FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Manufacturing your order

What is Dye Sublimation Printing?

Dye Sublimation is a printing process which reproduces graphics and images into various flexible and rigid substrates - in our case, fabric. Using a combination of high heat and pressure, solid dyes are absorbed directly into the fabric, making for durable prints with many advantages over traditional screen-printed graphics.

What is the process of Dye Sublimation Printing?

Transfer Method: Typically, graphics and/or images are created on a computer. These files are sent to a plotter that prints the respective design on special transfer paper. The transfer paper is then fed through a heat press along with the fabric in order to transfer the image from the paper to the fabric using heat and pressure. This process is unique in that the inks on the transfer paper actually change from a solid to a gas state (sublimation) and this allows the ink pigment to deeply permeate the fabric fibres.

Direct-Dye Method: Similar to the above method, however the transfer paper step is eliminated and the dye is printed directly onto the fabric. The fabric must still proceed through the heat press in order to activate the dye. Direct-dye allows for an even greater permeation of dye and is great for achieving graphic "show-through" on the backside of a fabric. It is also a more environmentally friendly process as it does not use any paper.

At Valley Fashions we have the capability to utilize both of these methods where appropriate for your project.

What are the advantages of Dye Sublimation with fabric over other printing methods?

  • Because the images and graphics are dyed right into the fabric, the original characteristics of the fabric is maintained. This results in:
    • No glare produced from abient light. Other printing processes result in ink sitting on top of the substate causing shine, but with dye-sublimation, the inks become a part of the actual fabric being used, therefore the original finish of the fabric is maintained. Glare is also eliminated since the substrate is fabric and not vinyl or a substrate with a shiney surface.
    • The images produced by dye sublimation are permanent and will not peel, crack or fade.
    • Ability to iron wrinkles to keep your displays looking their best even after being packed up and transported around.
  • Dye sublimation produces a much broader range of colours than other printing processes ensuring your design translates from screen to finished product with minimal colour loss. Wow your customers with brilliant, eye-catching displays.
  • True continuous tone (photographs) reproduction. With dye sublimation there's no need to apply half tone screening to your images!

Where are our products made?

All dyed fabric components of our products are designed (if applicable), printed, dyed, cut and sewn to order right here in North America. We have our own in-house design department and production facility consisting of printers, heat presses, sewers, etc. All the equipment and staff to make the awesome products we do!

What colours of fabric do we have available?

That's easy. WHITE! Most people don't realize that all of our fabric products start out as un-dyed white rolls. Anything that is not white is dyed to colour. In other words, on a red table cover with a white logo on it, all the red areas would be dyed while the white logo would be the only area left as un-dyed fabric.

What types of fabrics do we use?

We stock dozens of fabrics varying from heavy water resistant fabric to lightweight breathable high performance fabric. All fabrics are primarily synthetic/polyester blends.

 

Artwork requirements

What type of artwork is acceptable?

  • Vector Artwork In general, vector-based artwork allows us to achieve the best results, as the artwork can be scaled to any size without any loss of quality. Examples of common vector artwork file types include Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Encapsulated Postscript (.eps) and Portable Document Format (.pdf). When providing artwork it would be best to send those file types first if possible.
  • Non-Vector (Raster) Artwork If vector artwork is not available or for some reason inapplicable (ie. for photograph-based, raster imagery, etc.), we require images to have a minimum resolution of 100dpi at print size for best results. We would also prefer to work with native files (for example, layered Photoshop files) rather than flattened or compressed files such as jpeg.

What is Vector?

With vector artwork, the graphics are based on mathematical relationships between points, which allows the image to be scaled to any size without any loss of quality. Vector artwork is typically created with an illustration program (such as Adobe Illustrator), and is the preferred format for logo creation because of its crisp lines and scalability.

What is Raster?

Raster artwork is made up of tiny square dots called pixels. Each pixel can be a different colour, allowing for rich, full-colour photographic images. Raster artwork files are typically digital photographs or created with photo-editing software (such as Photoshop). In general, raster artwork cannot be increased in size without losing quality.

How do I know if my artwork is correct?

All jobs go through our art department at which time resolution, size, etc. are all pre-flighted. If your files are not going to provide satisfactory results, you will be contacted by one of our customer service reps with details of the concerns. At that point you can re-submit new files or have our team make the adjustments (though additional charges may apply). For a cost, we are also able to clean up and/or convert poor quality logos into high quality, vector versions.

Can we do colour matching?

Yes. If your artwork requires colour matching, please provide the specific Pantone numbers for us to match. Because of the sublimation process, matching Pantone colours is a little different than typical printing. Proprietary methods of colour matching have been developed by Valley Fashions to ensure an accurate reproduction of special colours.

Can I use spot colours in my art and can you print spot colours?

You may use spot colours in your art, but be aware that these spot colours will eventually be converted and printed in process CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). Our process does not allow us to print with actual spot colour ink. Regular process inks are used, but because dye sublimation differs from typical printing we can achieve a much wider range of colours with those process inks. In many cases we can achieve more accurate spot colour reproduction than typical process printing can.