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Dye Sublimated Fabrics or Silicone Edged Graphics (SEG)

This short article covers why fabric lightboxes have become a new standard for in-store displays. It will also explain why dye sublimated fabrics graphics are superior to UV and Latex prints and why the biggest brands insist on using dye-sublimated graphics.

Make no mistake, cost reductions drove the evolution of using fabrics for store promotions. Large format fabric graphics can be shipped for less and with minimal risk of damage. 

These larger graphics can also be installed by store staff, thereby avoiding the expense of specialist installers. Fabric graphics are cost-effective and look better than all other alternatives when executed correctly.

80mm and 120mm

It is the Silicon Edged Graphic ( abbreviated SEG ) that has made this possible. The display becomes complete by utilising a small channel seen here in this detail of our extrusion in conjunction with a dye-sublimated fabric. The dye sublimated fabrics with edging have a natural two-way stretch that allows for a snug fit of the edging into the channel. This combination delivers taught seamless, impactful graphics.

Dye-Sublimation Printing (or dye-sub printing) is a digital printing process that uses heat to transfer dye into the fabric, permeating the material making it colourfast and washable. It is the same printing technique used for lycra sports and activewear. It is common to have short lead times, making this process very efficient for larger production print runs, as the graphics easily folds down to a small size, making it easy for pick and pack delivery to stores. 

So why is it that dye sublimated fabrics graphics are superior to UV or latex printed kinds?


Apart from the quality of colours, a more important factor is that they fit the frames better and are much easier to install. Don’t forget that one of the main reasons for changing to fabric graphics is that your local store staff should be able to fit the graphics easily. 

You need to apply more ink to achieve rich colours and density using UV or the Latex printing process. This thick ink layer sits on the material’s surface like a “cake”. That is why UV and Latex graphics are less “stretchy” without the soft handle of a real fabric. It is common to see these fabric graphics with cracks and creases, and they are also prone to damage in transport and require special packaging to avoid fold marks resulting in higher freight costs.


A Retail In-store display fabric evolution.

This is why so many of the biggest consumer brands, telcos, automotive companies and the fashion and cosmetic industry insist on only using dye-sublimation for their fabric graphics.


To know more about dye-sublimation and SEG graphics visit tuffline