Printing on Cotton

EnMart is a sponsor of T-Shirt Forums, and a regular on several other forums,  including the terrific Apparel Decorators Forum,  so I get to see firsthand the questions that people ask about sublimation and printing on garments.    One of the questions I see frequently being asked is whether a design can be sublimated on a cotton garment.  The answer to that is always no,  as sublimation works only with polyester fabric of substrates.    Those people who want to print on cotton should not lose hope however,  for there is a solution,  and its name is ChromaBlast Ink.

For those who are unfamiliar with ChromaBlast,  the first thing you need to know is that it is not a sublimation ink.    ChromaBlast ink uses a patented chemical process which, combined with heat and pressure,  set up a cross-link between the cotton fabric,  the ink and the media which transfers the image.   The end result is a garment that has vibrant color,  superior washability and a soft hand.

ChromaBlast is like sublimation in that it is easy to create customized cotton items.   All you need to do is create your image or design,  print your image using ChromaBlast Ink and ChromaBlast paper,  and then press your image onto a cotton substrate.    Like sublimation ink, ChromaBlast Ink is available for both the Epson and Ricoh printer models,  so you can choose the system that best suits your needs.

Cotton and cotton blend products will both work well with ChromaBlast ink.    You can print on any substrate made of cotton,  which makes this an ideal ink for shops that create a lot of corporate apparel.    Whether you’re adding a logo to a polo shirt,  or creating golf towels for a corporate golf tournament,  ChromaBlast will let you customize cotton items exactly as you customer requests.   ChromaBlast ink also allows you to offer things like printed monograms on cotton sheets,  or personalized tote bags or aprons.   If the substrate is cotton,  you can use ChromaBlast ink to customize it.

If you’re unfamiliar with ChromaBlast,  Sawgrass does offer information that will help you get started.  You can view a video about applying digital transfers to cotton apparel, or one about applying digital transfers to tote bags.    There is also additional technical support information offered on their website.

For those who want to see ChromaBlast in action,  please visit the EnMart booth at any of the shows at which we exhibit.  We have samples of printed cotton garments in the booth,  along with ChromaBlast transfers and a ChromaBlast printer.  We’ll be happy to discuss ChromaBlast ink and the printing process with you.


Introducing SubliStuff

In mid 2009, EnMart added sublimation supplies and equipment to our product inventory.   This was a natural move for the company, since our parent company had been doing sublimation for industrial laundries since 2001.  We had the experience and the knowledge and now, with EnMart, we had the venue.  It only seemed natural that we include sublimation and ChromaBlast in our product offerings. 

When we added sublimation and ChromaBlast, our first thought was to also add sublimation information to our existing blog, EnMart EmbroideryTalk.   Although the name of the blog was EmbroideryTalk, we felt it could encompass all aspects of EnMart.  Truth be told, the blog probably could, but the more we talked about it, the more we realized we also had a lot to say about sublimation.  After a while, it just made sense to have a blog for embroidery and embroidery related topics and a blog for sublimation and sublimation related topics.   That’s when SubliStuff the blog was born.

Like the blog,  the name SubliStuff took a while to come into being.  The word sublistuff was actually coined by our resident sublimation expert.  He started using it to refer to sublimation blanks in the plural, and then to sublimation equipment and supplies in general and the name just stuck.  Say sublistuff around our offices these days and everyone will instantly know what you mean.   For us sublistuff has come to mean anything, including information, having to do with sublimation and ChromaBlast (let’s fact it, Chromastuff just doesn’t work) so when it came time to name the blog, SubliStuff seemed the logical choice.

This blog will be the place where we share our knowledge and insight into the world of sublimation and ChromaBlast.   We’ll write blog posts based on our own experiences, feature guest posts by sublimation and ChromaBlast experts and will also keep you updated on the latest news and special offers from EnMart.  Our goal is to create a complete sublimation and ChromaBlast resource and to make this blog a place that will be of benefit both to the novice and to the experienced sublimator. 

All we ask of you is that you read and that, every once in a while, you talk to us.  Leave a comment, send us an e-mail, help spread the word about a great post by mentioning on Twitter, just do something to let us know you’re out there.   As long as you keep reading, we’ll keep writing.