People who are not currently sublimating often ask why they need to add dye sublimation (often just referred to as sublimation for brevity’s sake) to the decoration processes their shop offers. Now, let me say up front, no one needs to add sublimation to their shop. If you choose not to offer sublimation services, the world will not spin off its axis, a meteor will not hit your shop, and things will go along as they normally do without any horrific consequences. The only bad thing that will happen is that someone else in your market will be making a profit on sublimated goods and your shop will not. So, really the question is not why do you need to add sublimation to the decoration techniques your shop offers, but why you should want to add sublimation. Here are a few reasons why we think most shops would want to add sublimation.
1. It’s a new profit center – In order to stay profitable, shops need to diversify. While there are shops out there that do only one thing and make a living that way, most decorators have learned to offer a variety of decoration techniques. Sublimation is simply another decoration technique to have in your arsenal.
2. Sublimation opens up new products – If you’ve primarily decorated clothes, adding sublimation to your shop allows you to add hard goods, mugs, plaques and the like. There are a wide variety of sublimation blanks available for decoration and an equal variety of markets to which those goods can be sold. Adding sublimation gives your shop the ability to offer additional categories of goods, and to capture additional dollars when a client places a clothing order.
3. Financial barriers to entry are comparatively low – We’re not saying that sublimation is inexpensive, larger printer packages can be in the $1500 to $2000 range, and a quality heat press can add another few thousand dollars to that total, plus the price of blanks. Still, when comparing that cost to the cost of a new DTG printer or screen printing press, sublimation is a relatively economical way to get started in a new business.
4. The learning curve is fairly low – Yes, sublimation is a decoration discipline and, as such, it has its own quirks and tricks that need to be learned and understood. That said, if you can use graphics software, know how to print to an inkjet printer and understand how to use a heat press, you can sublimate. There are a number of resources out there to help you get started, and learning to produce a usable print should not be that difficult.