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.


Knowing People who Know Stuff

Whenever you embark on something new, or try to take a current endeavor to the next level,  it helps to know people who have already been down the path on which you are starting.   I know it helps me when I write these posts.  My expertise is writing,  not sublimation or ChromaBlast.   What helps give this blog it’s usefulness is exactly what what the title says,  I know people who know stuff about sublimation and ChromaBlast,  they tell me things and this blog becomes a venue through which I can share that knowledge.

Knowing people who know stuff isn’t as hard as you might think,  particularly if you’re working with EnMart.    We have several groups of people who are very knowledgeable about sublimation and ChromaBlast printing,  and they’re all glad to share their knowledge with us and with you.   In no particular order those groups are:

  1. EnMart’s tech staff – Tom and Bill,  EnMart’s tech staff,  have been dealing with sublimation for many years.  They know printers.  They know the problems you can encounter,  having encountered and figured out those problems themselves.   If you call us with a problem or a question regarding sublimation or ChromaBlast,  it’s likely you’ll talk to either Bill or Tom at some point.   They know their stuff and have helped many people.
  2. Sawgrass Ink – I tend to talk about Sawgrass a lot,  largely because they created the ink we sell and they’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to use that ink best.   Their technical support is very helpful if you find yourself having an issue.    They also have a terrific educational program.   If you want to learn more about sublimation or about how to make your sublimation business prosper,  these are the people with whom you should speak.
  3. Rowmark – Rowmark is another supplier with whom EnMart works.  They are the creators of the terrific Mates product line.    Rowmark offers a lot of great technical support for those people who sublimate using their products.   They also have downloadable MSDS sheets on their site,  for those shops that need to have such things on file.
  4. Forums – EnMart is a part of a couple of great forums that offer helpful and useful sublimation knowledge.   The ADF or Apparel Decorators Forum if a very friendly, rapidly growing forum.  The members of the forum range from screenprinters to embroiderers to sublimators to those who rhinestone.  There’s a great deal of knowledge here and it’s offered in a helpful manner.   Another great forum is the T-Shirt Forums which has a large knowledge base  and has been around for several years.

The thing to keep in mind is that knowing people who know stuff about sublimation and ChromaBlast is half the battle.  If you want to win the battle you need to ask questions and try to learn everything you can.    If you have questions,  or need assistance,  don’t be afraid to contact us,  ask questions on our Facebook page or Twitter feed, or leave a comment right here on this blog.   We’ll be happy to help you,  or to put you in contact with the person or organization who can.


Sublimation Templates

I believe I’ve discussed this subject before,  but I thought it was worth mentioning again because it is one of the questions we get asked most often at trade shows.   Templates can be very useful when you’re just starting out with a new sublimated product,  but they often don’t come with the product when it is purchased.   At some point EnMart plans to have templates available for download from our web site,  but that requires time to get all the templates loaded and identified.   In the meantime,  it seems simpler and more efficient to point you to sites that are already offering templates.

Unisub is one of the main manufacturers of items for sublimation.   A great many of the FRP items come from Unisub.  Given that,  their site is always a good place to look for templates.  They have a wide variety of templates available for download in both .eps and .cdr format.  Unisub also offers a series of tip sheets that may be helpful.

Another place where you can find templates is on the Rowmark website.  EnMart is a Rowmark distributor so you can find templates for the majority of the products we carry on the Rowmark site.    The templates available from the Rowmark site are in PDF format.    You can also find additional templates by clicking on the sublimation products link.  Rowmark also provides temperature and press time information for their products.

Any discussion of templates should also include a mention of Hanes SublimationMaker 2.0.   This software features both the Unisub and Rowmark templates as well as the ability to create custom templates.   Hanes SublimationMaker also allows you to create your own templates and designs.   If you’re interested in creating murals or custom tabletops,  you might want to take a look at this software as well,  since it has mural making capabilities.

Finally, I wanted to remind everyone not to neglect the Sawgrass website when you’re looking for help and information.   Sawgrass offers how to videos for digital decoration.  They also offer a handy desktop sublimation pricing calculator for download.    You can also find instructional webinars on their website.  If you’re just getting started with sublimation,  the Sawgrass website is a treasure trove of information.

Of course,  as always,  EnMart is here to be of assistance as well.  If you have a question or need assistance,  just contact us and we will be glad to help.   You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with the latest news and information.

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.