Custom Sublimated Patches

sublimated patchesSublimated patches can be a great way to present artwork that may have traits that would not allow it to render well in another decoration discipline.   Gradients and fades don’t work well with embroidery.   Tiny details may not show up as well on a screen printed emblem.   Sublimation offers photographic detail and the ability to play with color,  all at a price that is easily within most shops’ budgets.

Many shops will elect to create sublimate patches themselves.  For those that have a sublimation system and access to blank patches,  this may seem like the easiest route to take,  but that isn’t always the case.   EnMart can create custom blank patches at very reasonable prices,  relieving a shop’s burden of production and freeing up time for other revenue generating activities.

If you’ve never ordered a sublimated patch from EnMart,  it’s really quite easy to do.

  1. Go to the sublimated patch section.
  2. Select the shape for your patch.
  3. Select the size.
  4. Select your merrow color (this should harmonize with the colors in the artwork) and the number of patches you wish to order (minimum order is 25).
  5. Complete the order.
  6. E-mail artwork to design@myenmart.com.   Make sure to include your order number in the subject line.

It’s that simple.   Creating sublimated patches will take a few days at most,  depending on the size of the order.    If your shop sells patches,  but doesn’t have the ability to sublimate them,  or if your shop sublimates patches in house,  but could use the time to do other things,  order your sublimated patches from EnMart.   You’ll save time and money,  and your clients will get a quality product they can wear proudly.

 

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Sublimated iPhone Cases – Made in the USA

We all know that personalization is a trend that never dies.  People like giving their possessions individuality,  and adding names or miphone-5-black-rubber-usa-3onograms or a picture that has special significance is one way to do that.    When it comes to mobile phones  which,  less face it,  are pretty bland and boring right out of the box,  the way to add individuality is with a personalized case.   If you’re a company selling sublimation,   this could be an entirely new market for you,  provided you can get the blank product at the right price.   Fortunately,  EnMart is here to help you with that.

We are proud to offer rubber iPhone 5 cases for sublimation. Instead of being made of hard plastic,  like most cases, these iPhone 5 sublimation cases are made of durable, flexible black rubber that is comfortable to hold.    These cases are also anti-micobial.  They also have pre-applied adhesive with an easy to remove backing paper, and come with one high quality gloss white sublimation metal insert.  Instructions for pressing and a template for creating artwork are available on our website.

The cases are for the iPhone 5,  but may be compatible with other phones as well.   If you would like a test sample,  please contact us.   We would be happy to provide a sample upon request.

 

Don’t Limit Your Sublimation Success

sublimation blanks. jpgWhen most of us think of sublimation – we probably think of coffee mugs or t-shirts,  which are great items and which can bring in a nice profit,  but which are kind of limiting if that’s all that you do.   The fun thing about sublimation is that there are a number of products that can be sublimated,  some of which can be made into unique gifts or souvenirs.  If you’ve been stuck in a coffee mug or corporate polo shirt rut,  make 2014 the year that you investigate some additional things you can sublimate.   Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Many people put time and effort into creating the perfect kitchen,  and accent pieces can be the ideal way to complete a decorating scheme.    Sublimated cutting boards offer the option of monograms or scenic views,  as well as protection for counters and other surfaces.     Use sublimated tiles to create a backsplash behind a sink or a border along the edge of a counter.    You could also offer unique sublimated place mats that compliment the decor of the room,  are easy to clean off, and which protect fragile table linens.    These placemats can also double as message boards, so that grocery list is easy to write.

Pets are another area where sublimated items can be big sellers.   All pet owners want their pet identified in case of loss,  so sublimated pet tags can be a great seller.     Personalized pet bowls are also a fun idea,   and can help separate Fido’s food bowl from Fluffy’s.    Another big area of animal related products is patches and decals for service dogs and search and rescue animals.  Blank patches which you sublimate can allow you entry into that market.

You should also remember not to neglect the gift and souvenir market.  Jewelry boxes with scenes from well known landmarks in your area can make great keepsake boxes.    Collaborate with local vendors to create boxes that showcase local food items or crafts for a one of a kind souvenir.    Puzzles are another great option when it comes to preserving a scenic view.  Personalized puzzles are even more fun,  offer to put a favorite vacation photo on a puzzle and preserve a memory forever.

