Common questions about sublimation

Common questions about sublimation

  1. Why sublimation?
  2. What is sublimation?
  3. What do you need to start a business?
  4. Which printer do you need?
  5. What kind of color do you need?
  6. What kind of heat press do you need?
  7. What can and can’t sublimation do?

Why sublimation?

With sublimation technique you can print high quality images on various items that are made of polyester or coated polyester layer, even on cotton items like T-shirts. All that you need for sublimation is printer, sublimation ink, paper and heat press.

What is sublimation?

Sublimation technique means using the digital image (created by scanning, downloaded from digital camera or created on your computer). Using printer for sublimation, digital images are printing on special transfer paper with special sublimation ink. On high temperature, sublimation ink converts into gas. Pores of coated layer are opening and receiving gas into layer on which it is printed.

Next, when the item is removed from the press, pores are closing retaining color inside. Whole image will be smooth on touch. This is the process of transfer where picture become part of the product (T-shirt, mug, puzzle…). Sublimation requires a special range of repro materials and among other things there are special sublimation colors, papers and specific coating materials.

What do you need to start a business?

    • Sublimation printer (we suggest sublimation printer EPSON L310)
    • Sublimation paper (we suggest transfer paper intended for polyester and cotton sublimation)
    • Sublimation color (available in cartridges, bottles and bags; we suggest our CMYK sublimation dye particularly made for EPSON L310)
    • Heat resistant tape (to attach image on product so it couldn’t moved during transfer if you are working with mugs, plates, caps)
    • Sublimation products (products suitable for sublimation. Attention: not whole mugs, plates, caps and other printing products compatible for sublimation)
    • Heat press for image binding for product. If you binding mugs or caps, you need 3D heat presses.
    • Program for design preparation (like Photoshop, Illustrator or CorelDraw – ICC profiles can not be adjusted in other programs at the moment)
    • ICC profile for color settings (to be sure that colors will be identical on printout) When you doing graphic preparation for sublimation it is desirable to got ot the most basic corrections and color use to get highest quality image after printing.

Which printer do you need?

Choice of printers is limited because of specific dye you need for sublimation. If you want perfect print, if you want high quality result, we warmly recommend you EPSON L310 printer. With our help, you have a sure breakthrough into the world of sublimation.

What kind of color do you need?

Sublimation color is special mixture of water and heat active dye. For quality results we recommend you our colors specially made for EPSON L310.

What kind of heat press do you need?

Heat press is machine which printing image from transfer paper on sublimation product. If you use correct temperature and specific pressure for certain time, transfer will bind to the product forever. Heat presses are available in various sizes, with manual or automatic control. Some presses are intended for particularly purposes, like mug or cap presses. Printer maximum size should match with press size.

Heat presses are used for professional purposes and quality results because standard devices ca not have the approximate temperature required for sublimation printing. Sublimation heating demands temperature from 375o to 425o F and pressure from 40-80 psi. These specifications are not feasible with other heat devices.

What can and can’t sublimation do?

    • Cotton T-shirt print. As we mentioned earlier, sublimation requires a polyester to transfer the color from the transfer paper to the product. The highest sublimation quality will results only on 100% polyester. Cotton T-shirt printing is done using heat transfer paper.
    • Bright color print on T-shirts. Since cotton shirts are still the most wanted, sublimation dye does not have enough polyester to create a vivid coat. The image will end with blurred colors especially after washing. However, using special heat transfer paper, print on cotton shirts will be perfect.
    • Colored T-shirt print. Any shirt color will drastically changed the image color. As sublimation becomes part of colored shirt, that textile color will overcome the transmitted image.
    • Items print which are not coated with polymer layer. Remember that sublimation is print on coating, not on product.
    • Metal print (silver/gold). This is one more example where item background color affects the image.

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