Back to

Dye Sublimation and You: The All-Over Print Derby

by Laura Duncan

Hey! Look at this cool shirt!

Would you like to wear a cool shirt like that? Would you like to DESIGN a cool shirt like that? Well then you’d better answer the door because OPPORTUNITY IS A-KNOCKING.

Derby #475 is our all-over printing derby. This style opens up a whole big realm of design possibilities, and we’re excited to see what you come up with. But this print method, which some intimidatingly smart people told us is called “dye sublimation,” isn’t quite like regular ol’ shirt printing. It’s a sophisticated process that employs the use of chemistry AND physics, and the result is basically magic. The dye is a GAS. Heat and pressure are used to bond the dye to blank shirts, imparting a rich, colorful design that makes you look cooler than a polar bear on Neptune. (To get the full deets about dye sublimation, poke around an internet. Maybe look at a youtube, whatever that is.)

One important thing to know about dye sublimation (other than the polar bear bit): Depending on how you go about designing, you might get some smudges and irregularities in the armpit region.

You don’t get that so much with lighter designs or patterns. Here's a guy looking really happy to be wearing a pattern:

But unless you’re that annoying kid who’s always raising his hand in class, those aberrations are not typically noticeable.

STILL! When you’re designing your all-over print, consider the underarms and seams. Also be mindful of the colors you’re using and negative space and whatnot.

Lastly, when you’re submitting your design, you should know it's prolly gonna be a big old file. It's likely we'll need you to provide a link to download your files in your submission, because our email can only handle up to 10mb, which is A PERFECTLY ADEQUATE SIZE MOST OF THE TIME. This particular sale is gonna be kind of unique when it comes to sizing demands. THAT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE SOMETIMES.

That’s about it. Boy, we’re super excited to see how you use this interesting canvas. Thanks for helping us do something new and interesting. Who knows what we'll consider next time? Tattoos? TV cozies? TREE SWEATERS? Stay tuned to find out.

Happy shirting!