Sublimation Ink VS Pigment Ink – Comparison By InkGuiding

Are sublimation ink and pigment ink the same? Generally, sublimation ink and pigment ink are considered the same elements, but both are different in composition and working process. So, to find the appropriate element for the right job, compare Sublimation ink vs Pigment ink. Moreover, analyzing both factors will help you choose the one that meets your requirement.

Sublimation Ink VS Pigment Ink

Composition of Sublimation Ink and Pigment Ink

Both of these inks are composed of three chemical ingredients used in manufacturing other inkjet dyes. These chemicals are:

  1. Dye base, a coloring agent which imparts a specific color of ink
  2. Di-ionized water acts as a solvent
  3. Glycerol, a drying agent

Sublimation Snk VS Pigment Ink (Differences)

Sublimation Snk VS Pigment Ink (Differences)

As both inks are used in inkjet printers for versatile mediums but their composition and working principles are different. The significant difference is the application method and transformation techniques of both inks.

Sublimation Ink

Direct conversion of a solid to a gas without transformation into liquid is sublimation. Therefore, you need particular printing devices compatible with printing ink while using sublimation inks.

As the name sublimation ink indicates, it is composed of the direct conversion of small fragments of solid substance (dye) without transforming into a liquid. Eventually becomes a part of the medium.

Some Sublimation inks are readily soluble in water. In addition, some are also composed of raw materials and natural elements like plants and other synthetic ingredients, including dyes and pigments. These kinds of sublimation inks are also edible and are widely used in the food industry.

Compared to other dye-based ink, sublimation ink lasts for a long time and can generate spectacular picture colors.

What are The Uses of Sublimation Ink?

  • It is used in heat transfer printing. Dye- sublimation ink transfers a pattern from paper to textiles. The machine applies heat and pressure on the dye and transfers it into gas
  • The prints made with sublimation ink are resistant to break and do not easily wash away with water.
  • In addition, sublimation ink can be applied to several materials, including paper, fabric, metal, wood, ceramic, polyester leather, glass, etc.

Note: If the interaction of the ink with the material is complicated, such as pure cotton, then treat the material with polyester and apply the ink to that material.

Pigment Ink

As the name pigment ink suggests, it is an aqueous ink that can be organic, inorganic, and organo-metallic. It is composed of tiny powdered dye fragments suspended in solution, and the paper surface can easily absorb it.

What are The Uses of Pigment Ink?

  • These links are essential following their usage in inkjet printers and garments.
  • Sublimation ink is widely used for several materials; however, pigment ink has limitations and can be used for specific materials like paper, cotton, and natural fabrics.
  • It easily attaches to the material surface, and that is why it is used in photography and art business.

Note: As this ink can be directly attached to the material’s surface, there is no need to use polyester for this ink.

Sublimation Ink VS Pigment Ink (Similarities)

Sublimation Ink VS Pigment Ink (Similarities)

Despite various contrasts, sublimation ink and pigment ink are similar.

  • Show similar color brilliance ranges.
  • Show a charming display of colors.
  • Have almost the same durability
  • Similar color stability
  • Both give High-quality images



Q No.1: Are the sublimation ink and pigment ink the same?
No, sublimation ink and pigment ink are not the same; they are different in their composition and functions. Dyes of sublimation ink turn into gaseous form when heat and pressure are applied, while the dyes of pigment ink are tiny particles suspended in a solvent.

Q No.2: Can pigment ink be used on sublimation paper?
No, pigment ink can’t be used on sublimation paper because it has solid particles of dyes suspended in a solvent. So, the pigment ink is not suitable for sublimation paper.

Q No.3: For what purpose is pigment ink used?
Pigment ink is particular in its application. Primarily it’s used on porous surfaces, including paper, wood, fabric, etc. Additionally, it is used for ink blending, heat embossing, stamping, and on dark surfaces. High-quality images are produced by using this ink in photo printers.

Q No.4: What are the disadvantages of pigment ink?
Despite several advantages, pigment ink also has some disadvantages, like excessive light reflection and the high cost required for printing.



In conclusion, sublimation ink vs Pigment ink analysis proves both are important for inkjet and sublimation printers and are widely used in offices and homes. But using suitable ink according to the printers’ setups enhances that print quality. Sublimation ink is water soluble, while pigmented ink is insoluble in water but becomes waterproof after getting printed on material.

Looking For More Informational & Useful Content? Here We GO!
1. How To Get Sublimation Ink Off Heat Press?
2. What Can You Use Sublimation Ink On?