Dye Sublimation, as a process is really very simple. It is the method of applying an image to specially coated ceramics, metals and polyester cloth, using three main ingredients: sublimation ink, heat and pressure.
Sublimation ink is unique in its ability to convert from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid form. (Just like dry ice.) The conversion is initiated by heat and controlled with pressure and time. Hard items such as ceramic, fiber board, metals, etc. requires a special coating to accept the sublimation inks. You must purchase the mugs, tiles, metals, etc. with the coating already on them, it is not something you can coat yourself.