WHAT IS SUBLIMATION & HOW DOES IT WORK?
STEP #1: ARTWORK PREPARATION: Once artwork has been submitted, it’s checked to identify and correct any issues that may negatively impact the printed result. Designs with block colors or designs that require excruciatingly exact placement may not work as well with sublimation printing. A key point to remember is that Sublimation printers do not print white ink therefore the design will need to use colored inks or create borders around artwork to make it appear there is white within the design.
STEP #2: SUPPLIES & INKS: There are a few things that you need in order to start printing designs onto your merchandise through the use of sublimation printing. The first, of course, will clearly be a printer that allows for sublimation printing and can take sublimation ink cartridges.
STEP #3: PRINTING: The design or artwork is printed onto special paper. The inks that are used turn into gas when brought under heat, then combine with the fabric and permanently print onto the fabric. The effects are permanent and less prone to fading, as the ink is embedded in the fabric or substrate rather than simply laying on top like a normal print fabrics are used and produce high-quality prints in a wide range of colors.
STEP #4: TRANSFERRING TO GARMENTS &/OR SUBSTRATES: You will need to invest in a heat press in order to print the designs onto the fabric. If you want to print the design onto a ceramic mug, you can purchase a mug clamp and press. It is important to think about the material that you want to use for your sublimation printing as not all materials are suitable.
DIVERSE RANGE OF MATERIALS: The most exciting upside when it comes to this method is purely the freedom you have with the materials that can be used. (Apparel, mugs, tumblers, mousepads, stainless steel accessories, and so much more).
LONGEVITY OF DESIGNS: The life of the design is a plus point, with a design that won’t crack, peel or fade. Even after going through the washing machine countless times, your garment will never be demoted to the back of your wardrobe!
GARMENT RESTRICTIONS: Sublimation printing is only suitable for garments that include polyester (100% polyester or polyester blend).
WHITE CREASING: Sublimation works by printing a design into white fabric, and if there are areas of the garment that are unreached by the design, they’ll stay white. This can be caused by accidental folding or small amounts of moisture that accumulate on the transfer paper.
If you are thinking of creating your own printing business and want to utilize sublimation printing or you want to start using the process at home, it is important to know what materials you can use. These are the following: – Polycotton textile – Polymer – Polyester – Ceramic – PVC – Polyester-coated aluminum – Polymer-coated metal – Polyester-made fabric – Polymer- coated plastic