This is a complete guide on everything you will need to start your sublimation printing business or make sublimation prints as a hobby. It is one of the latest fabric and material printing techniques that you can use to create amazing pieces of clothing and products with cool prints.
What is Sublimation Printing?
Sublimation printing is a fabric and material printing technique that is growing rapidly in popularity. It is also called dye sublimation because the dye is transferred onto the fabric using a heat press and it becomes a part of the fabric that can’t be differentiated by touch alone. It is different than other fabric printing techniques because the print is not sitting on top of the fabric, it becomes a part of the fabric itself. However, there are some things to consider if you are new to sublimation printing which will help you minimize the time you waste experimenting with less than optimal results with your prints.
If you are trying to transfer your sublimation print on a piece of fabric then make sure the composition of the material is at least 60% polyester. This is important because the polyester fabric is knitted very uniformly and it does not have loose strands that break the pattern on a smaller level. This helps in recreating the print to appear as you intended without much deviation, which can’t be said about many other common fabrics. The other thing to keep in mind is that in sublimation printing, the ink becomes a part of the fabric and mixes with the fabric so if you are looking to reproduce the exact print then using white material will be the best bet as it is will not affect the reproduction of the color.
Sublimation Material List
Looking from the outside, sublimation printing might seem intimidating at first. You might be asking yourself, what do I need to start sublimation printing, and how do I approach this style of printing but in reality it is very easy to grasp. Sublimation printing is not a very complicated process to understand, you can get all the information you need about this style of printing, order all the tools online, and get started with sublimation printing on your own. Let’s look at the complete list of equipment that you need to start producing sublimation prints on your own.
The most important part of the sublimation printing process is obviously the sublimation printer. There are a lot of printers to choose from, you can either buy a brand new sublimation printer or you can also convert an inkjet printer into a sublimation printer. There are many conversion kits available for many popular inkjet printers if you decide to go with the second option and they are easy to install. You just have to replace the ink tanks and install some dedicated parts to the printer that will aid you in printing large sublimation prints.
Check – Best Printers for Sublimation
Sublimation printing requires a special kind of sublimation paper to be used to transfer the print onto a piece of fabric or material. You can not use regular copier paper for this step as the ink transfer will not work as intended and you will be left with less than ideal results. This paper is also required to withstand very high temperatures because the paper will be placed on a heat press while transferring the print. There are many options to choose from depending on your budget. You can also use laser paper in place of dedicated sublimation paper to transfer your prints using a heat press if sublimation paper is not accessible for you at the moment.
Check – Best Papers For Sublimation
Designs For Sublimation
The best thing about using sublimation printing is the variety of designs. You can either download popular designs from hundreds of different websites or create your own unique one and print it on a piece of clothing. There are many online tools that can help you with creating your own designs with free templates and typography. You can also buy custom prints from artists if you are making sublimation prints for your business.
A heat press is the final step of the sublimation printing process. Heat is used to transfer the dye onto a piece of fabric or material and a heat press holds the paper and material in the intended position for a perfect transfer of the print to the area you want. The majority of sublimation prints can be transferred using just a flat heat transfer press but there are many options to buy heat transfer presses for specific printing needs such as caps that have a curved surface to print, or a coffee cup that will require a different curvature every time, etc.
Sublimation blanks are the articles of clothing or things that you want to print with sublimation. These include solid-colored T-shirts, socks, and caps among other articles of clothing, mugs, earrings, mousepads, and more. You can transfer sublimation prints on a number of different materials and create unique pieces of art. It is recommended to use white sublimation blanks for accurate color reproduction because the dye mixes with material and an existing color on the material might create less than desirable results.
You can also check out many complete sublimation kits that you can buy with or without a printer if you are new to sublimation printing and don’t want to individually buy every part. These kits are a great option for people who want a kit that they can buy and start creating sublimation prints right away.
This was our complete sublimation material list which includes everything you need to start your own one-man small-scale sublimation printing business. You can easily create custom prints at your house on a number of different materials using very economical tools. If you have any questions regarding the equipment you need for sublimation then ask us in the comment section below and we will be happy to help you with the solutions.