The main thing to remember is that there are a number of items out there which can be sublimated,  your job is to find them and figure out how to sell them to your target market.   Money is out there waiting to be made.  Why shouldn’t it end up in your bank account?

Uses for a Heat Press

Collage_SwingNote:   It’s very rare that I post the same post on both blogs because the subject matter of the two blogs is so different.  In this case,  however,  I made an exception.  A heat press has so many uses across the spectrum it seemed a shame to not share the content in both places.

Even though it might not seem like it at first glance,  a heat press is a very versatile piece of equipment.  While it’s true that all a heat press can do is heat up and press things,  the variety of  techniques for which it can be used may well make it one of the most valuable instruments in your shop.    Adding a heat press to your set-up can open up a whole host of opportunities for new markets and new sales.    If you’ve never considered adding a heat press to your shop before,  here are some uses for a heat press that may make you think again.

Use 1:  Sublimation – Dye sublimation is a process by which a special ink is printed on a special paper and then the transfer is heat pressed on a polyester garment or a poly coated substrate.  Sublimation offers you the ability to do more complicated designs on garments,  as well as widening the number of items you can offer to your customers.  If you’ve ever wanted to offer mousepads or coffee mugs or jewelry boxes,  then sublimation is the discipline for you.

Use 2:  Screenprint or plastisol transfers – Screenprint is a very popular decorating technique,  but it does have a learning curve,  and setting up a shop can be expensive.    Plastisol transfers allow you to offer screenprinted garments and items to your customers without having to do the screenprinting yourself.  All you need is a transfer,  an item to embellish,  and a heat press and you’re in business.

Use 3:  Vinyl –  This is another popular decoration technique that can be used on garments and other items.  Vinyl is often popular for the names and numbers on sports jerseys and team uniforms.   If you have a lot of school or sports league business available in your area,  vinyl may well be a great addition to your product offerings.

Use 4:  Rhinestones –  If bling is your thing,  then you’ll love rhinestone transfers.   A heat applied rhinestone transfer allows you to add sparkle to garments and other items without having to deal with the hassle of buying rhinestones and placing them yourself.

Use 5:  Decorated patches –  A blank patch,  embroidered or screenprinted by you,  can be heat sealed onto a garment,  backpack or other item.   Sublimated patches are a terrific way to make complicated designs with many colors simple.     If you have a design that won’t translate well into embroidery or screenprint,  put it on a sublimated patch and then heat seal it to the item to be decorated.    Your complicated design is now decorating the item of your choice with one easy press.

Finally,  if all else fails,  and you’re having a busy day at the shop,  you can always make a quick snack on your press.  Now,  we don’t recommend this option,  but it can be done and apparently,  the grilled cheese sandwich turns out quite tasty.

 

Create Your Own Fabric with FabricMaker

FM-Composite SMOne of the joys of working with EnMart is the fact that we get to deal with so many companies that are working to create new products for various decorating markets.  Sometimes,  the new products that are being offered introduce us to a new market,  which is always fun and exciting,  as it gives us a chance to learn about new decorating disciplines while also offering new products.

EnMart’s latest new product is FabricMaker,  a digital printing solution which combines professional pigment-based textile inks,  specially prepared 100% cotton 60×60 4.5 oz quilt fabric, and a range of printers.   The result of this combination is the opportunity to produce quality dye-fast fabrics in the comfort of your shop,  home or studio.     If you’ve ever longed for custom fabric you could print on your schedule,  FabricMaker is the perfect system for you.

Keep in mind,  this fabric is not hobby grade.  This is high quality, commercial grade fabric that is wash-fast,  color-fast and offers vibrant colors and deep blacks.    This fabric is also resistant to crocking,  so you won’t have to worry about dye transferring from your custom fabrics to other items.    If you’re looking to create heirloom quality items,  like memory quilts or Quilts of Valor,   FabricMaker will let you create personalized fabric that will remain colorful and unfaded through repeated washings.

