There are many forms of printing and sublimation is one of them. We have seen many people fail to correctly execute the sublimation process, which made us think what exactly are the common mistakes that people make during this process. From that, we have made this guide to help you out with the best tips to get your sublimation process right on the first try.
Table of Contents
What is Sublimation Printing?
Solid materials become gases when they are sublimated directly from the solid-state without having a liquid state. This is the scientific definition. Now imagine this as a printing process. The sublimation process involves transferring artwork to an object while it is still in gaseous form with the help of a heat press. You can use this process and have artwork on multiple things such as Koozies, Popscokets, t-shirts, and many more. You can also use the sublimation technique to print graduation can koozies.
What Objects Can I Sublimate?
Sublimation can be performed on a wide range of products. You can use koozies, shirts, mugs, coasters, etc. Also note, for the best possible result, you must use objects made up of polyester material.
5 Tips To Help You Sublimate at First Try
In order to successfully use the sublimation process on any object, you must know exactly what you are doing at every step. Doesn’t matter if you are new to this or experienced, here are some tips that can help you go through this sublimation process without any hassle.
1. Watch reference videos
The process is not easy and it takes lots of consideration. So it is better to watch some reference videos before you try it for yourself. You can find many sublimation printing videos. It will also give you a good idea about how others are executing this process. At the same time, you will know what are the do’s and don’ts of this process. You will also learn maybe a more effective technique for this process.
2. Use the right equipment
It is very important that you know what equipment is used for what, only then you can choose the right equipment for the sublimation process. The basic requirement would be to get a printer, sublimation paper, sublimation ink, and a heat press. When you make your purchase you should look at their performance and other details to ensure that the equipment is effective. In the case of a heat press, you must look out for the consistency of pressure and temperature. A good high-temperature heat press is vital for this process.
3. Take proper measurements
During the sublimation process, even an inch here and there could be vital for the whole process. You must have an idea of where your artwork should be printed on the object, for this you would need proper measurements. So always properly measure the object, the artwork. Also, check the placement of the sublimation paper.
4. Check the heat press temperature
For the best result, you would need your heat press to work effectively and consistently. The heat pressure must not be dynamic. It could bring some difference in the result and the artwork may not look so good on the object. For proper sublimation, the temperature should not be too high or too low.
5. Check your surrounding temperature
Moisture is the biggest enemy of the sublimation process. Keeping an eye on your surroundings and understanding their temperature is necessary. If the temperature is too high, it can cause humidity which in turn can damage the sublimation paper. Therefore, sublimation paper should be stored somewhere dry.
What Equipments Do I Need For Sublimation Printing?
As we discussed earlier, choosing the right equipment is important. Apart from the sublimation paper, ink, heat press, and printer, you will also need other equipment to keep yourself safe during the process. The following are a few things you need for this process.
- Heat gloves – The name itself is enough I guess, these gloves are to protect your hands from high-temperature equipment or objects that can burn your hands.
- Thermal tape/Spray adhesive – This tape can be very useful at the time of measurements. You can stick your object using this thermal tape for fixing it to a particular angle. It will ensure your printing is not ruined by any movement. Spray adhesives are generally used for fabric material objects.
- Silicone sheets – This is a thin sheet to protect the sublimation process. It must be placed above the object. It will prevent any spreading of ink or any dirt to be caught with the ink.
- Heat transfer pillows – A very effective tool for pressing hard objects like zippers or objects like shirts where you can use it to avoid any indentations.
If you are a first-timer, you must take a look at these tips and make smart decisions during the process for a successful sublimation printing. It may not look easy but if you are aware of the process, you can do a great sublimation printing.