Sublimation Black Looks Brown? (Solved)

Sublimation makes up for one of the best ways of transferring image substrates onto surfaces. However, like all other processes, you are likely to encounter various issues. 

One common example is the – what causes the sublimation black looks brown issues, and ways of handling the issue?

There are various causes of sublimation black looking brown. These can include ink saturation, poor quality ink, a damaged printer, or poor-quality transfer paper. It could also be due to a need for more technique or experience with this process. 

Main Causes of Sublimation Black Looks Brown

Here are the main causes of sublimation black looking brown:

Cause #1. Ink Saturation

Ink saturation is one of the most common causes of sublimation black looking brown. Sublimation black is a type of ink used to print various designs. One key concept in this process is saturation.

It refers to the amount of hue that exists in a specific color. When dealing with sublimation black, excessive saturation can cause the black looking brown issue.

That is because the black ink involved in the sublimation process involves various colors. These include yellow, magenta, and black itself!

One of the ways to ensure that black maintains its original color, is to ensure that the yellow and magenta saturation levels are moderate. Excessive saturation of these colors will lead to the browning issue.

Also Read: Why is Black Sublimation Turning Green

Preventing this from happening is crucial, and requires a color profile that has undergone adjustment procedures for saturation. 

Cause #2. Pressure 

Sublimation is a process that occurs when a solid becomes a gas without becoming a liquid. During this process, the solid can change into gas even when the temperature is lower than the boiling point.

Source: GarmentPrinting.

Excessive pressure can lead to sublimation, which is why it’s a common process in industrial operations. A good example is when it’s used in the manufacturer of black dyes with a brown appearance.

The products of these dyes occur by exposing a dye product in a system with high pressure and adding some heat. The heat triggers the sublimation process, which causes the breakdown of molecules into small pieces. 

When the small particles get in touch with the dye particles, this causes them to get a black brown looking finish. It’s an affordable and efficient technique for producing modified black colors. 

Cause #3. Vacuum

The third cause of your sublimation black looking brown would be issues in the vacuum. Usually, vacuums help to produce environments where dye material can undergo the sublimation process.

The vacuum helps trigger the sublimation process by producing a space where the dye can be heated without air pressure. The lack of air pressure will cause the dye to vaporize and get into a gaseous state.

The vacuum causes the ingredients in the dye to break down, and imparts them with new colors. Once the dye goes through vaporization, it will solidify, but this time have a black brown appearance.

Ways of Stopping Sublimation Black Looking Brown

Here are a few ways to avoid sublimation black looking brown:

Technique #1. Use a Higher Temperature Setting When Printing

When printing using sublimation paper, always use a high-temperature setting. That is because it will positively impact the final product quality. 

Source: Unsplash

Using a high temperature also helps reduce the occurrence of browning issues when printing the sublimation black color. Inks tend to penetrate more deeply into the fibers of the paper. 

Doing this helps produce a sharper and much clearer image. The ideal temperature will also relate to the type of transfer paper you want. 

The best temperature for stopping the sublimation of black-looking brown is to settle between 350 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, this temperature is best because it reduces the likelihood of damage occurring when printing. 

Technique #2. Use a Printer With a Higher Resolution

Another technique for stopping the sublimation black looking brown is using a high-resolution printer. 

The higher the resolution, the more precise the image output will become. Higher-resolution printers can produce quality images more consistently than their other alternatives.

Also Read: Can You Sublimate on PVC

The best printing resolution for sublimation printing is around 600 dpi or higher. Using a low-quality printer will likely produce an image that could be clearer or more consistent in appearance. 

High-resolution printers are exceptional at capturing details accurately. Plus, high-quality resolution printer people are also easier to handle than other poor-quality alternatives. 

Technique #3. Increase the Paper Weight Used for Printing

Increasing the paper weight is also essential to help stop your sublimation black from looking brown. 

Sublimation requires a special type of paper, often made using polyester materials or its derivatives. It’s a paper with a special coating that makes dye transfer a simple process. The paperweight is particularly crucial because it influences the effectiveness of the image process. 

Using too light or thin paper will compromise the dye transfer process. That is because the paper won’t be able to accommodate the type. 

One way of preventing this issue is to use paperweights averaging at the 80gsm category. Using heavier paper is best because it reduces the likelihood of damage or color inconsistency complications. 

Technique #4. Increase the Amount of Toner Used When Printing.

The toner is a crucial aspect of sublimation printing. Insufficient toner amounts can easily cause sublimation black to look brown instead of its intended black color.

 One of the ways to ensure sublimation looks best is to increase the ink amount used accordingly. You can do this by adjusting the printer setting. 

Also Read: Are Sublimation Plates Food Safe

Usually, printers have settings that make it easy to do this [process. Increasing the toner amount for each page will make it easy to produce rich and dark colors. It’s also easy to adjust the settings so the toner ink distributes evenly throughout the page. 

Doing this makes it easy to produce vibrant and consistent colors. Remember also to use a higher-quality toner. High-quality toner features excellent pigmentation, making it perfect for producing rich and quality colors. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why Is My Sublimation Black Not as Black?

There are various reasons your sublimation is not as black. The most common causes include excessive heat, the wrong paper, or the wrong settings. Ensure you track all these metrics when sublimating for the best results. 

Why Is My Black Sublimation Ink Dull?

Your black sublimation looks dull because you are using the wrong ink or printer settings. Ensure you find ways to track all these metrics for the best printer functionality, and quality printing results. 

Why Is My Sublimation Printer Not Printing Correct Colors?

There are various reasons your sublimation printer is not printing the correct colors. It could be due to poor-quality ink, or perhaps you need improved heat to press the design on your preferred surface. 

What Is the Best Black for Sublimation?

The best black for sublimation is the TexPrint XPHR color. That is because it maintains black dyes as greatly as it does with other traditional colors. Neenah Jetcol DHS is another excellent alternative, especially when working with resources like mugs. 

Can You Sublimate 100%, Polyester Black?

Yes, it’s possible to sublimate a 100 polyester black item. However, the color of the item will impact its final appearance. So, you must regulate this process accordingly for the best results. 

Bottom Line

You know something is wrong when your sublimation black looks brown. It could be due to ink saturation, or even issues in the sublimation pressure systems. Fortunately, you have many options for solving this problem.

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