thickness of the ink on top of the fabric. This is not the case with a sublimated jersey.

If you would like more information, or would like to see samples of jerseys that can be screen printed or sublimated and customized towards your sport, whether it is soccer, basketball or volleyball, please go to

Thank you, Sam

Sam is the president and owner of which sells customized sports jersey and other apparel, including jerseys for soccer, volleyball and basketball, to customers in Canada. The company is based out of Vancouver, Canada and can meet all of your customization needs using either sublimation or screen printing.

Source: EzineArticles
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