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Sublimation at Sochi

I can’t believe that the Winter Olympics are almost over.  I’ve been so busy lately, I just found time to sit down and watch the games for the first time the other night with my family.  Well, I should say “attempt” to watch, because instead of focusing on the competition (like a normal person would do), I was picking out all of the things that were dye sublimated. I had to watch the news later on to find out who actually won in the Men’s Halfpipe and how we did in Couples Figure Skating.

Polyester is in!
The simple, colorful bibs that the guys were wearing caught my eye first.  It went downhill from there (no pun intended), and I continued focusing on the various dye sublimated products.  While the polyester leisure suits of yesterday are long gone, all of today’s performance apparel is made with polyester.  What better way to decorate those clothing items than with dye sublimation?

Check out that snowboard!
My seven-year-old son wants to learn how to skateboard and snowboard.  Other than picturing him flying in the air and breaking every bone in his body, the second thought that popped into mind while watching the Olympics was that snowboards are also dye sublimated!  That’s right folks, dye sublimation can be used on poly-coated hard products as well.  The key is poly-coated.  Just any old piece of wood will not do.

The softer side of things
Whether you’re watching an indoor or outdoor Winter Olympics event, you can’t miss all of the soft signage and flags in the background. The colors are vibrant, and the fabrics can be draped or stretched taut.  From an installation perspective,  the materials used to create sublimated items are lighter and easier to handle.  They’re also washable, and that applies to the fabrics used  for signs and flags as well.  There are a variety of polyester fabrics to choose from, depending on the look that you want to achieve.  You can even use dye sublimated fabrics in backlit applications. That application is no longer limited to pressure-sensitive vinyls, PET films, or banners.

Well, I hope that I haven’t ruined your Winter Olympics viewing.  If you have yet to look into dye sublimation as an addition to your current product offerings, I recommend that you do so.  You can already see the effects of soft signs taking over the trade show industry.  It’s just a matter of time before this type of signage becomes more prominent in retail stores and restaurants.  Also, remember that dye sublimation is not limited to fabrics and textiles only.  There are many applications for hard surfaces as well.

Written by:
Lily Hunter
Product Manager – Textiles and Consumables
Roland DGA