Sublimation: It’s (Not) Complicated

When I first started working for Ensign Emblem, EnMart’s parent company,  what I knew about sublimation was that it was a psychological term.   Once I’d been with Ensign for a while,  I learned that we made emblems, and sometimes other things,  using sublimation,  but I figured the process was hard to do and required lots of expensive equipment and a lot of training.   My job, up until EnMart was founded at least,  had always been more to talk about what we did than how we did it,  so all I needed to know, when it was just Ensign, was what the finished product was and how it could be used.  I didn’t need to know how we got to that point.

Of course,  as I continued to work for the company,  I learned.   Our experts here were kind enough to share the process as well as the product with me.  I learned why color matching mattered.  I was educated about materials.   I came to understand the importance of good artwork.   I saw how what we did and what we used to do it impacted the final product.   While I would not, and do not, call myself an expert,  I have a much better understanding of sublimation as a decorative art than I did when I walked in the door for my first day with the company.   I’ve learned a lot,  and one thing I’ve learned is that sublimation, in the end, is not really that complicated.

Basically, in order to sublimate you need five things.  First you need sublimation ink.  Then you need the printer for which the sublimation ink was designed.    You also need some sublimation paper on which to print your transfers.   Then you need some polymer coated blanks or polyester garments to which you can transfer your designs.   Finally you need a heat press to facilitate the transfer of the ink to the substrate.    It is also helpful if you have some sort of design software although that isn’t necessarily required.

One you have all these items the process is pretty simple.  First you create your design.  Then you print the design.  Then you press the design.    Creating the design requires using the software you have chosen and perhaps a template for the blank you wish to print.   Printing the design requires the printer, paper and ink you purchased earlier.    Once you’ve got your transfer printed,  you need to press it on to your substrate, using the recommended time, temperature and pressure.  It’s that simple.

Since the advent of EnMart and the addition of sublimation to our product offerings, I’ve become a lot more familiar with the process.  I’ve even tried sublimation out for myself, and did all right with it, and anyone who knows me will tell you I’m the last one who would be expected to do well with anything that involves the visual arts.   If I can successfully sublimate an item,  anyone can do it.

If you’re interested in learning more about sublimation and how you can use it to increase your business,  give us call and we’ll be happy to help you get started.   Take a moment or two to look through this blog and read what we’ve said about the subject in the past.  Contact us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you want to know.  Sublimation could be a great addition to your product offerings  so it is definitely worth some consideration.   We’ll be happy to give you the information and assistance you need to decide if sublimation is right for your business.

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