Quirks of Sublimation Printing

The printing process we use at Starstuff Clothing is called sublimation printing. It allows us to get an incredibly vibrant, detailed print that is unmatched by any other printing process out there. Instead of laying ink on top of clothing like a traditional screenprinter, sublimation actually dyes the fabric itself -- leaving a soft touch, and an image that will never crack or fade over time. There are a ton of benefits to using sublimation, and it would be impossible to create clothing that looks and feels this good without it.

There are some trade-offs to sublimation, though

Our galaxy-print clothing starts out as a blank (a totally white t-shirt, dress or tank top) and the design is transferred to the blank through transfer paper and a giant heat press. Any folds in the garment during printing will not get ink, which means they will appear as white streaks in the finished product. During the production of almost one thousand t-shirts, dresses, and tank tops throughout the fulfillment of our Kickstarter project, we have been able to greatly minimize the extent of these flaws -- better than any other. For T-Shirts and Dresses, the white marks are limited to the immediate armpit area, which is not visible during typical wear -- and even when it is, the effect is minimal. The ink also has difficulty penetrating into the side-seams, which may show a thin white line down the side, particularly when stretched. For our Tank Tops, the armpit problem is non-existent as there are no armpits to fold over and create gaps, but there is still the possibility of a slim white line down the side seam. We do our absolute best to minimize the presence of these lines, but be aware that they do happen. 

Additionally, there may be some mild discoloration of the inside of the collar, sleeves, and bottom of these garments. This is because the production process involves the ink on the transfer paper turning to a gas in order to adhere to the polyester fibers of the blank -- in some cases, the ink gas will migrate and dye the inside of the collar, sleeves, etc. This is not visible at all during wear, and is limited exclusively to the inside of the garment. But if it bothers you... you should know about it. 

Unlike some other vendors of sublimated clothing, we do not try to hide these flaws. Instead of using virtual mock-ups, our product photography is all of actual printed products -- showcasing the best color, detail and vibrancy that we have to offer, while also giving a realistic look at the quirks of sublimation. We want you to be fully informed before buying. Some examples of typical armpit marks can be seen on the product pages for our Blue Carina Dress, our Milky Way Galaxy Dress, and others throughout the site. Some examples of typical discoloration of the inside can be observed on our product pages for our Yellow Carina Shirt and our Blue Cloud Tank Top.

These quirks are nearly invisible during wear -- we just don't want you to be surprised when you receive your order.