Sublimation Vocabulary

When starting a new venture,  like adding dye sublimation to your business,  one of the things that can be confusing is the vocabulary that is specific to the discipline.   Today I thought I’d create a glossary of terms specific to sublimation.  Hopefully this will prove helpful to those of you who are new to sublimation and just learning the lingo.

Vocabulary for Printers and Ink

Bulk Ink Kit –  A bulk ink kit is used with some models of sublimation printers.  It uses bags of ink instead of cartridges and is attached to your printer by feed lines.    Bulk ink kits can allow you to use a larger quantity of ink than cartridges.

CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black – The four ink colors used in four color printing.  The four ink cartridges that go in a four color printer.

Vocabulary for Sublimation Blanks, Including Garments

FRP – Fiberglass reinforced plastic.  Many sublimation blanks, like name badges for instance,  are made of FRP.

Hand –  This is how much you can feel the print on the cloth.   Screenprint transfers tend to have high hand since you can feel the ink on the cloth,  sublimation prints tend to have low hand, since the sublimation ink dyes the fibers of the material.

Mug WrapsMug wraps are an alternative way to sublimate mugs.   A mug wrap goes securely around the mug and holds the sublimation transfer in place with the proper pressure.  The mug is then placed in an oven and heated to the necessary temperature.

Vapor Apparel –  Vapor Apparel shirts are 100% polyester performance wear that are highly suitable for sublimation.

Vocabulary for Sublimation Paper

Transfer Paper – Any paper that can be used to transfer a printed design from the paper to another substrate.

High Release Paper – This paper is specially crafted to release more ink to the substrate.  Works very well on soft goods. This paper requires less press time.

Low Release Paper – This paper absorbs more ink.  Works well with hard goods and FRP.   This paper requires more press time to achieve maximum color.

Hybrid Paper – A sublimation paper type that combines the best qualities of high and low release paper.   EnMart’s Mpres paper is a hybrid paper.

Vocabulary for Sublimation Problems

Ghosting – When a transfer moves or slips during pressing a double or blurred image can be created.  This is called ghosting.

Blowout – The ink colors expand beyond the borders of the image and appear smeared or smudged.  Blowouts can be cased by uneven heat,  overheating and excessive pressure.

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