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Dye Sublimation Ink or Pigment Ink: Which Is Better?

Dye Sublimation Ink or Pigment Ink: Which Is Better?

Jun 24,2024
Dye Sublimation Ink
Choosing the ink that suits your printing needs produces very different effects. Whether you print a photo, promotional material or custom clothing, the type of ink you use affects the quality, durability and cost effectiveness of the print. Today, we will dig into two popular types of ink: dye sublimation ink and pigment ink. Let's explore the differences between them and see which one best for your needs.

Learn About the Dye Sublimation Ink

What Is a Dye-Sublimation Ink?

Thermal sublimation ink is a special type of ink that transforms from solid to gas without going through a liquid state. This unique feature makes it ideal for some types of printing, especially on synthetic materials.

How the Hot-Sublimation Ink Works

The process involves printing the dye on special transfer paper and then using heat transfer of the dye from the paper to the substrate (such as a fabric or coated item). Heat opens the pores of the substrate, allowing the dye to enter. When the substrate is cooled, the dye is locked inside, creating a bright and long-lasting print.

Common Uses for Hot-Sublimation Inks

Thermal sublimation inks are widely used for printing on polyester fibers, ceramics, metals, and other coating materials. It is popular with custom clothing, promotional products and interior decorations such as personalized mugs and dishes.

Understand Pigment Ink

What Is a Pigment Ink?

The pigment ink is composed of tiny solid pigment particles suspended in a liquid carrier. Unlike dye inks, pigment inks do not dissolve in liquid but remain suspended, which makes printing more durable.

How the Pigment Ink Works

When printing with a pigment ink, the ink is deposited on the substrate surface to which the pigment is attached. This makes the printed pieces more durable than the dye inks, especially when exposed to light, heat, and water.

Common Use for Pigment Inks

Pigment inks are often used for printing on paper, including photographs and documents. It is popular in applications that require durability and stability, such as archival printing, professional photography, and high-quality art printing.

Comparative Analysis of Dye Sublimation Ink and Pigment Ink

Bright Color

Dye sublimation inks often produce brighter and brighter colors than pigment inks. This is because the dye becomes a part of the substrate, allowing it to reproduce the color more vividly and dynamically.

Durability and Life

Pigment ink is well known for its superior durability and service life. Photos printed with paint ink are more resistant to fading, waterproof and UV protection, and are ideal for outdoor display and long-term stored documents.

Print Quality

Both inks can produce high-quality prints, but the choice depends on the material. Dye sublimation is unmatched in synthetic materials, while pigment ink performs on paper and other porous surfaces.


Dye sublimation printing may be more expensive initially due to the cost of dedicated equipment and materials. However, for large-scale or continuous printing, it can be cost-effective. On the other hand, pigment ink printing tends to be less upfront costly and cost-effective for smaller printing volumes or diverse applications.

Application of Applicability

In identifying optimal inks for various uses, dye sublimation inks and pigment inks have different advantages for different types of projects. The best scenarios for using each ink are detailed below.

Best Scenario for Using a Thermal Sublimation Ink

Custom Clothing Printing

Thermal sublimation ink is preferred for printing on polyester and other synthetic fibers. This makes it ideal for making custom T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other types of clothing. The ink is embedded in the fiber to ensure that the print is bright, durable and does not fade easily, even after multiple washes.

Promotional Product

For items like mugs, mouse pads and phone cases, dye sublimation ink is very effective. The process can achieve full color, photo quality printing, can cover the entire surface of the item. This is especially beneficial for promotional products that need to attract attention and convey a professional image.

Personalized Gifts and Decorations

Hot sublimation ink is perfect for making personalized gifts, such as custom photo frames, key chains and decorations. It is also used in custom home decorations such as cushions, curtains and wall artwork. It is able to print fine, high-quality images and therefore becomes the first choice for these applications.

Best Scenario for Using Pigment Ink

Archival-Level-Quality Photo Printing

Photographers and artists often like to print photographs and artwork with paint ink because of its excellent color stability and durability. Pigment ink printing is not easy to fade, can be stored for decades without obvious color degradation, and is perfect for archiving.

Professional Documents and Reports

Pigment ink is a better choice when printing requires seemingly professional and durable documents (for example, business reports, legal documents, or educational materials). Its durability ensures that the printed material remains clear and intact for a long period of time.

Art Reproduction and High-Quality Prints

For copying fine works of art or making high-quality prints, pigment ink is incomparable. It produces clear, detailed images with a wide color gamut and is ideal for printed limited edition art prints, posters and other high quality reproductions.


In summary, the choice between a dye sublimation ink and a pigment ink depends on the nature of your printing project and the desired outcome. Whether you prioritize bright colors and complex details or durability and longevity, FCOLOR gives you the perfect ink solution. With our commitment to quality and innovation, we ensure that your print project exceeds expectations and gives a lasting impression. Choose FCOLOR to meet all your printing needs and experience differences in quality and performance.

Contact FCOLOR immediately to learn about the range of dye sublimation ink and pigment ink options we offer for your printing project. Enhance your printing experience with FCOLOR-quality combines with excellence.

FCOLOR Is a well-known custom printer ink manufacturer with more than ten years of industry experience. We offer a variety of high quality inks including dye inks, pigment inks, thermal sublimation inks, weak solvent inks, thin film inks and DTF printer inks. Our comprehensive product range ensures that we can meet the diverse printing needs of all walks of life.

In addition to ink, we also offer a variety of cartridges and inkjet printers designed to deliver superior performance and reliability. Our advanced printing solutions are suitable for small and large operations to meet the needs of enterprises of all sizes. Whether you need custom ink recipes to achieve specific color configurations and printing effects or a printing system tailored to your unique requirements, our experienced team is committed to delivering innovative and efficient solutions.

At FCOLOR, we are always committed to ensuring quality and customer satisfaction. We use the latest technology and the best quality raw materials to ensure that our products meet the highest standards. Our rigorous quality control process ensures that each batch of ink provides consistent high-performance results. Our expert team always gives you technical support and advice to ensure that our customers can get the best printing results.
We are committed to innovation, which means that we constantly explore new technologies and new techniques to improve our products and services. This forward-looking thinking makes us a trusted partner in the printing industry. Businesses around the world rely on FCOLOR to meet their printing needs, trusting in our ability to improve their printing capabilities and contribute to their success.

Choose FCOLOR, you work with a company that values excellence, innovation and customer satisfaction. We will support your business with high quality products, expertise and commitment to help you achieve the best printing results.
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