When I started writing this blog I made a mistake that many writers make, I assumed that everyone who read this blog would have the same level of knowledge that I do. I didn’t remember that giving out tips about finding the right printer or sublimating a certain product wouldn’t be very useful if you didn’t even know what sublimation was or why you’d want to do it. Today I wanted to correct my mistake and start at the very beginning, with a basic overview of what sublimation is and what the process can do for you and your business.
First, let’s start with exactly what sublimation is. Dictionary.com defines it this way:
When it comes to garment and product decoration, sublimation printing allows businesses to create specialized, customized images on demand. The specially formulated ink actually bonds with the fibers in polyester garments or the coating on the sublimation blanks and create a colorful and personalized image.
Sublimation is relatively simple to learn. If you can run a graphics program, print to a printer, and use a heat press you can sublimate. The steps in the sublimation process are as follows:
1. Create and import your artwork. To do that, you can use a program like Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw. You can also use specially designed sublimation software like Hanes SublimationMaker 2.0.
2. Print your image using Sublijet Ink and one of the sublimation printers for which the ink has been formulated. You will also need to be sure you are using transfer paper that has been designed for sublimation.
When sublimation inks are heated to 400°F, they turn into a gas and bond permanently to 100% polyester fabric or any items with a polymer coating. The image that remains is a premium full-color, photographic-quality image that will not crack, peel or wash away from the substrate.
Sublimation can add a wide variety of new products to your business. If you embroider, and were formerly limited to fabric items, sublimation allows you to add mousepads, mugs, jewelry boxes and much more. If you’re a photographer, sublimation gives you the ability to create personalized mementos using your own photographs. For a relatively small investment, sublimation can be a great way to increase your business and your profits.
For a complete description of what sublimation is, what it does and how it can be useful to your business, please download the Dye Sublimation Guide from the EnMart website.