EnMart is proud to offer the Quick-MakeR-1 FabricMaker package to help those of you who want to print your own fabric get started.   This package includes a Ricoh SG3110dn printer,   a complete set of the FabricMaker ink, 1 pack of 25 sheets of 8.5″ x 11″ FabricMaker 100% Cotton Quilt Fabric,  1 USB cable as well as color management profiles,  printer drivers and instructions on CD.   If you have an iron or a heat press and a graphics program of some time,  you can begin creating your own fabric immediately.

Fabric figures in so many things in our daily lives,  and many decorators,  including quilters,  use fabric to create not only art,  but also memories that will be passed down from generation to generation.   Memories,  art or simply something that keeps a child snug on a cold winter night deserve to be created with the best tools and products available.   We believe FabricMaker is one of those tools and we’re very excited to be able to offer it to you.

 

Introducing the Ricoh SG7100DN

RicohSG7100DNEnMart is proud to announce we will have a new larger size desktop sublimation printer available within the next week.    This printer replaces the Ricoh GX e7700N  which formerly was the large desktop printer option.

The new Ricoh printer is the Ricoh SG 7100DN.     First introduced to the European market in early 2013,  this printer has been tested and proven to be a trouble free sublimation solution with a robust printing capacity.    This is the sublimation printing solution of choice for rapidly expanding shops that want a sublimation solution that is both reliable and fast.     Print speed for the SG 7100DN are comparable to previous Ricoh models,  making it the perfect next step in the line of high production sublimation systems.

Ink for this printer is available in standard and extended size cartridges.  Standard size cartridges are designed for moderate and seasonal print flows,  and provide lower start up costs while business is ramping to full capacity.  Extended cartridges , by contrast,  are ideal for high volume sublimation environments and provide extended uninterrupted printing, without adding a bulk system to your printer set-up.

EnMart offers the printer as part of our popular sublimation combo packages.     The SG 7100DN package retails at $1678 but is currently being offered by EnMart for $1545.   The printer package comes with the printer,  a full set of ink,  1 pack of 8.5 x 11 paper and 1 pack of 11 x 17 paper,  a USB cable and more.

EnMart adds New Products for Sublimation

IMG_20130410_162617_212-2EnMart is proud to announce we’ve added a few new products to our sublimation blanks.   The first new product category is one I like quite a lot – tempered glass sublimatable cutting boards.   These are available in 8 x 11 and 11 x 16 flats and a 12″ circle.    These cutting boards have a full 100% sublimation surface area in white and rubber feet for added stability.  Instructions on how to sublimate the boards as well as information on settings for your heat press are included on the EnMart website.

I watched one of each size of cutting board being sublimated the other day and it’s quite easy to make a great item that looks terrific and unique.   You just need to print your transfer a bit larger than the size of the board and then sublimate as instructed by our guide on the website.  The finished product looks beautiful and is also useful.  I have to confess, I’ve been angling for one of the circular cutting boards to make its way to my kitchen,  but that hasn’t happened yet.

The other new product category we’ve added  is black rubber  iPhone cases.   These are another fabulous addition,  and the best part about them is that they’re made entirely in the USA.   If you have customers who are very firm about wanting U.S. made products,  these cases would certainly be an easy sale.  These cases are also antimicrobial,  so they’re great for cold and flu season.   Adhesive is pre-applied and the backing paper is easily removed.  The sublimation insert is high quality white gloss metal.  These look great and they’re made in the U.S.,  what more could be necessary?  Currently the iPhone cases are on backorder,  but we expect our stock to arrive very soon, so we are taking pre-orders for this item.

Same Old Stuff, Different Use

One of the things we often get asked here at EnMart is where and how sublimated goods can be sold.   Usually I tell people who ask that the key to selling sublimated goods it to think beyond the standard uses for the sublimation blanks we sell.  Take, for instance,  one way that we’ve used our metal license plates.  Instead of going on the front of a car,  we sublimated them with appropriate graphics and used them as signs in our trade show booth.    Pieces of FRP sheet stock, drilled with the necessary holes,  were also sublimated and made into signs.   Instead of the usual signs or banners that one normally sees in a trade show booth, although we had those as well,  we had a bunch of unique signs that also showcased our products and our expertise.   Same old stuff, different use.

