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Hello everyone, This is my first post and I am looking to get into the dye sublimation process. I have been running a heat press company and i have been asked to look into this process. Can anyone tell me how this process works and what equipment i need to have to produce quality dry fit shirts?

Thanks
Rich
 

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Hello everyone, This is my first post and I am looking to get into the dye sublimation process. I have been running a heat press company and i have been asked to look into this process. Can anyone tell me how this process works and what equipment i need to have to produce quality dry fit shirts?

Thanks
Rich
Hi Rich,

Here's a thread that might help you on understand the process and the needed equipment.

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/dye-sublimation/t23691.html

Hope this helps.
 

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Dye sub requires special ink dyes, special paper, and special substrates. Cloth has to be minimum 65% polyester in order for the image to come out, the more poly the better the print. The drawback is that the ink, paper, and substrates tend to be expensive. You can use the same heat press that you use now and you can get a mug press to press mugs.
 

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Sublimation ink is a liquid that turns into a gas when heated to 400 degrees. The ink bonds with the fibers in the garment and dyes them. It is recommended that the garment be 100% polyester for the best print. If you use a blend, the ink will only bond with the polyester fibers, so your designs may look faded or distressed. Ink generally comes in cartridges, or can be bought in bulk and fed through a bulk system.

Sublimation printers are Epsons and Ricohs, but only certain models. Currently ink is available for the Epson Workforce 30, 1400, 1900 and 4880. The Ricoh GX e3300N, GX 5050N and GX 7000 also can be used with sublimation ink. We tend to recommend the Ricohs as they seem to be a little more trouble free than the Epsons.

The ink will bond with anything made of polyester or with a poly coating. Items like mugs, tiles, jigsaw puzzles and more can be sublimated if they have a polymer coating. Different items require different presses. You can buy an All-In-One press for sublimation, which has different attachments which allow you to do certain things, or you can buy a press, like a mug press, which is designed for sublimation on a specific type of product.

Mugs, shot glasses and bowls can also be done in an oven using wraps. This can often be a good method if you are looking to do a large quantity of something, or if your item, such as a bowl, is a shape which wouldn't work in a press.

Sublimation also requires special paper. The paper is designed specifically for sublimation. Using sublimation ink with transfer paper that is not designed for sublimation will not give you a good result.

Most people use a graphics program of some type to prepare their designs. Sawgrass offers drivers and color profiles for many of the printers and inks. These drivers generally require a Windows platform. Some drivers and profiles are available for Macs, but not all.

The process is basically pretty simple. You create your design, taking into account on what you want to sublimate. You then print the design, and press it on your substrate for the required amount of time. It's not a complicated process.
 

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We have made a huge number of sublimation
videos that may explain things.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0qgHtjKzh8[/media]


also here is a helpful article from the Sublimatio Almanac:

[media]http://www.conde.com/wdg/Road-To-Sublimation-Success-SA-2009.pdf[/media]
 
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