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Discussion Starter #1
but if I cannot print onto a dark garment it is going to be useless to me.

Is it possible to use a discharge ink on the garment before sublimating the dyes into it?

I bet that because the garment is mostly polyester discharge inks will not work.

And if they do work the extremely short shelf life of water based discharge ink is probably another cost limiting factor.

Just wondered if anyone thought this might work?
 

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Yeah, I have heard some claims by online companies that there are transfers which allow sublimation on dark garments, but from what I am reading here essentially all you are really doing is wasting expensive sub dye on what basically becomes a heat transfer. That pretty much completely defeats the selling point of Sublimation; the fact that it is embedded in the fibers of the shirt and that it will last the life of the garment.

I am waiting for the SGIA expo in Atlanta next month to get a good look at the process. I was also wondering about how much money is invested in each garment? I.e. shirt+transfer paper+ Ink (really expensive ink!) = what total cost per garment? will this be more cost effective for short runs of say 6 shirts or less than utilizing a manual screen press?
 

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Chris is correct you cannot do sublimation on dark...since the sublimation process is using the special ink to form a gas under heat and the pressure forces it into the POLYESTER fibers to bond...you can see that with a black polyester...you cannot dye it a different color...save your money on the so-called sublimation sprays etc...I have done sublimation for almost 8 years...there is not holy grail for darks in sublimation...best you can do is pastels like you see from places like vapor ware
 

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Hi. There are basically two products for sublimating onto dark fabrics. Both of which are just a glorified heat transfer. One is a vinyl type material called Forever subli-dark, and the other is a polyester type material called subli-flock. The subli-dark gives a crisp image but has a significant hand (feel) to it. The subli-flock gives a fuzziness to images, so you can't use it for high definition images such as photographs.

Neither of them offers any great advantage over conventional inkjet transfers and with the exhorbitant cost of sublimation ink, you'd be better sticking with regular inkjet transfers.

Hope this helps.
 

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The cost of dye sub ink and the learning curve. I think regular transfer is a better way to go myself. I know you can't print on other substrates, but for shirtis inkjet is a great choice. IMHO .... JB
 

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If a excellent self weeding transfer paper does appear than sublimation could be combined but
not sure that makes sense. I have tested some weird papers and I can sublimated fairly well
to light to medium shirts BUT the background color is NOT white.

Does anyone know of a good self weeding transfer paper for darks? I know of a few labs that
are making progress.
 

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I have heard that some new paper that will be self weeding with no special ink needed will be avalable in a few months for sale. I'm not sure of the date. .... JB
 
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