The same thing can be done for almost any sublimation product.    Sublimate an theme appropriate picture on a 15 oz. mug and fill the mug with candy,  soup mix or coffee or cocoa products.    Personalized frosted glass beer mugs could be coupled with a home beer brewing kit.   An aluminum water bottle could be paired with an exercise DVD,  or a pair of hiking boots and a map of local hiking trails.    A lot of these items could be sold to local businesses in your area,  if you help them think outside the box about how they could display and sell these items.  Personalization is always an added attraction,   and studies have shown that promo goods with logos tend to stay in a customer’s memory and keep them coming back.

You also shouldn’t forget that a product may be called one name,  but isn’t necessarily dedicated to that function until it’s put into use.   Pet bowls would be one example.  Until they actually get filled with that first scoop of kibble, they’re simply bowls.   Use them to create a personalized set of bowls for the family dinner table.   Sublimate the appropriate motto and sell them as change or key bowls.   The same kind of thinking can be used for pet tags.  They can be zipper or curtain pulls,  or made into jewelry.    The possibilities are far wider than we might think.

Imagination is definitely a key factor when it comes to selling sublimation.  Just because something is called a license plate or a pet bowl doesn’t mean that has to be it’s only use or function.   When it comes to selling,  thinking beyond the current limits is what will help you get new clients and help you make more money with your sublimation system.

EnMart Introduces the Ricoh SG 3110DN Printer

EnMart is proud to announce that the Ricoh SG 3110DN printer is NOW IN STOCK! The 4th generation Ricoh SG 3110DN replaces the popular Ricoh GX e3300n.  The new Ricoh  SG 3110DN is the most versatile sublimation printer to date.  It is also a budget smart option for those people looking to enter the market for sublimation products.

The Ricoh SG 3110DN offers many advantages for sublimation printers, including:

  • New Print Head Design – Delivers Superior Print Quality, Speed, and Reliability
  • New Dual-Directional Ink Pump – Cleans Nozzles with Less Ink
  • 15%+ Increased Yield for Lower Image Cost and Faster Return On Investment
  • Two Color Management Options – PowerDriver for Windows and MacProfile for Mac OS

A ChromaBlast cotton transfer printing option is also available for the Ricoh SG 3110DN.  Since the Ricoh SG 3110DN can produce up to 74 prints an hour,  it is one of the fastest entry-level cotton transfer printers available.    When used with ChromaBlast media and ChromaBlast Ink,  this printer produces transfers which can be used to create vibrant, long lasting images on cotton.

The Ricoh SG 3110DN sublimation and ChromaBlast printer systems are definitely the smart choice for those looking to get into the sublimation printing and/or t-shirt transfer business without breaking their budget.   EnMart also offers combo packages featuring the Ricoh SG 3110DN for both sublimation and ChromaBlast.  These packages contain everything you would need to print a sublimation or ChromaBlast transfer.

Sublimation Section Updates

The EnMart website is constantly a work in progress.  We’re always tweaking things to improve our customer experience.  One of our most recent reorganizations has been to the sublimation blanks section of the website.   In the past our listings of blank products for sublimation were contained in one long category.  When we first started,  and carried a smaller array of products,  that arrangement worked fairly well,  but as time has gone on it’s become a bit cumbersome.  Clearly a reorganization was needed.

The sublimation blanks category has now been divided into subcategories by type of blank.  This means, for instance,  if you were looking for mugs for sublimation,  you’d click on the link for the drinkware category.    If you wanted sheet stock for sublimating your own nameplates,  then you’d select the sheet & roll stock category.   The idea is to group the blanks we sell into logical categories and eliminate the paging through and scrolling that was necessary in the past.

We have also updated our social media sharing feature for all EnMart products.  Now,  under the listing for each sublimation blank,  you will find icons for sharing that product on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.    Obviously,  we love it when our customers share what they’ve bought,  and also when they share with us and their friends and fans what they’ve created with the EnMart products they purchase.    Also, please feel free to let us know what you’ve done with our products on our Facebook page.