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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am attempting to print mugs using the ProWorld Mug Press. I use the Espson 7210 printer with sublimation ink from Cobra Ink and sublimation paper.


I printed a simple letter design for my boyfriend which looked fine until he put it in the dishwasher a couple of times. The ink is starting to fade close to the handle.


On another design with black lettering and red heart, the lettering is faded grey/black/brown looking on all but the middle word, which looks perfect, and the heart is washed out looking.


I am setting the temperature at 380 and in the press for 2 minutes. I take it out of the press and let it cool before taking the design off.


Am I doing something wrong? Should I be doing something a bit different?
 

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First, sublimation mugs are NOT dishwasher safe. The steam and amount of time the steam has contact with the mug is long enough to outgas the print and it will fade or disappear off the mug.

Second, 2 minutes is usually not long enough. I don't have your mug press, but we usually do mugs at 385-400 for 4:30-5:10.

If you look at the transfer sheet, it should look like the majority of ink has transferred. If you could post a picture of both the mug and the sheet, it would help a lot to identify the problem.
 

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First, sublimation mugs are NOT dishwasher safe. The steam and amount of time the steam has contact with the mug is long enough to outgas the print and it will fade or disappear off the mug.

Second, 2 minutes is usually not long enough. I don't have your mug press, but we usually do mugs at 385-400 for 4:30-5:10.

If you look at the transfer sheet, it should look like the majority of ink has transferred. If you could post a picture of both the mug and the sheet, it would help a lot to identify the problem.
That's not true. Sublimation mugs ARE dishwasher-proof if they have quality coatings. Cheap Chinese mugs from ebay will most likely NOT be dishwasher-proof though. I have mugs that I printed for home use 4 years ago and they are as good as the day they were first printed - all of them.

I agree that 2 minutes is too short a time in most cases. Recommended temps and times are 180 C for 180 secs. When you put a cool mug in the press the temperature will drop to around 150 - 160 degrees C. Wait until the mug heats up to 180 C before starting the timer.

The thick base and handle act as heatsinks and you'll find most mug presses require you to keep your designs away from these areas for best prints.

If you're after consistent full-area prints then use silicone wraps with an oven. ALWAYS use reputable inks, paper and mugs though or you will have no end of troubles. (Speaking from experience).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much for you replies!


I am using mugs from Johnson Plastics, (if I remember correctly) and are made in China. Are they not any good?

I will leave them in the press for a longer time period. I was using the time stated by the manufacturer. The ink definitely has not left the paper to become faded out.


Should I remove the paper after it cools?
 

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Most cases dye sub mugs can handle a dishwasher top rack only.
BUT, as soon as one uses the bottom rack the cup will fade.

I print 11 and 15 oz cups at 2 min up to 4 min depending on the artwork.

We print a few hundred a day around 375 F. I import tons of mugs made in China. Most resold in the
USA are made in China so Country of origin has little to do with anything.
Hope this helps.
 

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I always use either Orca or Dolphin coated mugs and have never has a problem with a design fading. You did mention that you leave the paper on until the mug cools -- you should take it off right away. I use a pair of tweezers to pull one piece of tape off so as not to burn myself. I would also suggest you place it in front of a fan to cool...I place mine on my back porch railing to cool because there is always a breeze going through there.

I press at 380 for 190 seconds. Make sure your transfer paper is taped snug on the mug (no gaps) and check the pressure on you mug press to make sure there is no gap between the heating element and the mug.
 

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I agree with ScreamingMimi. Remove the wraps as soon as the mug is removed from the press otherwise you may find gassing out and blurring of your print.

Also, using a fan is a good idea, or even dunking in fairly warm water, to stop the sublimation process.

If any mugs are fading in the dishwasher then they have sub-standard coatings. If you have a lot of ink still left on your wraps after pressing then this could be due to any of the following reasons -

Not using sub inks.
Using poor quality inks.
Not using sub paper.
Using the wrong paper.
Not using the correct ICC profile.
Wrong printer settings.
Not pressing for long enough.
A press reading the wrong temperature,or a faulty heat blanket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If any mugs are fading in the dishwasher then they have sub-standard coatings. If you have a lot of ink still left on your wraps after pressing then this could be due to any of the following reasons -

Not using sub inks.
Using poor quality inks.
Not using sub paper.
Using the wrong paper.
Not using the correct ICC profile.
Wrong printer settings.
Not pressing for long enough.
A press reading the wrong temperature,or a faulty heat blanket.

Thank you for your comments!


How do I know if the mugs have sub-standard coatings? I am using ceramic mugs from Johnson Plastics. When I did these mugs, I left them in the press for 2 minutes, and did not wait until the heat of the press went back up to 380, so could that be the cause of the handle edge of the design fading a little?


Could you explain to me what ICC profile is?


Also, what printer settings?


I am brand new at this and want to do this right, so any help would be very much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did a few more mugs this morning and the quality looks a lot better with the longer time in the press. I will have to start removing the paper right after I take the mug from the press, as there is a bit of a ghosting on some of the designs. Is that what might causes the shadowing?
 

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If any mugs are fading in the dishwasher then they have sub-standard coatings. If you have a lot of ink still left on your wraps after pressing then this could be due to any of the following reasons -

Not using sub inks.
Using poor quality inks.
Not using sub paper.
Using the wrong paper.
Not using the correct ICC profile.
Wrong printer settings.
Not pressing for long enough.
A press reading the wrong temperature,or a faulty heat blanket.

Thank you for your comments!


How do I know if the mugs have sub-standard coatings? I am using ceramic mugs from Johnson Plastics. When I did these mugs, I left them in the press for 2 minutes, and did not wait until the heat of the press went back up to 380, so could that be the cause of the handle edge of the design fading a little?


Could you explain to me what ICC profile is?


Also, what printer settings?


I am brand new at this and want to do this right, so any help would be very much appreciated!
Firstly, regarding mug coatings, it's best to take advice from other members printing mugs in your country. Coatings vary a lot and you can't tell just by looking at a mug. You need to buy from a recommended supplier then do your own printing and dishwashing tests. Believe me, you'll go through a lot of mugs when you first start - everyone does.

An ICC profile is virtually essential to get the best print results from your system. Your ink supplier should provide you with the correct profile for their inks and your printer model. Basically, an ICC profile converts the colours you see on your computer monitor to colours that, when printed and sublimated, most closely match the colours of the original design. You need to print using graphics software that can handle ICC profiles, such as PS, AI, Coreldraw, etc.

Your fading prints won't be helped by 'undercooking' them. Try 3 minutes instead of 2 for a start.

Printer settings to use will probably be supplied along with the profile. In most cases your printer driver needs to be set to plain paper, high quality printing, and no colour management. Your graphics software needs to be set to manage colours.
 

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I did a few more mugs this morning and the quality looks a lot better with the longer time in the press. I will have to start removing the paper right after I take the mug from the press, as there is a bit of a ghosting on some of the designs. Is that what might causes the shadowing?
Yes, not removing the paper right away could cause shadowing. Cooling in front of a fan will also help mitigate shadowing, as quicker cooling stops the sub process.

Most of us ruined alot of mugs determining what works best with our particular equipment, ink, paper, etc. so don't feel like it's just you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for your thoughts and advice! I am definitely going through mugs as I try to figure all this out! The learning curve is a bit steeper than I expected, but I am looking forward to continuing to learn this craft and see what I can do.


The colors on the mugs look very close to what I have onscreen, so, so far that seems to be ok. I think at the moment that it is mostly my "cooking" time, and not taking the paper off immediately. I will do a few test runs in the dishwasher to see how my last ones do.
 
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