5 Useful Sublimation Resources

5 reasons filmEvery once in a while I like to do a sort of list or round-up post where I compile some information or industry resources I think are helpful.   On the Embroidery Talk Blog,  it’s called the Friday Blog Round-Up.    I’m not sure if the same sort of post will be as regular here, or will get its own name,  but I thought it might be useful to include some links to helpful information I’ve found.

First up,  for those who are interested in sublimation for schools,  you may want to download Sawgrass Ink’s “Making Money in the School Market“.    This marketing plan can give you tips on how to grow your school sales.  Schools can be a fertile ground for all kinds of decoration,  so it’s definitely worth downloading this book.

Second on the docket is a video,  also from Sawgrass,  about how to download and use Unisub templates.   For those who don’t know,  Unisub makes a number of products for sublimation,  and the templates they provide are very useful.    If you just want access to the templates themselves,  you can find them on Unisub’s website.

Third on the docket,  we have what we call the “Dye Sublimators Bible“,   which can be downloaded from EnMart’s website.   This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of sublimation,  and gives you information on sublimating various kinds of materials and products.   It’s a very useful basic primer on the art of sublimation.

Fourth at bat,  if you’ve ever purchased any of our Mates products – you may find this helpful.   It’s some sublimation tips from Rowmark,  the maker of the Mates products.     You can download basic sublimation tips for Mates or troubleshooting Mates printing.

Fifth,  some tips for startup sublimation from Printwear Magazine.  I have to confess I wrote these,  and my favorite is the first one,  since it addresses a concern I hear often.    The reality is that you will screw up while sublimating at some point.   Make your peace with that and don’t let it put you off trying sublimation entirely.

 

Working with Mates

Some of you may already know that EnMart carries the Rowmark MATES product.  We offer MATES in 8.5 x 11 sheets and in 12 inch x 50 foot rolls.    The MATES line is very versatile and can be used for a variety of applications.   Basically, MATES are sublimatable pre-adhesive flexible plastic.    The product is ideal for signage, name plates, award plaques, packaging and many other uses.

If you  aren’t familiar with MATES  or have not worked with the product before you might be a bit wary of giving it a try,  but you shouldn’t be nervous about it.  Working with MATES is very like working with any other sublimation product.   For the white MATES product, which is what EnMart sells,   it is recommended you do the following to achieve optimum print quality:

  • heat your press to 400 degrees
  • press for 60 to 70 seconds
  • medium to heavy pressure

Rowmark also notes that White MATES can be pressed with the backing down between two pieces of sacrificial paper.

While MATES are generally very easy to work with,  there may be occasions when issues crop up.  Fortunately, Rowmark has provided solutions for the common problems that may occur.

  • If you have poor color saturation or your colors have a pastel appearance  it may indicate insufficient pressure, time and/or temperature.  Try increasing each of these items one at a time to see if that corrects the problem.   If you are using the Power Driver software,  you could also try setting the Vector Color Management to “none”.
  • If you are getting a double image when pressing,  it could indicate that the transfer is moving after the press is open and before the dyes have cooled.   Make sure the transfer is attached securely to the MATES product and be sure to open your press slowly and smoothly.
  • If you get a bubbling appearance when pressing the white MATES,  your time, temperature and/or pressure may be too high.   Try reduce the time, temperature and pressure to see if that eliminates the issue.   You may also want to consider purchasing and using a digital pyrometer to make sure that your press temperature gauge is accurate.
  • To find more MATES troubleshooting tips,  visit the Rowmark website.

Have You Heard About Mates?

If you have spent any time looking through EnMart catalog of sublimation blanks,  you know we offer a wide variety of items on which you can sublimate.  As a Rowmark distributor,  we have access to the entire Rowmark line of products as well.  Today, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Mates line of Rowmark products.   If you’ve not heard about Mates before,  you may find that they’re just what you’ve been looking for to fill a niche in your business.

EnMart offers white Mates stock in 12″ x 50 ft rolls and in 8 1/2 x 11 sheets.  Mates is a flexible,  pre-adhesive plastic material  that can be used for electronic, appliance and computer labeling, recreational, automotive and aviation applications, signage, nameplates, awards, promotional products, packaging and point of purchase displays.  It is a versatile material that can be cut into whatever size and shape you need it to be, but durable enough that your finished design will look great for a long, long time.

Like almost any product that can be sublimated,  Mates does have certain requirements that must be fulfilled to help ensure a great finished product.   If you are just starting out with Mates,  Rowmark offers some sublimation tips and techniques for the product that are sure to be helpful.   If you do run into a problem sublimating your Mates product,  Rowmark also provides troubleshooting tips for common issues.

Mates can be attached to almost any substrate,  so they’re a great option for the occasions when you want to sublimate an item that wouldn’t otherwise be suitable for sublimation.  In addition to white,  the Mates product is also available from Rowmark in clear,  brushed sliver,  brushed gold, brite gold and prism.  White is the only color EnMart has in stock,  but we can certainly order the other colors.  If you would like Mates in a color other than white,  just contact us and we’ll be glad to get those items in stock for you.